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Wellington Honours The Admiral & Retired Standardbreds

Admirals Express was a one of a kind horse. On the racetrack the colourful grey pacer competed for 12 years, earning well over two million dollars and in 2005 was named Canada.s Horse of the Year.

Sadly, the well known fan favourite dubbed 'The Grey Gladiator' died last fall after breaking a leg in an accident in a pasture. His long time caretaker Wellington Charles is doing his best to ensure his name is remembered by creating The Admirals Express award.

This trophy will be presented to the person/horse who enters the most classes at the Standardrama Horse Show in Orono on June 19 and the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society's annual horse show on September 4 at Touch N Go Farms in Campbellville.

"I thought that was appropriate for him given that he was such an iron horse," explained Charles who trained Admirals Express to ride once his racing days were over.

"I was told I would never be able to be able to ride or show him, he definitely was his own boss and did what he wanted. It took about a month of working with him before I got on his back. I’d take him for trail rides and then later on starting teaching him how to do the pole bending class."

The horse won several classes at the shows around Ontario which showcase the abilities of retired Standardbreds.

"He just loved going to those shows, it was like going to the racetrack for him, and he always got lots of attention. People would want to have their pictures taken with him and they’d get on his back and he was so good. He became pretty mellow until it was time for him to compete."

Charles decided to create the award to keep the memory of his champion alive and to help show others the fun of competing in the Standardbred horse shows.

"People need to realize that their horse doesn't have to have won any money at the track, they can still be competitive at these horse shows. We need to get more horses adopted and these shows help do that."

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