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Dr. Ted Clarke Passes

The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society joins the entire harness racing industry in mourning the passing of Dr. Ted Clarke. A member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and a very respected administrator in the sport, Dr. Clarke was a great supporter of OSAS since its inception and served as a foster farm for the organization for many years.

A veterinarian, Ted expected to specialize in swine when he graduated, but his focus soon turned to horses. "I evolved into horses, then racetrack affiliations over the course of time and I have to say it's been a remarkable ride. I've enjoyed all the facets of my career," he noted in a wide ranging interview in The Harness Edge at the time of the completion of Grand River Raceway. Dr. Clarke retired from active veterinary practice in 2002 but continued to enjoy being around all animals for the rest of his life.

Ted served as the General Manager at Elmira Raceway, helped establish a successful teletheatre network and was the leader behind the construction of Grand River Raceway. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as a builder, due largely to the incredible success of that racetrack. The notably modest Clarke noted at the time: "It is a significant honour and I'm still having trouble deciding whether or not I might be worthy of it." His peers knew he was more than worthy.

His philosophy was summed up as follows in the same interview: "I don't spend a lot of time worrying about things I have no control over. If one selects reasonable people to do reasonable things in a reasonable manner you would expect anything would be thought out pretty thoroughly," he explained. "Almost every bit of controversy or difficulty that you encounter is an opportunity to do something different."

Dr. Clarke served on numerous boards over the years and was a founding director of Ontario Racing, the organization now responsible for horse racing in this province. Ted retired from his role at Grand River in September of 2017.

Ted is survived by his wife Valorie; sister Christine and brother David; daughters Carrie and Amy; and granddaughters Morgan and Riley.

At Ted's request, cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral home visitation or service.

A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, May 15 from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm in the Lighthouse Restaurant at Grand River Raceway: 7445 Wellington County Rd. 21, Elora.

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