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Author Topic: Please List your favorite Driver to watch Hand Drive a horse.  (Read 1886 times)
fuzzypants
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« on: April 27, 2012, 01:31:06 PM »

I love to watch a driver hand drive a horse to me is a real art.
The guy I have seen and of course Im very limited.
But Steve Wiseman out here could give a clinic on hand driven a horse and it is just a real thing of beauty to watch.
So maybe some of you could list your dirvers and maybe even a race that you felt it was a real art and skill.
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clubhouse
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2012, 01:44:40 PM »

Bill O'Donnell and Buddy Gilmour were the best but that was long time ago. I don't see it anymore.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2012, 01:45:17 PM »

MICHEL  LACHANCE
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clubhouse
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2012, 01:47:47 PM »

Mike LaChance is one of the greatest ever but he has a very heavy stick
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wilderness
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 01:53:00 PM »

When John Moody was a kid, there was this mare that used to spit the bit after leading to the 3/4's in every race.
 At Northville in the dead of winter he catches the drive and pounds on the mares rump with his fist for the entire last quarter, to which she responded by winning.

 Is that what you meant by a hand drive Wink
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wilderness
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 01:54:09 PM »

Chris Boring and Bill Gale were drivers with talented hands.
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HarnessFanDE
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 02:32:44 PM »

Jim Morrill Jr has the softest hands today.....He is very easy on a horse and rarely ever really gets after one......
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SHOWTIME!!!
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »

Joe O'Brien
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 02:51:49 PM »

When John Moody was a kid, there was this mare that used to spit the bit after leading to the 3/4's in every race.
 At Northville in the dead of winter he catches the drive and pounds on the mares rump with his fist for the entire last quarter, to which she responded by winning.

 Is that what you meant by a hand drive Wink
laughing guy laughing guy Widerness you got me LoL.
What I mean by hand drives and I hope I can explain this as best i can from my perciption cause I just am not as aliquint as you.

When you see a driver that has the lines in such a way you can actually feel the relationship he is having with the horse thru the way he is holding the bit with very talented and care thr his hands on the horses mout and seems to encourage the horse with know whip and feels the horses gate and movemnts and thoughts of the animal giving him security and direction and confidence.. Just with the lines in his hand and the touch of the reins that connect to the bit in the horses mouth.
Some how it reminds me much of a dressage rider yet with know leg cues or no whip but by collecting the horse in such a way with his hands and the horses mouth using a very delicate pressure o the bit.and at different point in the race ?
Widerness am I explaining this correctly ? or am I the only one who see this with different drivers?


Now one driver I use on my horse is very agressive driver and sure seems to give my horse confidence but i if encouraged with the whip to much the horse just gets   his concentration broke as if to say what the hell more do you want from me. So I dont consider that  part of the race a hand drive. But he is still still learnig to understand this horses dos and donts.the horse may except a encouragement on the butt in the final sixteenth but to be howned  he is to honest a horse for that.
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 03:02:49 PM »

"ROCKING" RONNY PIERCE!   dude
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wilderness
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 03:10:23 PM »

fuzzy,
         I was just yanking your chain and adding an odd insight to the thread.

 I knew exactly what you were referring to.

 With reinsmen leaning back in the bikes today it's difficult for anybody too imagine a reinsman having such a soft touch.

 In the very early days there were a few master reinsmen that never allowed their horses mouths to get sored-up and therefore the horses drove with the slightest of line-pressure. Edward Franklin Geers (Pop Geers) was a master at developing horses with very soft mouths. The writers said that Geers never changed his position in the bikes no matter where he was situated during the course of the race, and thus everything to the horse was conveyed through his hands, the lines and the bit.

 For another, Joe O'Brien may have had a nice-feel with the lines, however he was known for rocking in the bike.
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2012, 03:16:29 PM »

FOR YEARS IN CHICAGO DAVE MAGEE WAS VERY SMOOTH AND EASY TO WATCH.
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wilderness
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2012, 03:19:50 PM »

Quote
Now one driver I use on my horse is very agressive driver and sure seems to give my horse confidence but i if encouraged with the whip to much the horse just gets   his concentration broke as if to say what the hell more do you want from me.

 fuzzy,
          I've a deceased friend that had three full siblings.
You couldn't hit none of them with the whip coming down the stretch. They'd simply get pissed off and stop dead!

 My friend thought Tommy Harmer was god's gift to the universe.
 Before Harmer left Mich, and before a race, my friend and Harmer are arguing in the paddock.
 To which Harmer yells out:
 "I may as well not even take the whip (and with that Harmer throws his whip in the bushes and climbs on the bike)"

 I don't recall if the horse won that night, but Bill Gale got more out of my friends horses than Tommy could have mustered from three of himself.
 My friend couldn't use Chris Boring because most of the time Chris had a horse in against him.
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2012, 03:39:37 PM »

this one is simple. the greatest set of hands i ever saw belong to winningest driver in history. most of you have never seen him but i had the privilege to work for him for four years. his name is Heinz Wewering. here's an article from the usta from 2010 crediting him with over 16,000 wins.     http://xwebapp.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/templates/article.aspx?articleid=38301&zoneid=1
  in Europe with the exception of france the lines must be kept in both hands necessitating the "hand drive." the man is a magican. 16,000 plus wins 2 time world driving champion, multiple time Europa champion, 29 time German champion. all with trotters and no hobbles allowed. nobody has numbers like him. nobody. he left me shaking my head a few times. simply the best.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 03:42:10 PM »

I want to repeat Buddy Gilmour's name and add Clint Galbraith.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 03:44:34 PM »

widerness i could read and listen to your stories all night they fill me with such passion for harness racing and horse.
I figured you was yankn me but it sure had me laughn I lvoe your sense of humor.
When you say leaning back in the bike that certainly sent a light on under my mine for my observations.
I noticed when Steve Wisemen is driving he rarely leans back and you never see him hardly move in the seat at all.
Just for me I love watching that type of drive.
I wish we had tracks where the guys raced on hand driving like that and what you are explaining to me.

Its seems ashame all the money dressage horse bring and such an interest the world has on dresage why Standardbreds dont get back to the reinsmen as you explain and I see glimpse of with this breed.

The other thing I see so many times as the whip is used not as a tool but like some one going out and using chemistry and a vet to prerace the horse just a cheating way to go.Ends up costing the horse dearly.

Some dont seem to uncderstand that most horses dont cheat they are honest and want to race some like my horse who is brillently bred but has had confromation problems that have held him back and obvious will his entire life.
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swoopdaddy
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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2012, 03:45:25 PM »

I want to repeat Buddy Gilmour's name and add Clint Galbraith.
for a north american driver my vote goes to George Sholty, who had a knack for keeping one alive without carving on them.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2012, 03:51:43 PM »

What a joy this has been to talk to the Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of harness that truely see and can explain the Art that I have seen and hope to see our buisness go back to.
Please keep these stories coming I love reading. Gosh I wish we could some how  post these drives on here for all to see.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2012, 03:57:38 PM »

I want to repeat Buddy Gilmour's name and add Clint Galbraith.

Keep adding these names these are the drivers that understand what the Art of harness racing is all about and hopefully it will bring other great drivers names to mine and encourage current drivers or young men and women with a passion and love for this Art.
Just wish I knew how to post a race on ever time I would see a hand drive to show the world its like watch a beautiful painting.
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Blue Chip55
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« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2012, 04:01:55 PM »

Herve and Henri Filion--- and Buddy Gilmour
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swoopdaddy
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« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2012, 04:12:17 PM »

heres the video of maybe the greatest hand drive ever for a million. head and head the length of the stretch. one hall of famer goes to his sword  while the other uses his just his hands. watch how many times mike laces his charge while john stays cool. a contrast in styles is never more evident. the 2001 meadowlands pace.  enjoy   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnSfioErH24
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wilderness
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« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2012, 04:27:29 PM »

swoop,
          I'm not a Lachance fan.
I've seem Mike nearly abuse many horses with the whip.

However, it this instance. . . .

 IMO the comparison of styles at the end of the race is both unfair and unreasonable.

 Mike's horse was on-the-bit and close to the lead the entire mile, what choice did he have, other than to use any means possible to get an extra effort out of a horse that had already given a full effort.
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2012, 04:32:51 PM »

Dave Miller can hand drive a bad gaited trotter. He did so recently winning with Mattingly & Call The Warden, at the Meadowlands.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2012, 04:39:20 PM »

swoop,
          I'm not a Lachance fan.
I've seem Mike nearly abuse many horses with the whip.

However, it this instance. . . .

 IMO the comparison of styles at the end of the race is both unfair and unreasonable.

 Mike's horse was on-the-bit and close to the lead the entire mile, what choice did he have, other than to use any means possible to get an extra effort out of a horse that had already given a full effort.
Yes but when you know your horse has raced his heart out and has raced his best then why lace him? To me that is punishing a horse for  the best he could do and I m sure the horse feels the same way hell they other horse wasnt going to go away so now you beat the horse casue the other competetor wasnt going away. i understand from the bettors point they want to see if the driver can get the last cup of blood out of him by beaten his ass but hell the horse had just given you the blood blank in the race.
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wilderness
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« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2012, 04:51:17 PM »

Yes but when you know your horse has raced his heart out and has raced his best then why lace him? To me that is punishing a horse for 

fuzzy,
          that race wasn't an overnight.
The purse was pretty substantial.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2012, 05:10:02 PM »

fuzzy,
          that race wasn't an overnight.
The purse was pretty substantial.
Now i got you I see what you mean. But maybe if that paticular driver  had tried not to push so hard and use the horse I dont know lets face it the other horse just looked so much the best.
Do you think it possibley would have been a different if the horse had a driver that he knew wasnt going to lace him? I dont know I just think horses know when a driver is taken care of them and when one is just using them like a drill bit on an oil rig.I dont know just think it devistates their confidence.
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swoopdaddy
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« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2012, 05:17:51 PM »

swoop,
          I'm not a Lachance fan.
I've seem Mike nearly abuse many horses with the whip.

However, it this instance. . . .

 IMO the comparison of styles at the end of the race is both unfair and unreasonable.

 Mike's horse was on-the-bit and close to the lead the entire mile, what choice did he have, other than to use any means possible to get an extra effort out of a horse that had already given a full effort.
mike hit that horse 17 times ( by my count) once they got straighted away. he hit him hard enough to cave in his ribs. my point was, two hall of famers with different styles. about as different as you could get, going for a million doing what they both do, that put them in the hall of fame. as far as mikes drive its my opinion bettors delight gets beat by the same margin if my drives him without the whip. bettors delight was not going to give up.
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wilderness
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« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2012, 05:18:13 PM »

fuzzy,
         I gave up attempting to second guess reinsmen long ago.
 There's far too many unknown factors as to how and what a horse may doing during a race and what the reinsman are require to do to get a horse to react within an instant-of-a-instant.

 It's easy to pick apart a race after it's over (same as it is for an auto accident) and point the finger at somebody.

 I only commented on swoop's comparison of Mike to John, because I thought it was unfair, considering the horses raced entirely different miles. The winner's race was certainly easier on that horse, and the winner had more in-reserve.
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wilderness
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« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2012, 05:21:20 PM »

Quote
swoop,
          I'm not a Lachance fan.
I've seem Mike nearly abuse many horses with the whip.
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wilderness
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« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2012, 05:38:47 PM »

swoop,
           Next to Billy Haughton, I don't think there's been a reinsman as good for the sport as John Campbell.
 John was king-of-the-hill for decades, and from the video's that I've seen of his and Paul's home it's rather modest. They've raised three daughters, and are now enjoying grandchildren.
 Paula Campbell has been quite active in her own right.

 Hopefully John has invested and socked-away enough, so that his purse earnings in the 3-5-mil range are enough to keep him involved and motivated.
 
 He's certainly never going to regain the stature of having his pick of horses in each race after the bad luck he's had in recent years with injuries.

 Mike (even though he's a HOF'er) has a couple of stigma's (one at an airport) that John seemed to avoid at all costs.

 They both have different styles and skills (on or off the track), to be sure.

 
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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2012, 08:23:10 AM »

fuzzy,
         I gave up attempting to second guess reinsmen long ago.
 There's far too many unknown factors as to how and what a horse may doing during a race and what the reinsman are require to do to get a horse to react within an instant-of-a-instant.

 It's easy to pick apart a race after it's over (same as it is for an auto accident) and point the finger at somebody.

 I only commented on swoop's comparison of Mike to John, because I thought it was unfair, considering the horses raced entirely different miles. The winner's race was certainly easier on that horse, and the winner had more in-reserve.
You are so correct you got to give the guys a lot of credit who are true reinsman just doesnt seem like you see very many these days.
After the race its easy to find fault even a monkey like me feels like throwing poo ever once in a while but like you say very easy after the fact. but Im sure drivers feel the same way about them selves or other drivers but to be so in tune to a horse and those around you is a real talent espeacially when they dont use a whip to lace one.
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2012, 09:38:35 AM »

Joe O'Brien was the greatest, In Chicago it was great to watch
Butch Paisley hand drive one It was also great to see him win
again the other nite. While all the other guys were leaning back
Butch was straight up in the bike
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TAURUS BOMBER
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« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2012, 10:37:17 AM »

dale hiteman--the man is a classic   trotter
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2012, 11:04:17 AM »

Brian Sears or Timmy Tetrick have the softest hands in the sport or maybe Bobby Smolin or Brian Carpenter
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« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2012, 11:56:52 AM »

Jimmy Morrill.  Get the most out of a horse and seldom hits one.. Never abuses  a horse..
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« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2012, 12:40:25 PM »

Brian Sears or Timmy Tetrick have the softest hands in the sport or maybe Bobby Smolin or Brian Carpenter

 laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy
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NIATROSS
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« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2012, 12:51:16 PM »

Joe O'Brien was the greatest, In Chicago it was great to watch
Butch Paisley hand drive one It was also great to see him win
again the other nite. While all the other guys were leaning back
Butch was straight up in the bike


Walter Paisley !  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2012, 01:07:58 PM »

mike hit that horse 17 times ( by my count) once they got straighted away. he hit him hard enough to cave in his ribs. my point was, two hall of famers with different styles. about as different as you could get, going for a million doing what they both do, that put them in the hall of fame. as far as mikes drive its my opinion bettors delight gets beat by the same margin if my drives him without the whip. bettors delight was not going to give up.
swoop you and I have been in the same camp for a long time when it comes to these kinds of issues and I do understand Wilderness objectives and points of you. You two are the most objective fair poster of this lot and that is why anything you and he post is a must read for this blind ol lady.
I feel much like you do the horse is honest and will give all he can in all most every case and wont give up and it is usually the driver who gives up long before the horse in my humble opinion they want to race and sometimes I guess drivers get so over zealous they bring the sword. but so many times more than not I see it interfer with the horses concentration most good horse and I mean good horse to with even cheap claimers can be good horse just race thru the pain even if its a bad ankle nee tendon quarter crack and being laced with a black snake I think most of the time it does more damage to a horse mentally than the win a driver preseves he has goten from using it.
I find it so inteesting that many here who I have disagreed with have seen the beauty of a hand ride and talent in drivers having a skill to get the most from a horse with the real talent of communication with hands and true reinsmanship. I think they should strat induction those type of drivers into a speacial honr each wk called the reinsman ship award each wk on usta no matter what track how big how small to show the beauty of harness racing with a very elite class in this buisness. its all about respect to me and about the horse. But it sure is nice to see many posters recognizing this skill and why we own these type horses.
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fuzzypants
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« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2012, 01:11:26 PM »

laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy
i dont watch to much racen with those drivers so could you tell your opinion?
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« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2012, 01:54:36 PM »

Manzi seems pretty easy on horses. In the races I've seen he has never overdid the whip. Plus the guy still pulls doubleheaders at 60 something
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« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2012, 02:01:31 PM »



I may get some flak for naming this guy but I think Kevin Wallis can bring home a horse like he has driving em with kid gloves.
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Blue Chip55
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« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2012, 06:34:30 PM »

Dont think I saw Morrill's name mentioned. Surprising

Nobody ever had hands like Herve. Cant even see how thats debatable.
George Sholty had a completely diffferent style and was an icon in the business, but Herve had hands of gold. Loved when they would drive together. Nothing better.
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coldpunch
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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2012, 08:15:02 PM »

Magic Odonell was quite a sight to see in the bike--cool as a cucumber--would look over at you while you were first over--then lifted the lines barely and his horses would take off like rockets--he drove Redskin like that in his 2yo season

Magic Man was smooth like George Gervin
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« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2012, 09:43:02 PM »

The following (a bit long) from the Oct 1942 Hoof Beats and the "As We See It" column. (pretty sure these column article were written by then HB's editor Art Hinrichs, although he's never attributed).

AS WE SEE IT Oct 1942

WE ARE very much in love with a charming young lady of eleven years, who happens to be the daughter of two very dear friends of ours. Her name is Betty Ann, and that is all there is of the first part of it. Not Elizabeth, but just Betty. And it suits her charming self as closely as two and two makes four. If by chance she had been named Elizabeth, she would have been called Betty anyway—if not by her parents, then by her many friends. Betty isn't pretty, judged by the standards that encompass Hedy Lamar, Madeline Carroll and others noted for their loveliness, but she has loads of charm, and an I. Q. surpassing anything we have ever met with in our long contact with the younger people. And when she smiles, the day is brightened and gloom has gone elsewhither.

A lovely lady is this Junior Miss—as American as the Bill of Rights—and though born amidst the good things of life, showered down by her parents with all of the things children need to be happy, she is notwithstanding, living each day with her feet on the ground, unaffected by her good fortune, winning friends by her charm and simplicity and carrying on with a heart that is just plumb full of compassion and friendliness.

She loves horses and isn't very particular as to the breed, with a talent for doing just the right thing when she is about them. Her favorite is a western horse, branded with all of the hieroglyphics of the many ranges he traversed as a cow pony. He is a wise old owl and as kind as a kitten in her hands. She also likes harness racing and regularly attended the races at Saratoga Raceway, or as often as she could persuade her parents a few hours loss of sleep meant nothing in her young life, and while talking to her one night at the races she remarked, as Jack Brown drove by with one of his stable in a warming up mile: "I like Mr. Brown's driving because he doesn't whip his horses." Which struck a kindred chord with us, for we have formed much of our opinion of a trainer and driver's ability on the basis of how much or bow little he punishes his horses in races, or elsewhere for that matter.

Now, if a youngster of eleven notices a thing like that it provides food for a bit of thought and reflection and suggests a further thought that there might be a lot of other people with similar ideas about this matter of driving finishes, so called. And from the amount of criticism since observed at various other tracks for the same reason, we are inclined to the belief that rules should be effected to stop it utterly and completely.

There was one driver at Saratoga whose use of the whip was deplorable. He should have been taken in hand by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And we mean just that, and no more and no less. And if the shoe fits he will probably put it on. And we could mention names besides, if that becomes necessary, and not only his but others as well, and if beating a trying race horse through the stretch until the animal veered to the left to get away from the hurt of it, is a measure of ability then there were at Saratoga and elsewhere a dozen of the gentry beside whom, such master craftsmen as Ben White, Tom Berry, Jack Brown, Sep Palin, Rupert Parker, Fred Egan, Harry Whitney, Frank Ervin, Wayne Smart, Everett Osborn, Harry Short, Ed. Kirby, Bi Shively, Harry Craig, Lee Smith and a host of others that could be mentioned if need be, are a bunch of hack drivers. Something has got to be done about the fellow who takes both reins in his left hand at the head of the stretch, raises his whip by a backward swing that comes to a halt against the animal's ribs by way of Terre Haute, Ind., and which inflicts a feeling upon many spectators that is nauseating.
One friend told us after such an exposition made his ticket a winning one:

"I don't believe I am going to enjoy that money, if it takes all that punishment to win this bet." And that fellow is one of the best 195-pound maulers the prize ring ever developed, short of a half-dozen ultra topnotchers.

That sort of work—meaning the business of taking the reins in one hand and starting a barrage of blows against the midriff of tile animal before him—put one of the best racing colts the sport has ever known on the shelf this summer, and who may never recover from the injury received. That was when the horse on his outside, doing all it could at the moment and completely defeated was being belabored and to get away from the uncalled for punishment, bore in and cut down the other colt, and incidentally cut the injured colt out of many thousands of dollars in races he could have won pacing backwards.

A simple rule will stop it all. If drivers are not permitted to gather the reins in one hand for the purpose of getting more freedom of action with the whip, such disgraceful exhibitions will be stopped. And they should be stopped. It is sickening to watch it. The spectators do not like it. They can't get away with such brutality on the running tracks, and we believe we are right when we say the riders of two-year-old runners are not even permitted to carry a whip, or bat as it is called, except under certain conditions.

We are using the picture shown herewith for the special reason that it portrayed an exhibition of reinsmanship that illustrates the contention that there are other ways to win a race, besides the strong arm methods mentioned. This pair of trotters headed into the stretch almost neck and neck, tiptoeing most of the mile. Both of the drivers tapped their mounts almost simultaneously with the whip. There was no response for both of them were stretched to the limit. Instead of resorting to the punishing tactics of the strong arm members of the profession, both men went to work helping their mounts with voice and reins. And the result was a thrilling finish won by a nose by the mare on the outside in close to 2.10 over a track notoriously slow and tiring on that day.

So if this article brings any response from the men who can and should stop exhibitions so brutal that, were they committed on the streets of any city, the offenders would be either fined or imprisoned for cruelty to animals, just thank a little eleven-year-old flaxenhaired lady named Betty Ann for inspiring it by her remark that she "liked Mr. Brown's driving because he didn't whip his horses." And Jack Brown is a shining example of the fact that races can be won by means others than sheer brutality expounded at a whip's end. At any rate he seems to be getting around pretty well, viewing his success of the past two years especially.
end of quote

Look at the HOF names that Mr. Hinrichs is referring to as "hackers" (abusers with the whip).

FWIW the two article accompanying photo's were terrible quality and virtually useless.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 09:50:41 PM by wilderness » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2012, 01:57:18 PM »

Herve, Gilmour, Manzi, Campbell, Billy O, Morrill, Frank Safford
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« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2012, 03:55:06 PM »

Quote
Frank Safford

from Apr 1952 Hoof Beats

Recalls First Race

The man who is credited with 33 two-minute miles tugged at his chin reflectively and then went on:
"Whenever I run across old friends they tell me that I look well but that I've gained weight. I never thought that was true and proved it to myself today. When Mr. Berry asked me to get up behind a couple of his colts, I went into my trunk and pulled out the same pair of driving pants that I wore in my last race almost 25 years ago. Look at them, a perfect fit. Proves I haven't gained any weight.

"I drove a great many races in my time but I can still remember the first one. It was over a half-mile track around an old lot near Oyster Bay. I won in 3.07 and thought I was flying."
Those are the words of a man they called The Wizard, a man who never smoked or chewed nor ever drank liquor, tea or coffee.
 end of quote

 Old,
      You ever see his daughter Joan?
---------
from March 1950 Hoof Beats:

Melting Pounds Away

Singing Reinsman Frank Safford Is Getting Rid of 55 Pounds of Excess Flesh--45 of 'em Already Are Gone

THERE'S a good chance that many of his friends won't recognize Frank Safford, for many years the undisputed heavyweight champion of harness racing, when he answers the bell for the 1950 campaign.

Safford already has trimmed 45 pounds from his fighting weight of mid-1949, an unwieldy 255. His goal is an even 200 and the New Hampshire reinsman says he'll tip the scales at no more than that when he enters the arena at Yonkers in April.

« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 03:58:05 PM by wilderness » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2012, 06:07:13 PM »

One good example was an invite at hazel a few years ago. ponder went around the track with a motionless wrenn in the sulky while brad kramer aboard meal ticket is lacing his horse in the stretch 15 lengths behind trying to hold 4th place. I thought that was ridiculous and worthy of a kramer suspension.
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« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2012, 06:13:36 PM »

Walter Case was the best guy to ever foot-drive a horse, so to speak.  Sad  But pretty much everyone else I knew used their hands, though I once saw Norman Dauplaise hit a horse with the whip handle, and Lucien Fontaine used to stick his whip between the hoss' hind legs and twizzle it about down there.  Shocked
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« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2012, 06:20:17 PM »

I'm surprised noone has mentioned christoforou. Real good hands although a couple notches below-talent wise-the greats that have been posted
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« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2012, 07:22:01 PM »

I mention Loosh and the hind-legs thing, and then someone mentions a Greek driver?

Very Freudian.
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« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2012, 09:02:06 PM »

I mention Loosh and the hind-legs thing, and then someone mentions a Greek driver?

Very Freudian.
Loosh~~King of the quarter pole move to the front at Yonkers trotter
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« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2012, 09:03:55 PM »

I seem to recall Teddy Wing being the first to really do that with some persistence in NY, though he'd been doing it up in New England since the days of Daniel Webster. 
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« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2012, 09:09:27 PM »

There's an infamous photo from the 1960's of Stanley Dancer reaching underneath the seat with the whip to touch the hocks of Henry T. Adios.

 My eyes may be deceiving me, however I frequently see drivers just touching a horses hocks these days and in live video with the whip.
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« Reply #53 on: April 30, 2012, 12:46:54 PM »

There's a guy here in Ohio thats not a National name other that when Nobleland Sam's name comes up...Sam Noble .. for years a classic when it comes to hand driving a horse..


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« Reply #54 on: April 30, 2012, 05:00:03 PM »

Tony Morgan
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« Reply #55 on: April 30, 2012, 05:15:58 PM »

For years Luc Ouellette could get a lot out of a horse without the stick. Morrill has a great stretch drive with his shakin in the bike lol. Of course J.C. has been know to just urge one with the hands, i think he was in favor of a proposal to get rid of the whip.
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« Reply #56 on: April 30, 2012, 05:50:09 PM »

I really like this topic along with the many opinions.

Buddy was the king of hand driving IMO & many of the others like O'Donnell & Billy Haughton & Herve were a treat to watch.

When I watch Sears, his knowledge of how much horse he has, amazes me.  When he's on top & goes to the whip early in the stretch, he's basically cooked but he rarely hand drives & then gets caught.  It's like watching a golfer who knows his game perfectly & as soon as he makes contact, he knows where it's going to land within a yard - for you golf nuts, Davis Love III is THE perfect example.
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« Reply #57 on: May 01, 2012, 10:54:45 PM »

FOR YEARS IN CHICAGO DAVE MAGEE WAS VERY SMOOTH AND EASY TO WATCH.

LOVED the left handed 1 handers by dave magee on Odds on Moinet....When i single a horse in the pick 5 this is what i want.  He backed the fractions down, and with Marcus Miller ALWAYS lurking the old man wanted speed...2 left handed 1 handers did the trick!
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« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2012, 05:29:20 AM »

Herve, Gilmour, Manzi, Campbell, Billy O, Morrill, Frank Safford
Great list, and right to the point !!
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« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2012, 09:39:01 AM »

The following from the Nov 1942 Hoof Heats and the "As We See it" column, where a reader responds to the previously submitted Oct 1942 article:

The last issue of HOOF BEATS contained an article on the inhuman practice some drivers employ in the matter of punishing their horses in driving them in trotting and pacing races. Responses from our readers was asked for, and among the many received the following letter from Lena Allen Davis, of Dighton, Mass., stands out as a shining example of the revulsion that is felt by spectators at harness horse meetings where the so unnecessary strong-arm tactics of the "hell-bent-for-leather finishers" is used. We thank

Miss Davis for her letter and we very gladly publish it:

In the October issue of HOOF BEATS there is a picture of two drivers teaming their mounts to the finish in a humane way—a contrast to harsher methods sometimes used. You ask for comments, for which I thank you. I have long wished to express myself concerning the worst example of handling a race horse I ever witnessed.

It happened at The Trots at Lexington. I shall not say what year, nor in what race, but all who were there that day will never forget the heartless spectacle.

A driver had been disciplined during the first heat, and was told to obtain a substitute-, but when the next heat was called that same driver reappeared, started with the field, and so enraged was he that he took out his spite on his mount, lashing him unmercifully and forcing such a pace that he came from behind, passed the whole field including the pole horse, and led the bunch before they reached the quarter pole.

The little stallion was very good, very fast, very game, but he was also very young and was traveling in a class a little bit faster. I shall never forget the wild, frantic look of terror in his bulging eyes, as he passed the grandstand, while a rain of slashing blows fell on his glossy straining side.

It is indeed a wonder he did not drop dead!
To be sure, horse and driver were disqualified and further penalized, but that did not remove the cuts from the little stallion's panting body, nor take the fear from his heart.

I have since watched many horses from this same stable—most of the pupils are nervous, irritable, erratic. Is it any wonder? Schooled by fear, rather than patience and gentleness.
Man's best friend, and you crucify him!

Do any of the readers know the book "National Velvet"—one of the most understanding horse books ever written?
Here is what the owner of "The Piebald" said of him: "Me? I'm nothing. If you could see what he did for me! He burst himself for me—'N' when I asked him, he burst himself more. 'N' when I asked him again he—he doubled it. He tried near to death, he did. I'd sooner have that horse happy than go to heaven!
I hope you will print this."
LENA ALLEN DAVIS.
Dighton, Mass.
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« Reply #60 on: May 05, 2012, 11:38:27 AM »

Wilderness your stories and post give me hope for horses and those who care for them.
Last night I watched a beautiful trot at Meadowlands 151 and all your stories were in my heart and mind as I watched.
I think trotters are so pretty and proud and to see them handled by good reinsman as you call them is such a beautiful sight.
i only wish we had such a race track where the owners could put up a big billboard "reinsmen wanted for harness meet all others need not apply." To show the world the best product and Art Standardbred harness racing and those with the passion of putting the horse first can offer.
I was talking to a young man last night that drives out here and I told him how my favorite thing to watch was him hand driving a horse. He said to me "it just is not worth driving any other way" then shared with me how he use to drive another way but realize "its just not worth it".
I will also say I was also very proud the way my horse was driven last night. I seen this other young man really starting to understand the importance of hand driving a horse. Yeh we are small potatoes but if every driver or want to be could learn and develop this Art can you imagine the difference  this would make in this sport.
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« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2012, 01:30:40 PM »

Glad you enjoy it fuzzy.
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« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2012, 08:09:00 PM »

Glad you enjoy it fuzzy.
thank you wilderness  thumbs up your the best
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« Reply #63 on: May 05, 2012, 08:33:00 PM »

Back in the day Lavern Hostetler getting Pie Eyed Piper home w/o using the whip.
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