Canadian Horse Racing Corridor of Fame 2021 inductee
by Sandra Snyder
The 35-year journey that led Jim Bullock to the 2021 class of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame commenced with a browsing mall.
“I designed the Woodbine Centre throughout from Woodbine and bought the land from the Ontario Jockey Club for Cadillac Fairview. About the same time as it opened, I acquired a farm north of Milton as variety of a weekend spot because we did not want to do the commute that most individuals do with cottages,” stated Bullock, who would go on to provide as the president and CEO of Cadillac Fairview from 1987 to 1993. “And I described it to the folks at the Jockey Club a person working day when we have been conference and they claimed, ‘Oh you will have to get a horse.’ And I explained, ‘Well I’ve always favored the horses.’ They considered I was chatting about thoroughbreds and I stated, ‘No, no, I used to go to the keep track of up at Peterborough when it to start with opened, and I generally liked the standardbreds.’ Then Jack Kenney released me to Pat Crowe and that’s how I got began.”
Accurate Nature Communications | Jim Bullock will be inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Corridor of Fame as a builder.
The newly-released pair partnered on a 3-calendar year-previous pacing son of Brigadier Basic, and when Renrag Curly received his second commence at Greenwood Raceway in 1986, Bullock was hooked.
His enthusiasm for horse racing and business enterprise acumen noticed the new operator nominated to the board of the then Ontario Jockey Club in 1989, where by he would provide right until 2004. 3 years afterwards, Bullock and his late spouse, Pat, launched Glengate Farms in Campbellville, ON on the basis of the previous Cantario Farms. The studying curve from racehorse operator to breeder proved to be steeper than Bullock experienced imagined however, and he was quickly appealing to Pat for assistance.
“Shortly soon after we bought the farm I commenced to realise that this is more than a element-time expense. After a handful of moths I said to my spouse Pat — who was pretty satisfied performing pottery and gardening and living a wonderful lifetime north of Milton there — ‘How’d you like to start out likely to the office over there at the farm every working day until finally we figure out what is heading on,’” mentioned Bullock. “For another person who experienced truly no background in the enterprise she truly did do a extraordinary work there from 1992 to 2006, and the farm would not have been as prosperous as it was, or is, with out her.”
In 1993, Bullock would consider on the function of president and CEO of Laidlaw Inc., remaining there right up until 1999, and, many thanks to her unforeseen immersion in harness racing, Pat was appointed to the Ontario Racing Fee in 1997.
“I tell the tale that someplace about 2000, right after we’d owned the farm for seven or eight years, I was at the North America Cup at Woodbine and Charlie Armstrong was standing talking to Stan Bergstein at the reception and I was going for walks by and I stated, ‘Hello Charlie.’ And he reported, ‘Oh Jim, you know Stan Bergstein.’ And I reported, ‘Well I unquestionably know Mr. Bergstein, I don’t believe he appreciates me. Hi, I’m Jim Bullock.’ And he explained, ‘Oh of course, you are Pat Bullock’s spouse,’” claimed Bullock with a chortle. “So, for 3 or four years after that I employed to kid and I would introduce myself as Pat Bullock’s partner. She experienced the significant profile with the racing commission and every little thing.”
From 1992 to 2006 Glengate Farms operated a full company standardbred nursery, standing stallions these kinds of as Balanced Picture, Apaches Fame and Angus Corridor — inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2000, 2000 and 2019 — and breeding and raising horses these types of as Art Formal, JL Cruze, Odies Fame (Hall of Fame Inductee, 2016) and Terrific Memories, who will also enter the Corridor of Fame this summer time.
“I guess the two items that occurred by means of the early decades on the breeding farm was Well balanced Graphic truly began to strike his stride as a very prosperous stallion, which led us to the opportunity with Angus Corridor, and then he was a major achievements as a stallion, which is by no means confirmed,” stated Bullock.
“And then the other terrific success as a breeder I had was that the two individuals that made the most money racing would be Odies Fame ($1,410,720) and Artwork Official ($2,085,185), and I offered both of individuals as weanlings. And marketed the mares at the same sale,” mentioned a rueful Bullock. “I prepared on going back and viewing if I could obtain what we bought Terrific Recollections for, but it certainly was not pretty a great deal. The lucky component is the horses really do not know what they value.”
(Editor’s note: Fantastic Reminiscences bought for $10,000 at the 2002 Forest Metropolis Yearling Sale)
In spite of his modest launch from the Glengate fold, Art Formal would provide Bullock with a person of the most thrilling times of his job as a breeder, capturing the 2008 Meadowlands Tempo by a neck in 1:47 around the great Somebeachsomewhere.
Bullock has also enjoyed accomplishment as a racehorse proprietor with coach John Bax in recent many years and John Kopas in the early times, but said the real highlight has been the relationships he has developed with other members of the horse racing industry.
“Most of all, I genuinely assume that the folks in the business, in normal, are a terrific group and I’ve liked the camaraderie, the doing enterprise with them and just the friendships I have developed in the horse racing business the 30-additionally decades I’ve been in it,” stated Bullock. “And, I assume we’re extremely privileged below in Ontario in specific to have a really robust application that some others right before, and I’m sure many others soon after me, will contribute to.”
The Bullocks wound down the Glengate operation in 2006, as Pat began a fight with Alzheimer’s that would direct to her passing in 2019, and ultimately bought the farm to Bax in 2015. For a number of a long time, Bullock boarded a handful broodmares with Sue Zammit, but in 2013 he made the decision to return to the breeding recreation and recruited Zammit to control a previous thoroughbred farm around Erin, ON.
“About 2013, I form of explained to myself, ‘I could be all around for another 20 decades, why never I do what I get pleasure from?’ So, I purchased a farm and begun including to the broodmares. I’m again up to 30, I have focussed fully on trotters and I get pleasure from it. Sue Zammit does a marvelous career functioning the farms day-to-day and receiving the yearlings lifted and ready for the profits and that form of point,” mentioned Bullock. “We’re about as major as we’re likely to get, 30 is tons, and we have genuinely been focussed the previous I’d say 5 years, since we bought the farm, equally constructing the selection of mares, but also significantly bettering the quality.”
Of the items that he would like to add to his Hall of Fame resume, successful the Hambletonian comes out at the top rated, but Bullock has constantly been philosophical about his probabilities of results in any factor of the racing sport.
“I utilized to tell the new owner’s groups when I would meet up with with them that you have to understand to be a very good loser in this enterprise due to the fact it is like baseball, if you’ve got a horse that wins a few out of 10 you’ve obtained a really superior horse. You far better get utilised to not going down to the winner’s circle and really delight in it when you get to go down there,” explained Bullock, who served on the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association board from 2000 to 2009 and was instrumental in the improvement of the SBOA’s New Operator Mentoring plan.
“I’d like to get the Hambletonian. We acquire a horse each year that we believe is our Hambo horse, so successful a massive race like that would be one thing I look ahead to. If it comes about that would be great, but I can however love the business if it does not. I was likely along enjoying it nicely when I observed out I was nominated to the Hall Of Fame. That certainly wasn’t on my bucket checklist. It was a authentic shock and a pretty nice a person.”
Although Bullock is not serving on any market boards in his 77th year, he has been deeply included in the lawsuit the Ontario breeders introduced — and gained a favourable judgement on — versus the Province of Ontario. Bullock expects the settlement to be finalised ahead of the stop of 2021 and said if there was another undertaking he could contribute to in the potential he would be up for the problem.
“I really don’t consider I will at any time retire I’m still engaged in my real estate company as well. Brain you, you have to have yet another small business if you’re in the horse business,” he mentioned with a chuckle. “It would count what the issue was, clearly. I really do not imagine at this stage in my everyday living it tends to make a good deal of perception to be a director or an officer of a person of the associations. I believe more youthful men and women should be in these roles, but if there was a certain activity drive or one thing that my working experience could possibly be valuable to, certain I’d like to take part in that.
“It’s a enjoyable match. I’ll be at it most likely for regardless of what time I have remaining in this article, and hopefully it is for many a long time.”