General News

Obituary – Dr. Ted Clarke

By April 29, 2019 No Comments

Dr. C. E. (Ted) Clarke passed away April 27 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener. He was 71.

A graduate of Ontario Veterinary College, Ted lived in Elmira, ON with his family for the past 47 years. 

He co-owned Eldale Veterinary Clinic and was a practicing veterinarian while being heavily involved with the management of Elmira Raceway starting in the late ‘80s, when he helped steer the track from financial ruin while he served as the horseperson’s representative with the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA).

In 1994, he helped establish the Ontario Teletheatre Network. He became the official GM of Elmira Raceway in 1995 (while still maintaining his veterinary practice) and pioneered a number of initiatives which solidified the track’s finances and reputation. In 1998, Elmira Raceway became the first Ontario B-track to simulcast its races to a network of tracks and teletheatres throughout Canada and the U.S.

In 1998, Ted worked with local horsepeople to create the track’s signature race, the (then) $200,000 Battle Of Waterloo. The following year, Elmira Raceway was awarded the prestigious Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award by the Standardbred Breeders’ & Owners Association of Ontario, in recognition of its racing innovations for the betterment of the Ontario harness racing industry.

In 2002, Ted left veterinary medicine to assume a full-time role as the General Manager of the new Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON.

The creation of the track was his passion project.

Recognized by his peers as an innovator and highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Ted’s strong and steady leadership established Grand River Raceway’s reputation as an award-winning racing and entertainment destination.

In 2014, Ted was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame in the Builders’ category. The honour highlighted a career spent in the pursuit of the common good for horse racing.

In an article from TROT Magazine in 2014 (commemorating Ted’s Hall Of Fame induction) longtime friend Dr. John Hayes (who attended Ontario Veterinary College with Clarke in the early ‘70s) is quoted:


“That’s the magic of Ted Clarke: patience to entertain dissenting views; a conciliatory demeanour that never offends; integrity of purpose; and intelligence to separate chicken soup and feathers.”

After more than 30 years of tireless work in the Ontario harness racing industry, Ted retired from his post as the General Manager of Grand River Raceway in September 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.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association or St. Mary’s Hospital


(a) I agree to abide by OHHA's constitution and by-laws and appoint and grant OHHA the right to act as my sole and exclusive agent and representative for the purposes of negotiating and executing contracts with all racetracks in the Province of Ontario and executing agreements relating to racing with any other group, body or association and I assign and transfer to OHHA, during the time I am a member, all my intellectual property rights, throughout the world, including copyrights, personality rights, and any causes of action related thereto, that I may own, arising from or related to my racing activity.

(b) I agree and consent to the terms of the Privacy Agreement of the Ontario Harness Horse Association, a copy of which is published on the Ontario Harness Horse Association's website and available to me in print on request.