Greetings. My name is Colin Nolte. I was born in 1956, retired and have been an enthusiastic follower of thoroughbred racing and breeding my entire life. I have been studying and researching pedigrees ever since I was a child. While not wealthy enough to own my own thoroughbreds, I have become associated with many horsemen and horsewomen who are involved in the sport through out my life. Following thoroughbred racing and breeding has been a passion.
I came to my love of horses, thoroughbreds in particular, through my father. A vacation in England to visit family included a day at Epsom Race Course, where the spectacle and atmosphere excited my young mind, planting the seed of interest. As a child, I would go to the local race tracks with dad, Woodbine and Greenwood in Toronto, to watch the races, collect the variously coloured discarded losing wager tickets off the floor throughout the betting concourse, and revel in the atmosphere of excitement. The thrill of cheering for the horse you chose to win coming down the home stretch never becomes dull and if you picked the winner, well that just made it all the more sweeter.
When I became old enough to place my own bets at the betting windows, the excitement became a little more intense. Never one to place huge wagers, as I am not an accomplished handicapper, I became more interested in the horses themselves. I wanted to learn why some were more suited to sprinting while others could race at longer distances and so forth. I came to understand the importance of the breeding aspect in determining which thoroughbreds could carry a jockey in a distance race and which ones were more inclined to sprint distances.
I would watch them in the walking ring and the post parade before a race. I would study their conformation and temperament, which doesn’t necessarily mean who will win the race or not, but to educate myself in understanding why certain bloodlines were more successful than others. My father had a keen interest in this aspect of the sport and we would talk for hours about famous horses he saw run in England when he was younger. We would talk of the influential sires and broodmares and where some of the local horses we were watching descended from.
It was through these talks that my love of the thoroughbred has been stoked. I used to spend time at the famous Windfields Farm in Oshawa, which was just a ten minute drive from my home, to watch the horses and talk to the staff about them. I got to know some of these horsemen and horsewomen quite well and learned so much from them about the daily life of a stallion or broodmare or a yearling getting ready for his or her life as a race horse.
Due to my friendship with these people I was able to organize a visit, actually it was more like a pilgrimage, to the Windfields Farm division in Maryland in 1987 to see the one and only Northern Dancer. He had just been retired from stud duty that year and I knew that if I did not go soon, he would be gone and I would miss my chance. They alerted the Maryland staff that this nutty Canadian was coming to see the great stallion. They gave me a wonderful day with “The Dancer” as I fed him some carrots which he thoroughly enjoyed, and they brought him out of his stall for me to see. For me, that was a big thrill.
My interest in thoroughbred racing has led me to initiate this web-site to share with all who have the same passion for this sport as I do. I hope you find the articles interesting and informative. There are many who do not know of the legends of yesterday, their records and personalities which fade with time. My mission for this web-site is to endeavour to try to keep those legends alive for a new generation to discover. This is a labour of love that I now have to time to devote to. Thank you for viewing and please feel free to navigate the site from the sidebar menus to find a particular horse or series of horses you are interested in. sincerely — Colin Nolte