About Colin.

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

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10 comments

  • Sandra Mavro-Michaelis

    Hi
    I’ve had a quick look. Everything is very accessible with a pleasant, easy style.
    Sx

  • Thank You for the Info and pictures love your website passion for horses is so rewarding whether you ride or own one doesn’t matter. I have had a passion for horses all my life I am an artist and started riding Thoroughbreds at the age of ten the last 3 years I started to purchase a family of thoroughbreds was only going to get one I was hoping to produce a Legendary sire you can add to your list from what I have seen so far is female family is the key. Strange dream but I have been researching for only 3 years and am confident that I can do the job. I have some interesting families 13a, 1b, 1e, 1w, 9b Lemon Spritzer is 13a Family of Narita Brian Triple Crown Winner and Horse of the Century in Japan she is 2x Damascus by Gilded Time. Cool Elektra 1b my first purchase is Flawless family of Troy but much further back 2x Never Bend. Crystal Cinders 1e is by North Light(IRE) female family of Street Boss she will knock your socks off only 3. Rocket Blazer 1w some of my favorites are from this family Stakes winning family and her sires dam and grandsires dam were both Broodmares of the year in Canada. I’m a Star Too 9b out of half sister to Medaglia d’Oro. Think I found the perfect stallion for them I will keep my fingers crossed.

  • Excellent website, the content is of the highest quality.
    Your love and appreciation for the sport and to the breeding of racehorses is evident.

    Thanks!

  • I am like you in that I can’t afford to do much. But have loved quarter horses and thoroughbreds all my life. I am retired and now write for three magazines.This is a great website and i look forward to reading what you have written.

  • Hello Colin,
    I’m a life-long horseman, having spent almost all my career professionally working with thoroughbreds.
    I grew up in a small farming community in eastern Ontario but my first paid job at age 20 was at EP Taylor’s Windfields Farm, located at that time at York Mills and Bayview in North York; 1968.
    My first visit to Woodbine was four years earlier; 1964. Exactly one week AFTER Northern Dancer’s final race in the Queen’s Plate (but I would later see him in the stud barn before transfer to Maryland).
    As well, I had the honour to spend three days with jockey Bill Hartack in 2007, just a few months before his untimely passing.
    So, as former Director of Thoroughbred Racing at both Woodbine and Fort Erie, I’ve been blessed to be around both great people and horses. Too numerous to mention! Perhaps I should write a book!

    I was wondering if you intend to do a story about two of my all-time favourite equine ladies: La Prevoyante and Dahlia.
    Of course, the former a Canadian superstar in early ’70s and the latter in the middle of same decade.
    In fact, both fillies were born in the same year…1970.
    So were Secretariat, Forego, Ancient Title, Allez France, Desert Vixen, and Mr. Prospector among others. Wow!

    Keep up your good work!

    All best wishes,
    Tom Cosgrove
    Woodbine History
    Woodbine Entertainment Group.

  • Began reading your website and I have to say it is a wealth of information. It is fascinating to read where the famous thoroughbreds of my time had there beginnings. It is well written and simple enough for a novice horse enthusiast like myself to follow. Your love for these amazing creatures is reflected in your writing. Thank you for sharing your passion.

  • Hi Colin, I was reading your article about Nearco on LinkedIn. Loved it. They won’t let me send you a message unless I upgrade my membership. I am the founder of http://www.HorseWorthy.com. HorseWorthy is for all breeds, disciplines and levels of horsemanship worldwide. My beloved mare is a descendant of Nearco. With your permission, I would like to publish your article on HorseWorthy and archive it in our library (www.HorseWorthy.com/Library) with you as its author. In return, I can give you a Premium Promoter Membership and possibly feature you in our blog (www.HorseWorthy.com/blog). Both are classy ways of advertising your horse related business and/or webpage. It would be so wonderful to have your article in HorseWorthy’s library. Please email me if you are interested in working together. Thanks! Celeste

  • Therese M Lavergne

    I appreciate your story,
    and your stories about these grand steeds of the past. I look forward to reading your work about each of the rockstars that i somehow was blessed to have breathed the same air as, and sometimes to have actually touched… and about those that i have honored graveside.

  • Thank you Colin. I am German and I understood the most of your wonderful report. I’ll share it with my English friends. They have a big knowledge too, but They will love it too.

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