Jim Bullock’s Hall of Fame journey began with a browsing mall

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Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 2021 inductee

by Sandra Snyder

The 35-calendar year journey that led Jim Bullock to the 2021 class of the Canadian Horse Racing Corridor of Fame started off with a procuring shopping mall.

“I crafted the Woodbine Centre throughout from Woodbine and bought the land from the Ontario Jockey Club for Cadillac Fairview. All around the very same time as it opened, I bought a farm north of Milton as sort of a weekend location mainly because we did not want to do the commute that most folks do with cottages,” explained Bullock, who would go on to serve as the president and CEO of Cadillac Fairview from 1987 to 1993. “And I pointed out it to the persons at the Jockey Club one day though we have been conference and they mentioned, ‘Oh you are going to have to get a horse.’ And I claimed, ‘Well I’ve usually preferred the horses.’ They assumed I was speaking about thoroughbreds and I reported, ‘No, no, I employed to go to the keep track of up at Peterborough when it first opened, and I usually liked the standardbreds.’ Then Jack Kenney released me to Pat Crowe and that’s how I bought begun.”

The freshly-launched pair partnered on a 3-calendar year-old pacing son of Brigadier Basic, and when Renrag Curly received his next commence at Greenwood Raceway in 1986, Bullock was hooked.

His enthusiasm for horse racing and business acumen observed the new owner nominated to the board of the then Ontario Jockey Club in 1989, where he would serve until eventually 2004. Three many years later on, Bullock and his late wife, Pat, launched Glengate Farms in Campbellville, ON on the foundation of the former Cantario Farms. The finding out curve from racehorse owner to breeder proved to be steeper than Bullock experienced imagined even so, and he was shortly interesting to Pat for assist.

“Shortly after we bought the farm I began to realise that this is a lot more than a portion-time financial commitment. Soon after a number of moths I said to my spouse Pat — who was rather delighted performing pottery and gardening and residing a awesome life north of Milton there — ‘How’d you like to commence heading to the workplace about there at the farm every single day till we determine out what is heading on,’” said Bullock. “For someone who experienced definitely no background in the enterprise she seriously did do a outstanding position there from 1992 to 2006, and the farm wouldn’t have been as prosperous as it was, or is, without the need of her.”

In 1993, Bullock would take on the position of president and CEO of Laidlaw Inc., remaining there until finally 1999, and, thanks to her unanticipated immersion in harness racing, Pat was appointed to the Ontario Racing Fee in 1997.

“I inform the story that someplace about 2000, after we’d owned the farm for seven or eight many years, I was at the North The usa Cup at Woodbine and Charlie Armstrong was standing speaking to Stan Bergstein at the reception and I was strolling by and I reported, ‘Hello Charlie.’ And he stated, ‘Oh Jim, you know Stan Bergstein.’ And I claimed, ‘Well I undoubtedly know Mr. Bergstein, I really do not believe he appreciates me. Hi, I’m Jim Bullock.’ And he stated, ‘Oh certainly, you’re Pat Bullock’s partner,’” claimed Bullock with a giggle. “So, for 3 or four decades soon after that I applied to kid and I would introduce myself as Pat Bullock’s partner. She had the substantial profile with the racing commission and every thing.”

From 1992 to 2006 Glengate Farms operated a whole provider standardbred nursery, standing stallions these kinds of as Balanced Graphic, Apaches Fame and Angus Hall — inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Corridor of Fame in 2000, 2000 and 2019 — and breeding and boosting horses these types of as Artwork Official, JL Cruze, Odies Fame (Hall of Fame Inductee, 2016) and Wonderful Reminiscences, who will also enter the Hall of Fame this summer.

“I guess the two factors that occurred by means of the early decades on the breeding farm was Balanced Graphic truly started to hit his stride as a extremely prosperous stallion, which led us to the opportunity with Angus Hall, and then he was a large accomplishment as a stallion, which is by no means assured,” reported Bullock.

“And then the other good results as a breeder I had was that the two persons that manufactured the most money racing would be Odies Fame ($1,410,720) and Art Formal ($2,085,185), and I offered both of those of all those as weanlings. And offered the mares at the exact same sale,” reported a rueful Bullock. “I planned on heading back again and viewing if I could obtain what we bought Good Memories for, but it unquestionably wasn’t really much. The fortunate part is the horses never know what they value.”

(Editor’s notice: Great Memories sold for $10,000 at the 2002 Forest Metropolis Yearling Sale)

In spite of his modest launch from the Glengate fold, Artwork Official would give Bullock with one of the most thrilling moments of his profession as a breeder, capturing the 2008 Meadowlands Speed by a neck in 1:47 more than the wonderful Somebeachsomewhere.

Bullock has also loved good results as a racehorse proprietor with coach John Bax in new several years and John Kopas in the early times, but reported the serious emphasize has been the relationships he has developed with other associates of the horse racing sector.

“Most of all, I genuinely feel that the people today in the small business, in common, are a terrific group and I’ve savored the camaraderie, the executing company with them and just the friendships I have formulated in the horse racing organization the 30-moreover years I’ve been in it,” stated Bullock. “And, I consider we’re incredibly fortunate listed here in Ontario in individual to have a incredibly solid plan that other individuals prior to, and I’m absolutely sure others soon after me, will contribute to.”

The Bullocks wound down the Glengate procedure in 2006, as Pat commenced a struggle with Alzheimer’s that would guide to her passing in 2019, and inevitably marketed the farm to Bax in 2015. For a quantity of many years, Bullock boarded a handful broodmares with Sue Zammit, but in 2013 he resolved to return to the breeding activity and recruited Zammit to manage a former thoroughbred farm near Erin, ON.

“About 2013, I sort of claimed to myself, ‘I could be around for another 20 several years, why do not I do what I take pleasure in?’ So, I acquired a farm and started introducing to the broodmares. I’m back up to 30, I have focussed absolutely on trotters and I enjoy it. Sue Zammit does a terrific job jogging the farms day-to-working day and finding the yearlings elevated and prepared for the product sales and that variety of detail,” explained Bullock. “We’re about as huge as we’re heading to get, 30 is a lot, and we have actually been focussed the very last I’d say five a long time, since we purchased the farm, equally developing the range of mares, but also substantially bettering the quality.”

Of the items that he would like to incorporate to his Corridor of Fame resume, successful the Hambletonian arrives out at the prime, but Bullock has often been philosophical about his possibilities of good results in any part of the racing game.

“I used to explain to the new owner’s groups when I would satisfy with them that you have to find out to be a very good loser in this small business because it is like baseball, if you’ve bought a horse that wins three out of 10 you have got a definitely great horse. You far better get utilized to not going down to the winner’s circle and truly enjoy it when you get to go down there,” claimed Bullock, who served on the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Affiliation board from 2000 to 2009 and was instrumental in the advancement of the SBOA’s New Owner Mentoring system.

“I’d like to acquire the Hambletonian. We acquire a horse each calendar year that we assume is our Hambo horse, so profitable a huge race like that would be something I look ahead to. If it comes about that would be marvelous, but I can still get pleasure from the organization if it doesn’t. I was heading along taking pleasure in it properly when I uncovered out I was nominated to the Hall Of Fame. That definitely was not on my bucket listing. It was a authentic surprise and a really pleasant 1.”

Though Bullock is not serving on any field boards in his 77th yr, he has been deeply involved in the lawsuit the Ontario breeders introduced — and received a favourable judgement on — towards the Province of Ontario. Bullock expects the settlement to be finalised before the end of 2021 and said if there was one more undertaking he could add to in the upcoming he would be up for the problem.

“I don’t consider I will ever retire I’m continue to engaged in my true estate business enterprise as effectively. Brain you, you have to have an additional business enterprise if you’re in the horse small business,” he mentioned with a chuckle. “It would depend what the difficulty was, clearly. I really don’t imagine at this stage in my everyday living it helps make a large amount of sense to be a director or an officer of 1 of the associations. I think more youthful individuals should really be in individuals roles, but if there was a distinct activity drive or one thing that my encounter may be valuable to, positive I’d like to take part in that.

“It’s a exciting activity. I’ll be at it in all probability for what ever time I have left in this article, and ideally it’s for several many years.”