Legends – Thoroughbred Trainer & Builder
John Nixon & Ryland H. New
One of the most respected and successful trainers of thoroughbreds in Canada during the first 30 years of the 20th century was John Nixon. Among his remarkable list of achievements were five King’s Plate winners – Shimonese and Parmer in 1909 and 1910, Heresy in 1912, Tartarean in 1915 and Troutlet in 1927. His well-conditioned horses won every major event in Ontario.
Born in Waterloo, Ont., in 1853, Nixon was a carpenter until age 30 before opening a livery business in Toronto in the 1880s. Initially he owned harness horses before devoting his time to the jumpers. His success for the famed Wellington Stable with Lion Heart, considered the greatest jumper in North America of his era, and Japonica, enabled him to take over the prestigious racing stables of Valley Farm, Brookdale, Thorncliffe, Charles Millar, R.J. McKenzie and Ryland H. New.