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Introducing Ernie Samuel


Resident of Oakville, and an owner of thoroughbred horses since 1971, Ernest Lionel (Ernie) Samuel was arguably the most influential and powerful force in horse racing in Canada during the 1980s and 1990s. His list of achievements, both in Canada and the United States, was remarkable.

The first and only Canadian owner to capture coveted Breeders’ Cup races, with Dance Smartly in 1991 and Chief Bearhart in 1997, Ernie Samuel has been honoured with almost every award possible in thoroughbred racing. Named Canada’s Man of the Year in 1991, his horses established a world record that year in earning more than $6.8 million in purses.

Founder of Sam-Son Farm, which has two divisions, a training centre in Ocala, Florida, and a broodmare operation near Milton, Ontario, Samuel had a broodmare band of approximately 30 mares, including Dance Smartly, a member of Horse Racing’s Hall of Fame and winner of a Breeders’ Cup championship and Canada’s Triple Crown of Horse Racing. Sam-Son Farm operations continue under the guidance of Ernie’s daughter, Tammy.

Ernie Samuel served as Vice-President and Trustee of the Ontario Jockey Club, steward of the Jockey Club of Canada, member of The Jockey Club (New York) and Director of the Breeders’ Cup.

Ernie received 35 Sovereign Awards, Horse of the Year Honours five times, leading Owner five times, and Breeder of the Year twice. In 1991, he received an Eclipse Award in the United States as Owner of the Year. His Eclipse award winners were Dance Smartly, Sky Classic, and Chief Bearhart. He also won Canada’s prestigious Queen’s Plate race twice, with Regal Intention and Dance Smartly.

Awarded the Order of Canada in 1998, Samuel headed an internationally known steel company. He was a major supporter of Canada’s international equine jumping team, and a generous benefactor to the cultural and health sectors of his community.

Ernie Samuel … indeed a sportsman of all seasons.


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