Somebeachsomewhere to be celebrated again
“He gave hope to a lot of people," says Brent MacGrath, one of horse's owners.
For the first time, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame will induct a legend of the four-legged variety.
Somebeachsomewhere, a Truro-owned harness racing horse that won millions, is part of the 2018 Hall of Fame class announced Monday. The ceremony will be in Halifax on Nov. 2.
Somebeachsomewhere will enter posthumously. The horse developed cancer and was euthanized in January at the age of 13.
"He gave hope to a lot of people that they could go to a sale and buy a yearling just like we did and it'll turn out to be a world champion — with a small stable, in a small town, in a small province," said Truro's Brent MacGrath, Somebeachsomewhere's former trainer, driver and one of the horse's owners.
"You don't have to buy the expensive one to get a world champion," he added.
'Somebeachsomewhere is an outstanding athlete'
According to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, Somebeachsomewhere set world records for fastest mile by a two-year-old and a three-year-old, as well as the fastest race mile in harness racing history.
"A consistent gold-medallist in competitions across North America, Beach was only defeated once in the two years that he made headlines for his flawless performances on the race track," said the media release announcing the Hall of Fame class.
Among his many awards, he was named Canadian Sportsman Horse of the Decade and Canadian Sportsman Newsmaker of the Year. He was Canada's harness horse of the year in 2007 and 2008 and the U.S. harness horse of the year in 2008.
His career earnings topped $3 million with nearly $2.5 million coming in 2008.
He ran a mile in 1:46.4 in 2008, which is still tied for the world record for a three-year-old pacer.
"In harness racing, the driver would tell you every single time that the real athlete is the horse and so I think Somebeachsomewhere is an outstanding athlete," said Bruce Rainnie, CEO and president of Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.
After Beach was nominated, a lot of debate went into whether a horse should be inducted.
"A hall of fame is ultimately about excellence and telling the history of sport in your province and I don't think you can tell the history of sport in Nova Scotia anymore without the accomplishments of Somebeachsomewhere," Rainnie said.
Other inductees include soccer player Mary Beth Bowie, gymnast Kristan Burley and basketball player Anna Stammberger.
Coaches Thomas Doucette and Peggy Gallant along with the 1978 Saint Mary's Huskies men's basketball team were also selected. Doucette is also a posthumous selection.