Three generations of a harness racing family run stable kick-off the season in Leamington
Nathan, David, and Tom Bain with Don McMurren owner of the Kingsville stable the Bain family trains out of in Leamington, Ont on Mon. Aug. 10 2020. (Gary Archibald/CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Three generations of the Bain family in Southwestern Ontario are continuing the tradition of harness racing.
Town of Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain, his son, David, and grandson Nathan (David’s son), comprise the Bain Racing Stables.
All three are owners of harness racehorses. Tom and David are certified trainers. Nathan is a horse groomer and professional harness racing announcer. Raising and training their horses for race day is a passionate and committed effort.
For the elder Bain, having his son and grandson continuing the tradition of the sport along his side and working so closely together to ensure the success of their stable and joint venture — there is genuine humility and good-natured family pride.
"Not only my son - but my grandson, enjoy the sport of harness racing,” said Tom, “and we’re able to make a stable and have the three of us run it ourselves.”
At the age of 12, Nathan became the youngest official race announcer in North America. He is now the full-time announcer for the Leamington Raceway.
The track officially kicked off the season this past weekend, albeit under strict COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. There were no spectators in the stands — viewing and betting access was online, only.
"It's pretty cool to be one of the only young announcers in the sport,” said Nathan, “I mean there are seven young announcers but usually you don't get to do a full-time job at this age. So, I’m just so thankful for this opportunity this season at Leamington Raceway.
“Back in October of 2014 — it was Kid's Day. I was twelve years old at the time. And I got the opportunity to call a race, and it just clicked from there. Like, I got the hang of it. Love it. Loved the two minutes of it,” Nathan said.
For Nathan’s father, David Bain, despite the tremendous amount of work that goes into operating a stable, the rewards are more than worth it to the family.
“Not only do we come out every morning and work here but we also travel a lot during the week, racetrack to racetrack so we're pretty much together seven days a week. It's a good family experience,” he said.
The family trio works together seven days a week with a lot of that time spent at a stable and track in Kingsville, Ontario.