Colonel Dan MacKinnon (1876-1964)
Hall of Fame
Affectionately known as “Col. Dan” the late Mr. MacKinnon was born in Highfield, Prince Edward Island in 1876 and in 1961 at 85, was active as a harness racing trainer and driver.
He was credited with making his native Province the “Kentucky of Canada” and was known as the Father of Harness Racing in Eastern Canada.
“Col. Dan” was a USTA Director and Racing Promoter from 1930 to 1961 and was the first of two Prince Edward Islanders to be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the other being Alberton’s Joe O’Brien [inducted 1968].
Col. Dan MacKinnon was involved with harness racing from 1912 to 1962 and his record is most impressive. He held the world ice-racing record at Mount Clemens, Michigan in 1923 with “The Yank”. During a twelve-day period in 1915 he won 15 of 16 starts with the pacer “Helen R”. At age 82, he was training and driving two horses regularly, the trotter “Windy Jane” and the pacer “Stalag Hanover.”
Harness Racing fans will remember his weekly column “Down the Back Stretch” which appeared for many years in the Charlottetown Guardian. He died in 1964, at the age of 88, leaving behind a most distinguished career, ever to be remembered as a great contributor to the good life in Canada’s Garden Province. The late “Col. Dan” MacKinnon is truly worthy of the honor bestowed upon his name.