George Albert Callbeck
Hall of Fame
George Albert Callbeck was born March 26, 1894, at Augustine Cove, P.E.I., and moved with his parents, to Summerside, March 25, 1905. He became interested, as an owner, of Standardbred horses in 1916, which lead to his taking up the Sport of Kings – Harness Racing.
He became a breeder, trainer, driver and promoter. In 1919 active in ice-racing. In 1920 he began commercial breeding and this became a continuous venture. In 1920-1933 he acted as Race Secretary or Judge.
When not racing he was one of the judge’s at the first night race at Milligan and Morrison’s track, Northam, June 21, 1933. In 1934, George, along with the late F. J. E. Wright, W.B. MacArthur, Gordon Dawson, Harry O’Brien and others, formed the P.E.I. Harness Racing Club. This organization conducted the Colt Stakes each fall. He was the first President from 1934 to 1939 and was always a member.
On August 21, 1935, he lowered the Maritime Pacing Record with his two-year-old filly “Guy Ann” at the Charlottetown Driving Park, to 2:24 1/4. Her next start was in the two-year-old Futurity September 25th which she won in three straight heats. She again lowered the record time to 2:24. On September 7, 1936, “Guy Ann”, age 3, set a Maritime bred record of 2:16 ½ for her owner-driver. To assist in the King of Sports by producing good race horses, he brought to the Island three out-standing stallions: Abner T. Clegg, Watchim and Ableway. The latter two received Championship Certificates of Achievements from the Canadian Horse Show Association.
The Horsemen’s Protective Association of P.E.I., was formed by the late Roy Bevan, D. K. MacLeod, Col. D. A. MacKinnon, Jack Annear and George A. Callbeck. They were granted letters patent July 10, 1958. One main object was to look after injured drivers by paying hospital and medical expenses and to provide financial assistance. The corporation received its funds from racing horse owners and the race tracks.
As a breeder, George raised, trained and raced a number of high class horses: for instance: Ann Glegg 2:06 1/5; Royal Onyx 2:08 1/5; Izzie Reynard 2:08 2/5; G. Ann C 2:11; Ann’s Boy 2:10 1/5; Ann Royal 2:09 1/5; Airy Ann 2:12; Norah Annway 2:11 2/5; Watchim’s Star 2:06 3/5; Adioscott’s Dream 2:11 2/5; etc. The two great race mares, Ann Glegg and Ann’s Dream became good brood mares for him. He sold to U.S.A., the brood mare, Ann Royal 2:09 1/5, dam of five with records below 2:10, including Greek Goddess 2:04. He sold to Wilbur MacArthur the full sister Top Notch Can, the dam of Top Way 2:06 3/5, holder of the Summerside Track Trotting Record. Top Way’s sire was the stallion Ableway. The two sisters were bred and foaled on the property of George A. Callbeck.
One of George Callbecks highlights came at Charlottetown, July 30, 1959, before her Majesty the Queen, when he set a new track record of 2:04 3/5, with the roan gelding “Mighty Lee”, whose own lifetime record was 2:04 1/5, taken in the United States. After the Royal Party left for Government House, he lowered Mighty Lee’s lifetime record to 2:03 4/5, also breaking the track record for the second time that day and a Prince Edward Island record. On September 7, 1959, at Sackville Downs, Mighty Lee 2:03 4/5 with driver George Callbeck, reduced the track record from 2:05 to 2:04. This record was lowered the following year. In 1946, George bought an interest in the Charlottetown Driving Park & Exhibition Association, and became a continuous director. They, the directors, realizing night racing was to become more a way of sport, were prompted to light the Race Track and use a starting gate. A new grand stand, coliseum, exhibit hall, restaurant, a great number of race horse stables, as well as exhibition building for housing live stock, were built.
In 1962, George Callbeck was appointed a director of the United States Trotting Association, District 10, Head Office, Columbus, Ohio. In 1964, he became a Director Emeritus and was also a member of the Rules Committee.