Dunachton Gale, a three-time winner as Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year, has a special place in the hearts of owner Dave Fillmore of West Berwick and Phil Pinkney, the legendary Nova Scotia trainer and driver who drove him in all but one of his victorious races in an outstanding six-year career.
The Truro Driving Park record-holder with a 1:53.2 mile, run on July 29, 2006, and a Gold Cup and Saucer Trial winner on P.E.I., the magnificent stallion amassed over $200,000 in career earnings.
Woodbine's Joey Shea described Dunachton Gale in his prime as “a nice horse to be around a good feeling horse. He is a well-mannered animal off the track and a true professional on it.”
The first of Dunachton Gale's three Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year awards came in 2004, when, as a three-year-old, the bay simply dominated the region, building on the success of a freshman campaign in which he triumphed in nine of 10 starts. As a three-year-old, Dunachton Gale won 14 of his 16 starts and was second in the other two races. His purse earnings for that season settled at $66,277 the highest total of his six-year career.
After solid campaigns as a four- and five-year-old, he really affirmed his dominant status in 2007 as a six-year-old. Coming off a 2006 season in which he was named Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year for a second time, Dunachton Gale took no prisoners in 2007, winning 11 of 14 starts and never finishing off the board.
He captured a heat of the Gold Cup and Saucer at the Charlottetown Driving Park in a lifetime best 1:53.1, but his season was cut short after he suffered a chipped coffin bone while winning the Joe and Jennie Chippin Memorial at Fredericton Raceway in 1:55.1, just a tick off the track record. When award time rolled around, Dunachton Gale easily earned his third Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year award for his stellar 2007 campaign.
Other career accomplishments include qualifying for the final of the Gold Cup and Saucer during Charlottetown's Old Home Week celebrations, and winning the Governor's Cup in Summerside. Dunachton Gale also won the Walter Dale in Fredericton, the oldest feature race in the Maritimes and driver Phil Pinkney's only time winning that race in his long and successful career.
Dunachton Gale was retired to stud in 2009 and now resides at Pictonian Farms in Pictou County where he is enjoying life at stud and has already produced offspring which will hopefully follow in his 'hoof steps'. Dunachton Gale's eldest foals are two-year-olds in 2011. Phil Pinkney has had a Hall of Fame career in his own right as a driver. Now in his early 70s, his legendary career began at the age of 15 and still continues today, almost 60 years later.
He is not only one of the most prolific and successful Maritime drivers, but is also considered one of the top trainers and developers of harness racing horses in the region. On Jan. 31, 2009, he was presented with the prestigious O'Brien Award for Horsemanship, for which he had also been nominated two years earlier.
The Fillmore family have always been, and remain, extremely proud of “Gale” and his accomplishments.
Please join the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame as we break slightly with tradition and induct, in the Special Recognition category, Dunachton Gale, an elite athlete of the four-legged variety and at age 10, our youngest-ever inductee.
Inducted June 2011