James W. Connors
Athlete/Builder - Harness Racing
Inducted - 2018
Jimmy Connors was born on July 27, 1892, and spent most of his childhood around the family farm at Dickinson’s Landing / Wales. At a very young age Jimmy became interested in horses, and by his 15th birthday he was training and riding the family horses. This was the start of a lifelong passion for harness racing.
At the time of the Seaway inundation, the Connors’ home was moved to Ingleside, and the family farm relocated to the 5th Concession of Osnabruck Township. Jimmy had his own racetrack on his original farm property in Dickinson Landing, and this oval shape can still be seen today by airplane lying under the waters of the St. Lawrence River.
During his long harness racing career, Jimmy Connors owned more than 500 horses and competed in thousands of races across a circuit that included tracks in Ontario, Quebec, and New York State.
During his harness racing and training career, he was employed by two of the leading horse owners in Eastern Ontario – Dr. Locke of Williamsburg, and J.W. Shaver of Avonmore. He was also on the first Advisory Board for the Rideau Carleton Raceway when the track opened its doors back in 1962.
Throughout his career, he was awarded many trophies and honours for his outstanding horsemanship. By all accounts, he was at the pinnacle of his harness racing career in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and owned harness racing horses until his death. Jimmy Connors passed away on April 25, 1966 in his trailer at the Rideau Carleton Raceway, with his dog, Otto, at his side.
James' grand daughter, Lori Abrams, accepting on his behalf.