The Honourable Earl Rowe Invitational Trot is the signature race of the Georgian Downs’ racing meet. This year, it is scheduled for Sunday August 21, 2022. It is named in honour of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame member and 20th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Earl Rowe. This invitational race annually showcases Canada’s top aged trotters.
For many years William Earl Rowe was actively engaged in horse racing as a breeder, owner, trainer and driver of championship Standardbred horses. His most noted horses were trotters, among them Van Riddell. Van Riddell had a great reputation as a champion trotter which was followed by an outstanding career as a sire.
Rowe and his son, Bill were founders of two Ontario harness race tracks, Windsor Raceway and Barrie Raceway. He also worked diligently on behalf of numerous horsemen’s associations, serving as president of the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society twice and as an honorary director of the Ontario Harness Horsemen’s Association.
When he was not involved with his horse racing operation, politics occupied most of Rowe’s time. During a 45 year period he served as a Member of the Provincial Parliament, leader of the Provincial Conservative Party and a member of the House of Commons in Ottawa.