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Gary F. Daniels

February 14, 1947 — November 14, 2014

Gary F. Daniels

Gary Frank Daniels, age 67, died at home in Bucyrus, OH on Friday, November 14, 2014. Daniels had been suffering from chronic pulmonary disease for many years but that hadn’t stopped him from enjoying his many horse pursuits. He was in the barn checking on his racing stock and swapping stories, as usual, on the day of his death.

Born the second son of the late legendary horseman, Frank G. Daniels and wife Edna on February 14, 1947, in Middleton, Nova Scotia, Gary was a pioneer in catch driving and introduced the concept to Maritime Canada. He drove in his first race at age 12 and, by all accounts, was a colorful and entertaining story teller from the moment he made his debut at that age. Just as popular in school as he was at the track, he was voted President of the Student Council at the vocational high school where he studied diesel mechanics.

Working alongside his father and driving for their large stable, he regularly won driving titles at both Truro Raceway and Sackville Downs, amassing an impressive number of wins in a short period of time. At age 27 he held the world record for youngest driver to reach 1,000 wins. The success in his early driving career helped launch his other horse enterprises throughout the years and he went on to race at, or visit, almost every racetrack in North America. In recent years he was a mainstay at Buffalo Raceway, Batavia Downs and Northfield Park. He seemed to know everybody and always made people welcome with his ready smile and jovial demeanor.

Over the last 5 years, he and partner Kathy McCall took great pride in developing their small farm and breeding program. On Sept. 9 of this year he left driving retirement and donned his colors one last time to notch his final win at the Wooster Fair, for a total of 1,532 lifetime victories. His next and final ‘catch drive’ was of a different sort, at the Standardbred World Show, just a month before his death, where he surprised everyone by earning the Reserve World Championship in the Driving division in what likely was his first horse show in over 40 years.

In addition to Kathy McCall, he is survived by mother Edna Daniels, brother Scott (Diane) Daniels, son Gray (Jennifer) Daniels, grandsons Cameron and Blake, stepson Len Fox, and all the many special friends he’s made throughout the horse business.

Two memorial gatherings are planned to celebrate the life of Gary Daniels. The first will be held in Ohio on Monday, November 17 from 6-8pm at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in the Log Cabin located on the backstretch. A second memorial will take place in Nova Scotia, where he’ll be laid to rest near his father, those details to be announced at a later date.


Monday, November 17, 2014 6-8 p.m.

at the Log Cabin at Delaware County Fairgrounds

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary F. Daniels, please visit our flower store.


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