John P. Brocklehurst, 81, a second-generation horseman in a family whose reach in harness racing now extends to a fourth generation, passed away during the morning of Saturday, April 22.
John was a longtime horseman who retired from driving in 1993 and from training in 1995, but remained a visible part of The Meadows’ community. He spent many years operating a harness repair shop on the Meadows’ backstretch.
A resident of Mercer, PA, John, and his brother David, followed their father Paul into the business; John’s son Harold continued the tradition, and the fourth-generation horsemen in the line today are Bryce and Mike, both racing at The Meadows.
John would likely have been proud of his grandson Bryce, who decided to continue with a driving assignment at The Meadows only a few hours after finding out his grandfather, who had been ill, had passed away. Bryce went out and guided Media Buzz from eighth at the half to win the $28,400 Tamarind Trotting Series Final at the southwest Pennsylvania oval that afternoon.
The best horse with whom John was associated was Hominy Ros, who was by Rican Ros, a son of Florican, out of the Sharpshooter mare Chickahominy. John trained and drove the horse, and was co-owner with his brother David, who was the breeder. Among Hominy Ros’s fifteen victories at age two in 1978 were two world records for two-year-old trotting geldings: a 2:05.3f at Scioto Downs, and a 2:04.1h at the Delaware Fair. John was also the leading driver at Wheeling Downs for two seasons.
John Brocklehurst’s wife Mary Jane preceded him in death by six months; for 15 years they operated their harness repair shop together. He leaves behind four children: Harold, Austin, Jane Anne, and Amanda; five grandchildren, including Bryce and Mike; and five great-grandchildren.
There will be visiting hours from 12 noon to 2:15 on Monday at the Robert Snyder Funeral Home in Fredonia, PA. At 2:30 a memorial service will be conducted there by Pastor Joe Di Donato, chaplain at The Meadows.