Dave Gibson Passes

Published: January 18, 2022 05:02 pm EST

Longtime Ontario horseman Dave ‘Garney’ Gibson passed away suddenly on Tuesday, Jan. 18. He would have turned 64 on Jan. 19, 2022.

Dave raced primarily at his home track of Kawartha Downs where he was the leading trainer on several occasions and was the horsepersons’ representative for the track for many years. He also served on the OHHA executive.

Dave was a leading advocate for keeping harness racing at the Fraserville, Ont., track and led the rallies when its future was threatened on more than one occasion. He was also an integral part of any fundraisers held for local horsepeople in need.

Gord Brown, Kawartha’s leading driver for many years, raced alongside Garney for decades. “He was always there for the horsepeople, he thought of them first. He was a real team player, he looked out for us. It’s sad news,” Gord said today.

“Dave was extremely helpful when I was the marketing director at Kawartha,” noted Heather MacKay. “He went out of his way to provide information and guidance when I started for which I was very grateful.”

Jessica Bailey worked for Dave for close to a decade. He nominated her as Kawartha's groom of the year which she subsequently won. "When I first asked him for a job he said 'Everything you ever knew about horses forget it right now. We’re starting from scratch.' For my first pay cheque he had to ask me my first name because he just called me 'Red'.”

Their relationship evolved to him being the Master of Ceremonies at her wedding and her daughter’s godfather. “He always gave me credit. When the owners would compliment him on the horses he would always say ‘thank Jess, she’s done all of the work.’”

Dave garnered headlines two years ago when his horse Rustys Flying set a record for the number of wins by a pacing mare. Dave’s lifetime stats as a trainer show 3,146 starts and $3.7 million in earnings.

Rustys Flying and Dave Gibson

Dave had two starts to date in 2022, one at Mohawk and his final career start was on Thursday, January 13 at Flamboro. Both were with the pacing gelding Try Line. He had also purchased a yearling filly at last year’s Ontario Selected Yearling Sale, a Bettors Delight mare named Twin B Glory. Other horses associated with Dave include Midnite Romp, Sportster, Leonidas De Vie, Trouball, Professorsdapapers, Fergus, Vegas Rich and many more.

He will be missed by his sisters, Donna Wyse (Dave Lamont) of Airdrie, Alta., Kathy Edwards (Phil) of Windsor, Ont., and Carol Wyse of Calgary, Alta.

The family is planning a celebration of life later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart/Stroke Foundation. Further details will be posted at a later date.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Dave Gibson.



R.I.P. Garney !!! He loved horses and the Maple Leafs. Not sure in that order! We have been friends for forty or more years. I believe in his mind he was never in a losing argument lol. You will be missed by your family and many friends!!!