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While playing junior in Kingston, Fielding was able to nurture his love for horses. He would spend his non hockey time at the old Kingston standardbred racetrack, Frontenac Downs.
Several have hockey backgrounds, including former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi, who was involved in Fielding's Breeders Crown 2004 trotting colt champion, Ken Warkentin.
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The people Fielding remembers from playing for Kingston's first major junior team, the Canadians, include Walter (Punch) Scherer, the team's first general manager, and players such as O'Connell, Gord Buynak, the first captain, Brad Rhiness and his pal Rob Plumb.
Ryan Spooner, C, Kingston
Fielding scored 20 goals for the Canadians in his rookie season in what was then the Ontario Hockey Association. He also had the distinction of scoring the first hat trick in franchise history. Fielding went on to play for Kitchener before playing professionally in Germany for several years.
"I was never a star, so I learned to be grounded in a hurry," Fielding said.
His racing stable has produced 10 Breeders Crown champions, the latest two coming last month. Uncle Peter, named after his late brother Peter Fielding, captured the two year old colt trot. He hopes Uncle Peter will have a shot at the Hambletonian next summer.
Fielding, 55, and Domi have been friends for years and is following the budding career of Tie's son, Max Domi, the impressive rookie with the London Knights.
From the ice to real life
"I loved horses from a very young age," Fielding said. "Harness racing, once it is in your blood, it stays. I just love it."
Fielding said it is harder for the stars he played with such future NHLers as Mike O'Connell, Ken Linseman and Tony McKegney in Kingston to learn what he believes is one of the most important characteristics for adulthood.
"He is a great young hockey player but more importantly he just a beautiful kid, as good as you are going to find."
THE BOOK ON .
And yes, an even larger number of OHL graduates go on to play at the minor pro level.
Fielding enjoys the partnerships he has formed in horse racing and bringing new people to the sport.
He is regarded as one of the premier standardbred Converse Chuck Taylor 70s
On vacation in Mexico now with his wife Patricia, Fielding had been on the road for 17 days overseeing his racing investment. He had standardbreds in the Breeders Crown and thoroughbreds in the Breeders Cup in Lexington, Ky. There were also trips to horse sales in Harrisburg, Pa., and Kentucky.
A successful Toronto businessman, first in the cosmetics industry and now branched off into successful student housing unit rentals in Waterloo and St. Catharines, Fielding fondly remembers his junior hockey years in Kingston as a major preparation for his adult life.
The Ontario Hockey League is a stepping stone for players trying to go to the National Hockey League.
The grounding that Fielding talks about comes in handy in horse racing, too. See You At Peelers Fielding's outstanding three year old pacing filly, undefeated at one time with 21 straight victories never made Converse All Star Chuck Taylor Grey it to the Breeders Crown after suffering heart problems.
Weaknesses: The Bruins, knowing Kingston coach Todd Gill's reputation for teaching, entrusted Spooner with him for his final year of junior. Spooner's leadership, perhaps questioned in the past, is coming forth this season with a young Kingston squad.
owners in Canada. Fielding owns outright, or in partnership, more than 65 mares.
Coach Todd Gill has coined Spooner "a gazelle" on ice. Besides his obvious speed, Spooner plays with smarts and craftiness. In his fourth year in the league, Spooner is going to get a long look by the people in charge of selecting Canada's team for the world junior championship.
all levels of sport catering to elite athletes, also can play a prominent role in the development of teenagers as they move toward their adult years.
When it comes time to reflect on their junior hockey days, many no doubt come to the same conclusion as John Fielding, a prominent Canadian in the horse racing industry.
"Hockey teaches you how to handle failures and success, sharing with your teammates and trusting a lot of great life values."
"The hockey game is so valuable," said Fielding, whose stable won two races at the Breeders Crown last month at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. "You learn great guidelines to live by for the rest of your life and that's what it is really all about.
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