Mark Clairmont |

GRAVENHURST — Psst. Want a tip in the sixth?

How about the No. 1 post position, Jam Sandwich.

That sounds like a local favourite, for all you young kiddy music fans.

That’s the post horse in Saturday night’s Rotary Race night at the Terry Fox Auditorium at the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre.

According to video race track announcer and host Nick “Sporty” Jones, Jam Sandwich is an early Muskoka favourite.

The runner will be one of eight entries in the race, during an eight-race card, and going to the post to fundraise for the Gravenhust Rotary Club’s local and international charities.

The fun-filled evening of entertainment, finger foods and friendly wagering starts at 6 p.m.

Rotarians Pat Bongers, of Cedar Coast Homes and Eric Daly are co-sponsors.

The night also includes one featured auction race with just the eight highest bidders for a week’s vacation at Jones’s Dominican Republic vacation villa, complete with maid and chef.

Jones is bringing his bag of pre-recorded DVD races from his home in Bermuda.

They’re all historic races from around the world, so there’s “no chance in hell,” he says, that anybody will know who won before the gates fly open.

Tickets are $245 and bets are $5 each, but you can bet on more than one horse in a race.

The proceeds are split between the charity and number of winners.

Jones, 57, an all-round Bermudian national team athlete in rugby, soccer, golf, cricket and a former Olympic yachtsman, has run these charity events in Bermuda and in the GTA with Whitby’s WindReach Farm.

The Bermuda native has also been on nine international sports teams, as either a player or coach in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games.

“I was quite lucky to a coach/reserve, for the 1996 Bermuda sailing team in Atlanta.”

He’s coached Bermuda in Worrld Cup football and World Cup rugby.

“I’ve done quite a lot.”

For 17 years he also hosted a TV sports show with the Bermuda Broadcasting Company.

But now he’s taken up his family’s passion for the horse racing, where they were major players in English racing.

He remembers going to the Derby and the Royal Ascot. As an 11-year-old he received a wave from the Queen as she road by in her carriage. He tipped his top hat.

And while his cousins are still in the business, he’s content to run charity race events like the one this Saturday, Sept. 12, in Gravenhurst for the Rotary Club.

“I understand horse racing. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

“It’s good, hearty, clean fun, for nine worthwhile causes,” he says.

“Come join us. Bring your family and friends and do something worthwhile. Have some great entertainment. Cause we’ll all have some laughs together, for sure.”

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Nick ‘Sporty’ Jones has run these charity horse racing nights for his son’s swim club in his native Bermuda.

Email Mark Clairmont at


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