don r. millar
A native of Wisconsin, Don Millar trained and drove harness horses in his home state before graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1939 with a degree in journalism. He worked as a reporter for the Milwaukee Sentinal during World War II. After the war he joined the United States Trotting Association's fledgling operation in Hartford, Connecticut.
When the USTA moved its offices to Columbus, Ohio in 1949, Millar became executive vice president. At the time, the association had 5,500 members and purses were around $3.5 million. When he left in 1967, the membership had increased five-fold and purses had skyrocketed to almost $60 million.
During Millar's tenure at the USTA, the Program Department was established and eligibility certificates were expanded to accomodate new symbols and information. Track speed ratings and the computerization of racing records were also developed. The first publications of the Trotting & Pacing Guide, the Sires and Dams book, The Care and Training of the Trotter & Pacer, and the Breeders Book were introduced.
In 1967 Millar went to Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania as a vice president. His main interest was breeding, and he assembled what Lawrence Sheppard, master of Hanover Shoe Farms, once called the "best small broodmare band in the United States." From this little group Millar bred three Hambletonian winners. Two of them out of Millar favorite Flicka Frost, who before motherhood was a fast stakes filly; they were Timothy T (1970) and Christopher T (1974), bred in partnership with John Thro; and Steve Lobell (1976) who was bred by Millar's Bonnie Keek Farm. Flicka Frost was purchased as a yearling for Millar and Thro by Bill Haughton. She was also the dam of Cora T, winner of the 1978 Hambletonian Oaks.
After leaving Hanover, Millar became active in the development and promotion of the Ohio Sire Stakes Program and provided assistance to the Ohio Select Yearling Sale.
Millar was inducted into the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away on July 24, 2002 at his home in Columbus, Ohio at the age of eighty-nine.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 2003 book, The 2002 Immortals