Robert ‘Rob’ Walker Passes | Standardbred Canada

Categories: Canada

Ontario horseman Robert Earl Walker passed away very suddenly on July 11, 2023 at the young age of 52.

Robert Walker was born Feb. 5, 1971 to James Robert Walker (“Bob”) and Patricia Walker of Owen Sound, Ont. He spent his childhood growing up in Owen Sound with his parents, his sister Jennifer, and his many aunts, uncles and cousins. In the mid ’90s, he fell in love after meeting his sweetheart at Woodbine Raceway and in 2002 married Annette Walker and settled in the Newmarket, Ont. area. Together, they have two children: Jessica, born in 2003, and Ryan, born in 2005.

In his professional life, Rob was a successful harness horse trainer and driver, training and driving many brilliant horses with honourable mention to King Kruzer, who was exported to Norway for stud duty after a highly successful win in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold two-year-old colt trot and many other OSS wins, and his latest mare Superlative, who was an Open/Preferred trotter at Woodbine and now, in Rob’s words, has a “beautiful” filly by her side who he nick named “Georgie.” Rob was also an electrician by trade and became a highly skilled Master Electrician after passing the rigorous exam and ran his own company for many years known as Walkertech Electric. In 2011, Rob and Annette found their dream farm naming it Walkers Run, where he returned to his love for training, looking after, raising, and racing horses while allowing his children to come home off the bus without daycare — something he was so proud to be able to do for them and providing farm life as the family’s new home base.

Rob’s hobbies were many. His most passionate hobby was his family and he loved watching Jesse ride in the hunter ring, Ryan play fastball and they golfed together, and he enjoyed Annette riding her horses at the farm. He loved going out for dinners, especially at The Keg, or going on adventures, the most recent to Punta Cana, and the many road trips with his wife to look at young horses each fall at the yearling sales. He enjoyed his snowmobiles and would rock around the property with utility vehicles he put special speakers into. He loved cars, his tractor and always had a passion for newer trucks. He enjoyed cooking, baking with Jesse, wood crafts, fixing everything, watching Netflix and spending time with his family up in Owen Sound, especially recently when his dad took ill.

He is survived by his devoted wife of over 20 years, Annette Walker, and the children he adored beyond words, Jessica Walker and Ryan Walker. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Bella, a sweet German Short Haired Pointer.

Rob was known and loved by so many and especially his family and his close friends from the neighbourhood, Donny and Joe, who together raced horses with a million memories out of Brilo Farms in Sharon, Ont. since the mid ’90s, and the stories from those training days are endless. Rob was never a man of many words yet when he spoke, everyone listened. He will forever be known and missed as being “MacGyver,” a man who could basically troubleshoot and fix anything.

Rob was preceded in death by his father Bob by only a few hours.

There will be a celebration of Rob’s life on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the family’s home “Walkers Run,” loctaed at 19379 Kennedy Road in Sharon, Ont. The family invites friends to come see the beautiful park-like property Rob created with his family. There is an indoor riding arena for inclement weather and the barn, arena, property and pond area (where a comemarative red maple tree will be planted in Rob’s memory) will be open for walking and enjoying the many memories the family is awaiting to be shared, and you will feel Rob’s presence. The family is asking to bring copies of photos of Rob and written memories that the family can keep. Rob’s farm is a one-hour drive from Milton, Ont. and two and a half hours from Owen Sound. The family will be playing his favourite Spotify playlist that he was so proud of creating. Food and beverages will be served. The family invites friends to come and enjoy a few hours in your day to celebrate Rob’s life, emotionally support his young children and family left behind, and to share remembrances with all that loved him. Bring a lawn chair!

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Rob Walker.

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