Max Wapples Obituary – Max Wapples, a well-known harness horse driver and trainer, passed away on Friday at the Guelph General Hospital in a calm and tranquil state. Eileen, his beloved wife, and their four children, Barbara Lennox, Donna Galbraith (Mac), Karen Hauver (Maurice), and Gord (Denise), as well as his nine granddaughters, 17 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, will miss him deeply. He also leaves behind one great-great-grandchild. Keith Wapples was the son of Jack and Bertha Wapples, both of whom have passed away.
His sisters Jean Swan and Annabelle Caffry, as well as his grandson Jason (Jay) Wapples, also passed away before him. Dorothy Rumney of Wasaga Beach, Mary Jane Burnett of Orangeville, and Peggi Diebel of Squamish, British Columbia are his surviving sisters. He is also survived by a brother named Murray who lives in Barrie. In addition to being recognized by his contemporaries as the Horseman of the Century, Keith was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and the Harness Horse Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York.
All three halls of fame are located in Canada. In 1935, when he was only 12 years old, he competed in and won his first Standardbred race, which took place in Sundridge, Ontario. His bright yellow and blue silks were last seen competing in a race in 2005, he continued to train a few horses up until just a few years ago. In addition, Keith had an important role in the ownership of racetracks.
Together with James Keeling, he was a pioneer in the establishment of Orangeville Raceway, Cloverdale Raceway (now Fraser Downs), and Sandown Raceway in British Columbia. Even though he went to the races less frequently in recent years, he still watched the Horse Racing Channel on his television and kept up with the latest occurrences in the industry by visiting the Standardbred Canada website.
Cremation was performed on his corpse in accordance with his last desires, and a modest funeral service for close family and friends will take place at the Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home in Guelph. The link to the live feed of the service will be provided below and will go live on Wednesday, May 12 at 11 a.m. The service will be recorded, and by Thursday, it will be possible to view the recording on this website. A Memorial Service or Celebration of Life will take place at a later time.