World's Oldest Harness Race Champion


By WSIL Sports

FAIRFIELD -- There's not much 97-year old Leo Burns hasn't seen on a race track.

"It's smoothing I've done," Burns said. "I like it and I've done it for a long time."

Whether he recollects it all is a different story.

"I can't even remember the first time I started."

But when you're 97, there's too many memories to count anyway. Monday night was certainly the exception.

"I don't think much about it," Burns said of winning his race. "You know, another day, another race."

But Leo's run at the Wayne County Fairgrounds was far from just another race. With his win, Burns became the world's oldest harness race champion.

"To have the reflexes and coordination that he has at 97 is shocking," track announcer Carl Becker said. "This is a game in which reflexes are important, timing is important and of course athleticism is important and at age 97, Leo still has pretty good control of all of it."

For Burns the track is almost like a second home. The Albion native spends most of his days taking care of his horse, Winsome Wyoming. The two have won nearly 30 races over the last eight years.

"It's like any sport," Burns added. "Whether you're a baseball player or anybody, it's in your blood. You do it and do it as long as you can."
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