Marlborough, MA --- Harness racing owes a debt of gratitude to William H. Faucher. The man of many accomplishments throughout the industry will soon step down from his USTA Board of Director's post after serving District 9 (New England) for 15 years.
|William H. Faucher|
The Massachusetts bred and Hinsdale, N.H. resident has served the industry as an owner, driver, trainer and starter at Rockingham Park in Salem, N.H. and Colonial Downs; businessman; state legislator; chapter member of the New England Harness writers; Western N.E. Harness Horsemen; advisor; track superintendent and family man.
I have fond memories of Faucher that span over 40 years. I remember with fondness one of his prized claimers (Dazzle Hal) and what a fierce competitor Bill was during his driving days.
He raced successfully against the best in his generation as his .300-plus UDR attests. Much of his early successes came at Rockingham and Foxboro during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and who can forget his triumphs on the big stage at the Meadowlands with the likes of Seatrain.
Give Faucher a tight hole during a race and he was through it before he hit the winner's circle. And he had plenty of competition back then -- class horsemen such as Jim Doherty, Ted Wing, Leroy Copeland, Gary Kamal, Arthur Nason, Paul Battis, Jim and Jack Hogan, Al Langille and Melvin Beckwith.
I will also long remember my visits to the Rockingham paddock to bend Bill's ear for a story and how Copeland would stop by in his white pants and green top and would tap his driving whip on the floor, having fun between races before going toe-to-toe with Faucher and Doherty.
A testament to Faucher's popularity came in 1993 when he was inducted into the New England Harness Writers Hall of Fame. A record crowd attended the Foxboro Raceway event.
Bill's genorosity was yet another admiring quality. Whenever I asked for a donation concerning harness business, he never turned me down.
Today Bill faces a much bigger challenge in his star studded career -- Crohn's disease. And like everything else, he's meeting it head on.
His contributions to the sport are endless and it brings to mind a feature newspaper article penned some 30 years ago. The headline over the story read: "That's Faucher at the reins."
Thanks for all the fond memories, Bill. Keep them coming.