Stanley John Thompson of Spicer, Minnesota, passed away on Tuesday, July 10th in Willmar. He was 88.
Stanley was born on January 26, 1930 on the family farm near Spicer, the son of Carl and Lillian. He grew up on the family farm, and after graduating from Willmar High School in 1948, Stan enlisted in the United States Army.
Following Stan’s honorable discharge from the service, he returned home to Minnesota to help his mother and family on the farm.
In July, 1957, Stan and Margaret were married in Willmar, MN, and later blessed with three sons; Mark, Michael, and Joel. The family made their home on the Thompson family farm.
Stan farmed during the day and worked at the State Hospital at night. He continued this schedule for 35 years retiring, in 1992. Stan was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer and the Spicer American Legion Post #545.
Stan’s passion in life was Harness Racing. For 20 plus years, Stan raced standardbreds in Minnesota and in neighboring States.
Stan was survived by his wife of 60 years, Margaret; three sons and daughters in law, all of whom live in Spicer; 9 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He was also survived by his sister Marlene and a brother Maurice.
Stan was a longtime member of the Minnesota harness horsemen’s association who also served 3 terms as a director of MHRI, and he especially enjoyed racing his trotters and pacers at the Minnesota County Fairs.
Current MHRI member and director, breeder, owner and trainer Greg Budach of Janesville, successfully campaigned Governor Cullin, years before Running Aces opened.
Mr. Thompson bred Governor Cullin, who raced and won at every Minnesota County Fair track as well as at Prairie Meadows and at harness tracks in Illinois.
Stan was a kind man who was well liked by everyone who had the good fortune to meet him. MHRI gratefully recognizes and remembers his dedicated service to our members as well as his friendship.
Tim Pinske of Plato, Minnesota, well known at racetracks throughout North America and along with his family, owner of Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida, passed away on Wednesday, July 18th. He was 71.
Tim’s family and friends celebrated his life with a Funeral Mass on July 24th at St. Pius Church in Glencoe.
Timothy John Pinske was born on December 19, 1946, in Shakopee, Minnesota, the son of Robert and Janet Pinske. A lifelong resident of Plato, he graduated from Glencoe High School in 1964.
Tim and Marlys were married the day after Christmas in 1964 and their marriage of 53 plus years was blessed with three sons. Tim owned and operated Plato Woodwork in Plato. He was the fourth generation of Pinske woodworkers, which began in 1893.
Tim was passionate about Standardbred horse racing. His father introduced him to harness racing as a youngster and he in turn introduced his sons to the game.
The Pinske Stables owned and trained trotters and pacers which raced at tracks across the country and in Canada.
Every Fall, their horses move to the Pinske owned Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida, another of Tim’s successful business ventures, for winter training.
Mr. Pinske’s health had declined from the effects of Lewy body dementia but this past winter he was back at Southern Oaks, keeping an eye on the horses owned by the Pinske family while in the company of his wife, Marlys, son Karl and grandson Carter.
The Pinske family has campaigned many top stakes horses over the years, including Bret’s Avenger by the great Bret Hanover, and most notably, they won the North America Cup with Yankee Cruiser, who had been developed and trained by their son Brian, who died suddenly six months earlier in November 2002 while attending the Harrisburg yearling sale.
In November 2003, the Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association named Tim winner of the inaugural Brian Pinske Memorial Award, a newly created award presented annually to honor success in open stake races conducted throughout the state of Illinois.
In presenting the award, the IHHA began:
“Starting with less than 20 horses, Brian built a powerful stable which numbered more than 100 racehorses.
His stable was both feared and respected not only in Illinois but throughout the country and this award will help keep alive the memory of Brian’s smile, spirit and high-octane energy that made Brian not only a great horseman but a wonderful human being.”
After the devastating loss of his son, Tim Pinske became the stable’s head trainer, and with his son Karl’s help, carefully directed the stable that Brian had established ever since.
Tim Pinske and his family have been a great friend to and supporter of harness racing in Minnesota and throughout the country, and according to Mr. Pinske’s wishes, his family requested donations in his name be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation.
Soon after his passing, veterinarian Dr. John Egloff said of Tim and his family.
“Tim and his family are very special people who we feel privileged to know as friends. His loss is felt by us all. He was a great asset to our sport who will be deeply missed. His character, honesty and integrity are an example we all should strive for.”
MHRI sincerely thanks the Minnesota Racing Commission for the opportunity to remember our friends Stan Thompson and Tim Pinske.