January 8, 2022
One day, John Aldous had a boarder at his McArthur House Hotel (now Subway) who could not afford to pay for his stay, but offered to give him a colt instead. Aldous did not at first realize the potential of the horse, but he was interested in harness racing, so he decided to give him a try at the Fenelon Fair. Little Hector won the race with ease. As he travelled to fairs around the district, Little Hector showed his heels to the other contestants at every race. With a little training for horse and driver, Aldous was soon travelling to compete across Canada and the United States.
By the end of the 1890s, Little Hector was routinely winning races on both sides of the border. He earned a reputation as the fastest little horse in Canada—a national celebrity. He even had a brand of cigars named after him. While the pacer was still at the top of his game, Aldous decided to sell Little Hector to an American syndicate for $1300—roughly the price of a farm. It was hard for the whole community to see their sporting hero leave, but the price he got was as much as many families would amass in a lifetime.