Ken Church
Sport: Jockey
Date of Birth 1930-03-24
Date of Induction 1997-10-18
Ken Church was born in Windsor, Ontario, on March 24, 1930.

He attended J. E. Benson Elementary School and W. D. Lowe Vocational School.
He first became interested in horses in 1944, at the age of fourteen, as his girlfriend's father owned some harness horses that he raced at various Fairs, including Essex, Ontario. In 1946 his girlfriend's uncle bought Ken a pony and had him ride it for show at County Fairs. That same year Ken took a job as a "pony boy" at Devonshire Riding Academy, leading people on trail rides.

- 1946 - He was introduced to competitive racing when Tom Graham of Kenilworth Racetrack, across the street from Devonshire Riding Academy, signed him to his first contract as a Jockey, an exercise rider at Toronto's Old Woodbine Track.
1947 - Harry Trotsek, famous trainer in the United States, liked what he saw in Ken and signed him to a contract, and started him riding as an Apprentice, in Novice Races for Jockeys that Trotsek established at Detroit Fairgrounds.
On July 12, Church rode his first winner, a horse named "Pug".
1948 - Harry Trotsek sold Ken's contract to a trainer named John Hart, and Ken left Detroit with Hart to race at major USA tracks such as Rockingham Park in New England, Lexington Kentucky, in what was Ken's first year of top notch competition. He rode over 50 winners and had over 150 one-two-three finishers.
-1949 - Ken returned to Detroit Fairgrounds; Trotsek bought back his contract, he had a successful campaign, winning 151 races, including two big Stakes Races.
-1950 - Ken left Detroit to race exclusively on USA Major Circuit, at tracks such as Chicago's Arlington Park, where he won several big Stakes Races, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Hialeah. Raced in Kentucky Derby, posted best finish ever in this legendary race, 4th aboard "Oil Capitol",as Middleground was the winner.

- 1964 - Won the Santa Anita Handicap aboard "Mr. Consistency", considered the toughest race to win next to the Kentucky Derby, as the top horses and riders are entered annually.

- He had the most winners one year on the Florida circuit, consisting of Hialeah, Gulfstream, and Tropical Park, defeating the likes of Eddie Arcaro, Walter Blum, Ted Atkinson, and Canadian Hedley Woodhouse.

- Spent the last five years of his career riding in California, Santa Anita and Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, Del Mar in San Diego. He retired in 1967. - 6-times rode in Kentucky Derby - Ranked among Top 10 in earnings for six years in 1950's - 1950 - Placed 4th among U.S. Jockeys for number of wins with 212. - 1960 - Favourite victory - on "Rocky Royale" at Toronto Woodbine, Canadian Championship Stakes.

- Career Statistics: - 14,000 races, 2000 wins, 5000 - top three finishes, 110 Stakes Winners.

- 1950 - Special Commendation from State of Illinois, for rescuing another rider from possible fatal injury, at Chicago's Arlington Park. Rounding the first turn, a felllow rider named Wendel Eads had his horse stumble, causing him to be unseated from the saddle, his left stirrup came over to the right side of the horse, and Eads was hanging by his feet about to be dragged around the track. At that instant Church reached over with his left arm and miraculously lifted Eads back onto his horse, so he could finish the race. Ken finished second in that race, after which Ken's trainer said "You never finished a better second."