In Memory of




Obituary for William "Bud" Fritz

William 'Bud' Fritz passed away peacefully at McVean Lodge, Hanover, on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at age 86. Beloved husband of the late Ethel Fritz (nee Borth). Loving father of Marilyn (Allan) Zettler, Laurie (Roy) Trelford, Margie (Mike Sawyer), Terry (Alis Wilson), Brad (Anita), Cheryl (Brad) Colvin, Susie (Gregg) McNair, Randy (Leslie) and Dale (Lisa). Proud grandfather of Lisa, Laura, Matthew, Kelly, Jennifer, Sarah, Ashley, Brandon, Taylor, Ashton, Lexie, Ryan, Candace, Kayla, Jenna, Mackenzie, William, Randall, Monica and Courtney and great grandfather of Isabella, Austin, Cadyn, Mikayla, Owen, Madison, Zayden, Jackson, Jordyn and Cappella. Dear brother of Julie Hartman, Ruby Birr, Maxine Bucholtz (Hammy Hamilton), Shirley Russell and Larry Fritz.

Bud was predeceased by his parents, Elmer and Wilhelmine (nee Little) Fritz, brothers-in-law Clendon Hartman, Gordon Birr, William Bucholtz, Warren Russell and sister-in-law Joan Fritz.

There was a time in the 1980s and early 1990s that the name of William "Bud" Fritz was synonymous with harness racing in Ontario. The Fritz stable came as close to dominating the province’s sires stakes program as any single operation ever has. In 1949, the Walkerton, Ont. horseman began his driving career at Elmira Raceway. Since that time, he has captured driving titles at Hanover, Orangeville, Western Fair, Elmira and Owen Sound Raceways. His career statistics as a driver show that he won 1,982 races to go along with purse winnings of more than $10.1 million.

Fritz has enjoyed some tremendous years as a trainer and driver, but none could compare with 1990 when Fritz trained a great pacer and a sensational trotter. Fritz trained and drove the three-year-old pacing colt Apaches Fame to numerous victories that year. But without question, one of the most memorable achievements for Fritz came when he guided the hometown favourite to a stunning victory in the $1 million North America Cup, Canada’s richest harness race, before a near capacity crowd at Toronto’s Greenwood Raceway.

Apaches Fame, who would later be inducted into Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame, would go on to win many more major events including the Burlington Stakes, the Confederation Cup and the Provincial Cup. The colt finished his season with $1.1 million in earnings. That same year, Fritz trained and drove A Worthy Lad to a victory in the Canadian Trotting Classic, one of 30 straight wins that the son of Worthy Bowl would enjoy before being exported to Sweden. These two star performers earned national honours for their respective divisions and gave Fritz his third O’Brien Award title as Canada’s Horseman of the Year in 1990 to go along with that honour in 1986 and 1989. Fritz also received an O’Brien in 1990 as Canada’s Trainer of the Year.

Other noteworthy performers that emerged from the Fritz stable and contributed to his 1,068 victories and more than $8.1 million in purse earnings included Silver Reign, Annie Ivy, Misty Silver, Tommys Becky, Queens Arms, Silver Wraith and Halos Girl.

Fritz was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 2020, Hanover Raceway named its Rising Star Award after the respective horseman whose burgundy and white colours were a familiar sight at the track for more than 40 years.

To read more about Bud's hall of fame career in harness racing, please visit

Friends and family may visit from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at Cameron’s, Walkerton. To register for visitation please use RSVP through Bud’s memorial page at Proof of Vaccination is not required, masks are mandatory.

A private family service will be held on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Cameron’s, Walkerton.
Ann Maycock officiating. A livestream will be available to the public through Bud’s memorial page at

Interment in Hanover Cemetery, Hanover.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences and donations may be made through