For many British Columbians, Jack Short was and will always be remembered as the voice of horse racing. For 43 seasons, Short called the races at Hastings Park, Lansdowne, Brighouse in Richmond and at The Willows, Colwood, and Sandown on Vancouver Island.

His love for the sport began as an eleven-year-old at the Willows track in Victoria. There he became an apprentice jockey. However, he quickly learned that God had not designed lean six-footers to perform as jockeys and he moved on to various jobs, including a porter on a steamship and a dance troupe performer.

In 1933 he began broadcasting results of the races at CKMO as a sound effects man banged hollowed coconut shells on a table to simulate hoof beats Short rattled off the horses’ names from his notes.

Short could talk fast and clearly – running through a ten-horse field in quick, accurate succession – and he made the event so vibrant that many radio listeners were enticed to come out to see the real thing.

When he left his perch on the roof at Sandown Park, in 1976, his eye was still keen and his voice still hit the high notes, he was at the top of his game. When he said “Adios Amigos” for the final time, he had called between 48,000 and 50,000 races, more than any track announcer in North America.

He was widely known as “The Voice of Races”, a title that represented the style of the man but not the substance. Short was the spirit of BC racing, it’s most identifiable figure and sometimes it’s conscience.

In a 1986 interview Short said: “I sometimes think the Good Lord looked down on this kid who didn’t have any education and felt sorry for him. Then He said, ‘Let’s give him the gift of the gab’.”