First Name: Billy
Last Name: O'Donnell
Sport: Harness Racing
Inductee Type: Athlete
Year Inducted: 1991
Home Town: Springhill
County: Cumberland County

Springhill, Nova Scotia, native Billy O’Donnell has gained harness racing fame with a multitude of wins on the tough New York circuit and in major stake races across North America. In 1991 he was approaching 5,000 career wins and was second on the all-time money winning list with almost $74 million dollars in purse winnings.

In addition to his 5,000 wins, O’Donnell has amassed 3,700 placings and shown on 3,300 occasions, a remarkable performance in 25,000 starts.

O’Donnell lived in Springhill, N.S., and Sydney Mines, N.S., but got his first taste of harness racing with his father and uncle at the now-defunct Sackville Downs. At tracks around the United States, he is known as Magic O’Donnell for his ability to bring home winners with his famous stretch drive.

He is a member of the Canadian Trotting Hall of Fame, and the Hall of Fame of the Trotter in New York. Billy O’Donnell was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1991.


• 5000 Career Wins
• 1980 Won 1st Major Stake Race, Lady Maud Series
• Won the Little Brown Jug
• Won the World Trotting Derby
• Won the Garden State Pace
• Won the Hambletonian
• Won the Historic Jersey Cup
• Won the Presidential Series
• Won the Breeders Crown
• Known as Billy “Magic” O’Donnell
• Member of the Canadian Trotting Hall of Fame
• Member Hall of Fame of the Trotter