XENIA — One of the biggest legends of harness racing has died at the age of 60. Sam “Chip” Noble III died early Monday.
The Xenia native started in the sport at a young age and built himself into one of the top trainers and drivers in the sport of harness racing. He was a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
During his career, he was one of the top percentage drivers in the sport, winning North American UDR crowns in 1978, 1981 and 1983. He also represented the U. S. in the biennial World Driving Championship in 2001 and 2003. He finished fourth in 2001 and sixth in 2003.
Noble was also the first trainer to win the Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Award twice. He was named the top trainer on the Ohio Sire Stakes circuit in 1993 and 1998.
Noble was the director of the USTA and the Ohio Harness Horseman’s Association, and was a member of the Little Brown Jug Society.
In an article published on oddsonracing.com, Noble said “I like to drive and I like to take on catch drives, but I don’t really think you can learn anything by driving some of the lesser horses.”
The website article continued that Noble was a natural driver from the start and won driving titles at Letonia and Lebanon raceways early in his career before focusing his attention on the bigger racing circuits.
His son, Dan, was North America’s top dash-winning driver in 2011, showing the skill has continued to the next generation.
He is survived by his wife and his three children, Sam, Dan and Meredith.