Story by Rebecca Roush – Video by Ted Pawlicki
If you have ever attended the races at Canterbury Park, you have probably heard the call to post. The song is a long standing tradition in horse racing and is played to call the racehorses to the starting gate before each race. At tracks across the country, it is often played live by a bugler who is traditionally seen dressed in a red coat and black cap.
Lynn Deichert, also known as Sir Leonard Deichert at Canterbury Park, is the track’s main bugler. He plays his horn from the Winner’s Circle approximately 10 minutes before each race, as he calls the horses to their post.
The musician got his start here 24 years ago when his parents, who were also both musicians, introduced him to Mary Green, Track President Randy Sampson’s assistant at the time. “My father and Mary were talking about the Park one day and he mentioned that I was a trumpet player. That’s all it took,” Deichert recalls.
He slowly worked his way into playing full time after managing other buglers and playing here himself on occasion. After two years, Deichert decided to begin playing for the entire racing season.
Bugling at the track is not the only job Deichert has. He utilizes his creative talents in everything he does. As the creator and owner of Lynn Deichert Music, an adjunct trumpet professor of 30 years at Carleton College, and owner of Adagio Manor Residential Assisted Living facility in Golden Valley, he is almost always juggling his time between managing and performing, which is fitting considering he used to be a juggler.
You may also have seen Deichert play the trumpet in his jazz trio at the Park on special race days.
Aside from playing the trumpet at events throughout the year, Deichert also plays the piano regularly at various office buildings in the Twin Cities. In fact, he often performs in the lobby of the same building track announcer Paul Allen hosts his KFAN radio program. “Leonard is one of the classiest, most dapper individuals I have ever met in horse racing and he is very good at what he does,” Allen commented.
At the bottom of his business card, you will see the words “music of distinction.” Deichert says that it is not just the quality of the music that sets him and his players apart from other performers, but it is also the way he treats others. “It is so important to pay attention to people and interact with your fans,” he said. Taking his own advice, you will often see Deichert signing autographs and taking photos with fans at the track.
Deichert finds time to listen to and watch other buglers perform. “I’ve learned that we’re all different and have a unique sound,” he commented.
While his fans make a big impact on Deichert’s ability to play here, he also credits the track president for his continued support over the years and says that Sampson has always stuck to tradition at Canterbury. “The company could easily change the call to post to an audio recording, but that’s just not how it is here,” Deichert said.
When he first started at Canterbury, Deichert recalls that he “didn’t know very much about horse racing.” Today however, he is very much intrigued by the sport. “I grew to love horse racing,” he said. “I have found myself becoming more excited about the sport with each season here.” Deichert also says that he has tremendous respect for all of the jockeys and what they do and that he often says “a prayer for them when they go out onto the track.”
When he does have free time, the bugler often spends it with his wife of 37 years, Louise and his son Jack.
While Deichert is certainly busy, he says that he is never too preoccupied to make time for other people. So, when you are at the track and want to be acquainted with a man of talent, dedication, and respect, stop by the winner’s circle and meet Sir Leonard Deichert.