Raised in Kemptville, Bernie Brennan shone on the gridiron and hockey rinks in his youth. He was a standout at St. Patrick’s High School in Ottawa, where he received the prestigious Doran Award. At 19, as a halfback with the Ottawa Rough Riders, he won the Gruen Award as the Big Four Rookie of the Year in 1956.He attended the Ontario Veterinarian College and rewrote their record books 1947-51. With three consecutive intercollegiate championships, he was inducted into the University of Guelph Sports Hall of Fame.
Returning to Ottawa, he helped the Riders win the 1951 Grey Cup.
His love of horses led him to become a director of Rideau Carleton Raceway, where he was appointed track veterinarian. He was a driver, breeder and trainer and a part owner of the famed Cam Fella, who earned more than $2.5 million in purses. Dr. Brennan is a member of the Ontario Racing Commission.