The Stable horse sale - live stream

For those who can’t attend The Stable’s Open House this Saturday, December 10, the commentators on the live broadcast of the harness racing event will do their best to inform (and entertain) the video streaming audience.  Guest Commentators Bill O’Donnell and Fred MacDonald will guide viewers through the 44 horses slated to be showcased on the track at the Tomiko Training Centre, starting at 10:45 a.m. EST via on The Stable.ca Facebook page. Facebook Live (@thestablecanada). Mark McKelvie of the Woodbine Entertainment Group will conduct interviews following each set of yearlings. O’Donnell, known as The Magic Man is one of harness racing’s most prolific drivers with 5,743 winners and earnings of more than $99 million. He’s a member of both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame and the U.S. Hall of Fame at Goshen, N.Y. Fred MacDonald is a PEI native and CBC host of Fiddler's Facts.   “We need hosts that can keep an audience’s attention over the entire three-hour broadcast,” explained The Stable’s Anthony MacDonald. “O’Donnell has more stories than Warner Bros. And Freddie, who is my father, talks more, faster and with more colour than anyone I know. So, dialogue shouldn't be an issue. Tune-in for the humor alone.” The Open House & Horse Sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (with the broadcast scheduled for 10:45 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.). The event is an opportunity to see the fractional ownership operation up-close and personal. “The message from The Stable is simple: if our industry is to grow in a substantial way, we have be serious about how we will do that,” said MacDonald. “Fractional ownership, done in this manner, will change the face of horse racing forever and you will get a real glimpse of how during Saturday’s Open House.” The event is free but an RSVP is required and a non-perishable food item for the Guelph Food Bank is appreciated. All ages are welcome. Complimentary hot drinks and food will be available. There are currently 61 horses and 164 active racehorse owners in The Stable. During the Open House & Horse Sale, guests are invited to meet the horses and chat with the Anthony & Amy MacDonald, and meet other racehorse owners in The Stable and industry professionals. The Stable.ca is inviting other trainers to participate in the event, at no cost. “It’s an opportunity for trainers to showcase a horse or two of their own that they’re selling shares of,” said Anthony MacDonald. “They’ll have a different audience than usual, and the chance to network with people who are looking to get into the game.”  Interested trainers must contact MacDonald no later than Dec. 8 to participate. A catalogue will be available on The Stable.ca website on Dec. 9/16, detailing all horses for which shares are available for purchase. The catalogue will include a schedule of when each horse will be showcased on the broadcast during the Open House & Horse Sale. Complete event details and the RSVP form are available here. For more information, contact Anthony at anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263. Begins 10:45am EST.

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Exciting harness racing and a few extras

Trackside, an informative harness racing column by Diane Daniels, has appeared in the Truro Daily news for the past 13 years. Daniels, also race office supervisor at Truro Raceway, does a great job promoting harness racing and keeping fans updated on horses, drivers and race results. Quietly, behind the scenes, Daniels works positively with horsemen and she plays a key role in projects such as the annual standardbred sale. Reading Daniels’s column last Saturday, a headline 'Calendars' caught my attention. Daniels explained that Truro Raceway was once again offering The Heart of Harness Racing calendars at a cost of $5 with the proceeds being donated directly to Truro's Colchester Food Bank.dvertisement  Daniels pointed out that the month of March photo was a submission from Truro track photographer Kyle Burton. “At The Wire” is a breathtaking four-horse finish Burton captured earlier this summer at Truro Raceway. It was an easy decision – deciding to support a good cause Sunday afternoon and to watch some exciting harness racing. Arriving at Truro Raceway for the third race of a nine-dash card, following the race, I purchased a food bank supporting calendar at the race office. Great racing and interesting conversations followed. “It was a surprising photo to capture,” Burton said as we discussed his calendar photo. “I didn't expect the finish to be that close. It's really unique to get four horses that close together at the end of a mile. It was really exciting and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it.” The feature eighth race was for winners over $950 their last five starts; the purse was $1475. Surrealist, a 10-year-old gelding, won the race for driver Paul Langille in a time of 2:01 on a track rated off by three seconds. “Surrealist is owned by Dana Getto of New Waterford,” Burton said. “He is now trained by Paul Langille, that win makes him a 19-race-winner in 2016. He is tied with two other horses as the winningest horse this year in North America. Surrealist will race in Truro for the remainder of the season, which is good for local fans.” Burton has a vast knowledge of harness racing and when Surrealist was featured this month in the national Trot Magazine, Burton's photos helped tell his incredible story. Langille, who drove Surrealist to the win in the feature, commented. “I sat fifth early in the mile, I started to move my horse at the three-eighth marker. We came second over following Rawdon Gold Digger. He took us to the three-quarter pole where I moved to go three high – Surrealist and His Boy Elroy, with Bernard McCallum, battled it out the last quarter mile. This horse has 54 lifetime wins, he really knows how to dig in the last quarter of a mile." With two driving wins on the afternoon, Langille, the 2015 driving champion with 55 wins, brought his 2016 total to 23 wins to sit fourth among Truro's top drivers. Darren Crowe is closing in on the driving championship with 39 wins, Ryan Ellis is second with 28, Todd Trites has 27 for third and Ernie Laffin holds down fifth spot with 19 wins. Adding to the afternoon were comments from longtime handicappers Gary "Mouse" Fielding and Irving Mathews. Fielding and Mathews shared unique methods for picking winners. Scott Daniels It was good to talk to former driver Scott Daniels, Diane's husband, another very knowledgeable race follower. “The races are very competitive and they are fast,” Scott said. “Years of breeding the best to the best is now on the race track. There are no clunkers any more. We also have quite a number of good young drivers, I enjoy the game; I haven't missed a card this year. With me, it's close between watching harness racing and watching hockey, I love both sports." Scott began driving pacers and trotters in 1957. He drove his last horse at Truro Raceway in 2010. Scott's record shows 3,835 drives and he recorded 462 wins. There were some years along the way he could not drive because of his 30-year career as a correctional officer at Dorchester Penitentiary. A member of the famed Daniels harness racing family, Scott's father, Frank Daniels, had more than 1,700 career wins, while his brother Gary paraded back more than 1,500 winners. Lyle Carter's sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857. Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News

Icthelight Hanover

Big Jim fillies sweep round one of Niagara

TORONTO, December 9 - Icthelight Hanover and Jimbelina made their sire Big Jim proud in the opening round of the harness racing Niagara Series Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 16 sophomore pacing fillies battled over two $17,000 first leg divisions Friday evening. Icthelight Hanover kicked the series off by scoring a 13-1 upset for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The daughter of Big Jim blasted to the front from the eight-hole and posted an opening-quarter of :28. The public's choice, Hot Spot Hanover, circled around from the two-hole to grab command heading towards the half and posted fractions of :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, Hot Spot Hanover could not live up to her 2/5 billing and gave way to Icthelight Hanover up the inside. The Zeron trainee was able to muscle by the favourite and reached the line a nose ahead of an outside charging Queenofthejungle for a 1:54.1 score. Hot Spot Hanover finished third. Icthelight Hanover now has five wins and over $49,000 earned this season in 25 starts. The sophomore pacing filly has now visited the winner's circle six-times in her career and banked $69,056 for owner Holland Racing Stable. The Zeron trainee paid $28.80 to win. Icthelight Hanover The second division saw another opening-quarter leader click off a two-hole trip, as Jimbelina won in a career-best 1:52.2. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out from post-seven by Sylvain Filion and posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.2. Before the field could enter the backstretch, Docs Sausalito was out of the two-hole to circle around to command. Docs Sausalito kept the tempo honest, pacing by the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24. In the stretch, Jimbelina was angled to the outside and immediately surged by Docs Sausalito to go on for a length and a half victory. Docs Sausalito finished second, while Art Angel Baby was third. A daughter of Big Jim, Jimbelina made just $360 in three starts as a rookie, but now is an eight-time winner with over $47,000 banked in 17 starts as a three-year-old. The Bourassa trainee is owned by Roland Trudel. Jimbelina paid $7.10 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-old pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible to the Niagara Series. Round two of the series will take place next Friday (December 16). Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with the first leg of the Valedictory Series and a $34,000 Preferred Pace headlining an 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

The Raceway at Western Fair District.jpg

The Raceway looks to add to its team

London, December 9, 2016 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has an exciting opportunity for an Assistant Racing Manager to join its harness racing team. The Raceway, located in London, Ontario, is a part of the Western Fair Association - a not-for-profit Agricultural Association that operates a multi-faceted entertainment District which includes music and shopping, gaming and sports along with the annual Western Fair. The Raceway hosts an eight-month live racing season (October - May) highlighted by Molson Pace night, held on the last Friday in May (Closing Night). As part of the management team, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a growing organization with a long term commitment to horse racing in the province. Those interested in finding out more about this position can click here. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email: gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com  

Don't bother printing off a copy of the record book at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park because harness racing driver Marc Campbell is ready to rewrite the whole thing. The 16-dash card gets underway at 12:30 P.M. with Campbell driving in 12 races as he searches for win number 131 of the capital oval racing season. The 'King' of Island Racing set the current record of 130 dash wins as a driver during the 2012 Charlottetown racing season, and currently has tied that mark so far in 2016. The new record could be set in race 1 on the program, as the recently O'Brien award nominated Campbell drives race favorite Ideal Lifestyle from post 3 for owners Darla Jay of Charlottetown and Shelly Wilkie of Stratford. The race 4 Open Trot has another Campbell favorite as his own trainee, Freddie, leaves from post 6 in the field of as many for owner Three Wisemen Stable of Cornwall. The $1,850 event also has Frill Seeker fresh off a win for Kenny Arsenault from post 4 and Holy Molie Maggie and Gary Chappell from post 5 after defeating Freddie on Nov. 26. The race 15 featured pace has Drivingthedragon N favored again while handicapped to the outside of the field of eight. Jason Hughes trains and drives the mare for owner Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge. I D K has been playing the bridesmaid as he rides a streak of three second place finishes into the rail spot in the $2,300 race. The final dash of the program sees Jetta Flys ride his two race win streak into post 4 for co-owner and trainer Stephen Quinn of Stratford and co-owner John Quinn of Charlottetown. The eight-year-old son of Rambaran has been undefeated since teaming up with driver Corey MacPherson on horseperson's day on Nov. 26. He will face a tougher test this Saturday afternoon with Simon Said (Arsenault) drawing post 2, Jetster (Campbell) with rail control and Doing Some Damage (Brian MacPhee) shouldered with post 8. For race programs and top picks go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

Tina Sugarman's breakthrough debut novel, Horse Flesh, has soared back to #1 status among all equine book sales for the third time on amazon.com in Canada. The novel first debuted on September 1 and has rapidly grown in popularity in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Horse Flesh is a fictional thriller mystery novel that enters the highly competitive world of Standardbred harness horse racing. The novel is fast paced with shocking twists and turns through its dramatic ending. "It is so exciting that the novel's sales have climbed back to #1 in Canada." Said Tina Sugarman. "To have now been #1 in Canada more than three times is outstanding. "The reviews on the novel have also been fantastic," Sugarman said. "Many people are just finishing reading Horse Flesh and then telling their friends and family to read it too. And with the holidays rapidly approaching, I hope many will get Horse Flesh for their equine family members and friends. It would make the best present for any horse lover." Horse Flesh is currently the #2 equine read in Australia/New Zealand and is #96 world-wide in equine read sales on Amazon.com. Author Tina Sugarman's debut novel was born out of her personal experiences and portrays a faithful and compelling insight into the world of harness racing. She has been involved with Standardbred horse racing in Ontario for nearly two decades, spending summers on a horse farm a few miles from Mohawk Raceway, the premier harness racing track in Canada. Horse Flesh is available through all booksellers in paperback and all ereader formats. By Steve Wolf, for Tina Sugarman, Author  

For those who can’t attend The Stable’s Open House this Saturday, December 10, the commentators on the live broadcast of the harness racing event will do their best to inform (and entertain) the video streaming audience.  Guest Commentators Bill O’Donnell and Fred MacDonald will guide viewers through the 44 horses slated to be showcased on the track at the Tomiko Training Centre, starting at 10:45 a.m. EST via on The Stable.ca Facebook page. Facebook Live (@thestablecanada). Mark McKelvie of the Woodbine Entertainment Group will conduct interviews following each set of yearlings. O’Donnell, known as The Magic Man is one of harness racing’s most prolific drivers with 5,743 winners and earnings of more than $99 million. He’s a member of both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame and the U.S. Hall of Fame at Goshen, N.Y. Fred MacDonald is a PEI native and CBC host of Fiddler's Facts.   “We need hosts that can keep an audience’s attention over the entire three-hour broadcast,” explained The Stable’s Anthony MacDonald. “O’Donnell has more stories than Warner Bros. And Freddie, who is my father, talks more, faster and with more colour than anyone I know. So, dialogue shouldn't be an issue. Tune-in for the humor alone.” The Open House & Horse Sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (with the broadcast scheduled for 10:45 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.). The event is an opportunity to see the fractional ownership operation up-close and personal. “The message from The Stable is simple: if our industry is to grow in a substantial way, we have be serious about how we will do that,” said MacDonald. “Fractional ownership, done in this manner, will change the face of horse racing forever and you will get a real glimpse of how during Saturday’s Open House.” The event is free but an RSVP is required and a non-perishable food item for the Guelph Food Bank is appreciated. All ages are welcome. Complimentary hot drinks and food will be available. There are currently 61 horses and 164 active racehorse owners in The Stable. During the Open House & Horse Sale, guests are invited to meet the horses and chat with the Anthony & Amy MacDonald, and meet other racehorse owners in The Stable and industry professionals. The Stable.ca is inviting other trainers to participate in the event, at no cost. “It’s an opportunity for trainers to showcase a horse or two of their own that they’re selling shares of,” said Anthony MacDonald. “They’ll have a different audience than usual, and the chance to network with people who are looking to get into the game.”  Interested trainers must contact MacDonald no later than Dec. 8 to participate. A catalogue will be available on The Stable.ca website on Dec. 9/16, detailing all horses for which shares are available for purchase. The catalogue will include a schedule of when each horse will be showcased on the broadcast during the Open House & Horse Sale. Complete event details and the RSVP form are available here. For more information, contact Anthony at anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263. Other media about The Stable.ca: • The Sun: Feb. 20/16 article and video • Prime Time Sports The Fan 590 interview, March 2016 Anthony MacDonald anthony@thestable.ca (519) 400-4263

Environment Canada has issued a snow squall advisory for the London area overnight Thursday and into Friday, thus officials at The Raceway at Western Fair District have cancelled harness racing qualifying on Friday morning. The qualifiers will instead switch to this Monday morning at 11 a.m. The track will also be closed for training on Friday morning. Live racing is scheduled for Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Track officials will continue to monitor the weather and plan to update that status of that night's program by 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday.    

ELORA, ON -- In the wake of recent industry consultations with Ontario Racing (OR) on a potential long term funding plan, the General Manager of one of the tracks involved in the Ontario Standardbred Alliance offered his perspective on the current climate facing the harness racing industry in the province. "At present there is a great deal of uncertainty in the industry regarding the proposed Alliance structure for racetracks with Woodbine Racetrack acting as a service provider to carry out the administration of the business activities and services required by the group," said Dr. Ted Clarke of Grand River Raceway in Elora. "I have been witness to many constructive actions undertaken by Woodbine (and formerly OJC) that facilitated Elmira Raceway's emergence from a debt ridden entity in 1987 into the operation at Grand River Raceway today." In January of 1990, Woodbine agreed to the first intertrack of the Greenwood Standardbred signal outside their own system at Mohawk Racetrack when they teamed up for common pool wagering for the customers at Elmira Raceway. This opened the door for similar intertrack activities at many of the province's 'B' tracks and led to an increase in purses at those venues. Woodbine agreed to the first combination of live and intertrack programs using their signal mixed with the live operation in Elmira. Woodbine also agreed to send their thoroughbred signal to Elmira providing the basis for mixed breed cards. In 1997, they accepted the Elmira live signal to distribute throughout their network, the first time a 'B' track had received such an advantage. When the Slots At Racetracks Initiative saw the necessity for Elmira to move to Elora, Woodbine agreed to that move into what was at that time a shared home market area. Woodbine gave full approval that Grand River could operate as it had in its own home market area. "During the last 25 years, Woodbine could have overrun the Elmira/Grand River operation many times and it would have had the potential to increase their bottom line," explained Clarke. "It should come as no surprise that they didn't. The current Alliance structure builds on the cooperative relationship that has existed for many years and I would expect the proposed province-wide Alliance to do likewise." Eight tracks make up the Alliance, including Grand River, Flamboro, Georgian, Hanover, Clinton, Mohawk, Woodbine and The Raceway at Western Fair District. The partnership has been administered by the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) and the unique business model has allowed the tracks involved to realize efficiencies in several areas which have been critical to the overall success of the Alliance in the first three years. These include a centralized tote service, centralized race office and purse cheque distribution, the handling of simulcast contracts with other racing organizations and ADW platforms, in addition to other back of house services. The Standardbred Alliance has been able to not only stabilize but grow wagering on its product by offering a consistent wagering platform in more locations. And, by linking all tracks to the HPIBet platform, offer a loyalty program across the province. The remote wagering on the Standardbred Alliance has grown with the integrated approach to scheduling and expanded distribution, especially in the U.S. "A lot of hard work and co-operation between the Alliance tracks has produced positive results and we believe that customers in Ontario have benefitted. We should strive to continue improving this customer experience and we feel that the stability of a long term funding agreement and a stronger Alliance will be vital to achieving this," said Clarke. Dr. Ted Clarke (519) 846-5455 ext. 399 | (519) 465-7884 Kelly Spencer  

TORONTO, December 7 - A few flurries are expected to be floating through the Toronto air this weekend, which only seems fitting as Winter Series harness racing action begins Friday at Woodbine Racetrack. The opening leg of the Niagara Series for three-year-old pacing fillies is carded for Friday evening, while round one of the Valedictory Series for sophomore pacing colts and geldings is scheduled for Saturday. Each series features two preliminary legs and a final. The Niagara and Valedictory Series finals will both take place on the special Boxing Day matinee card (December 26). Non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016 were eligible to be nominated to each series. A group of 16 three-year-old pacing fillies have been split into two $17,000 first leg divisions of the Niagara Series. Mike Bishop trainee Hot Spot Hanover is coming into the first Niagara division on a roll with four wins in her last six starts. The daughter of Well Said has been installed as the 8/5 morning line favourite and will leave from the rail with driver Sylvain Filion. Hot Spot Hanover has won five of 12 starts this season with eight top-three finishes. Of the 16 fillies entered in the Niagara, Hot Spot Hanover has made the fewest number of starts in 2016. Marvalous Jet is the 7/2 second-choice from post-four and will be making her second start for new trainer Dean Nixon. A daughter of Delmarvalous, Marvalous Jet spent her summer racing on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit and is a nine-time winner from 28 starts in 2016. The Nixon trainee finished second in her debut for new connections last Friday at Woodbine. The second Niagara division features a pair of fillies coming into Friday's contest off a victory. Nick Gallucci trainee Docs Sausalito has won two of her last four starts, including a four-length score in a Non-Winners of Three event last Friday. The daughter of Art Colony has won five of 20 this season and is the 5/2 morning line favourite from the rail for driver Randy Waples. Big Jim filly Jimbelina is the 3-1 second-choice and has put together a strong 2016 campaign. The Rene Bourassa trainee has seven victories and six runner-up finishes in 16 starts. Jimbelina most recently captured a Non-Winners of Two event last Friday at Woodbine and will once again have Sylvain Filion at the controls. The duo will start from post-seven. The Niagara Series divisions have been carded as Races 2 and 8 on Friday's 10-race card. Last year's Niagara was captured by Wanda Bayama, who swept the series for Filion and Stephane Larocque. The Valedictory Series has attracted 20 three-year-old colts and geldings for Saturday's opening leg. The first ten-horse $17,000 division features Bruce Goit trainee Lyons Sands. The son of Somebeachsomewhere will be making just his second career start on the WEG Circuit, but the sophomore has been red-hot this season on half-mile ovals. Lyons Sands has won eight of 10 starts this season and is riding a four-race win streak into Saturday's contest. J Harris has driven the Goit trainee to seven of his eight victories this season and once again will be his driver in the Valedictory. Another sophomore coming into the Valedictory with plenty of momentum is Awesomeness for trainer Ryan Maxwell. The son of Mach Three didn't make his career debut until October 4 and has since won four of seven starts, including his last two outings. Awesomeness recently joined the Maxwell barn and won his debut for his new connections on November 28 at Woodbine. Randy Waples is listed to drive the Mach Three gelding from post-eight. Ontario Sired Autumn Series winner Think On It headlines the second split. The Bob McIntosh trainee recently had a five-race win streak snapped, but will look to start a new streak from post-five Saturday. The son of Ponder has won five of 13 starts this season and will reunite with Paul MacDonell, who steered Think On It to a sweep of the Autumn Series. The second division also features a quarter of sophomores coming up from south of the border. Robert Key homebred pacers Artful Bliss (post-three) and Dragon Strikes (post-six) are shipping in from The Meadows to race for trainer Rod Boyd, while Mark Ford has sent up pacing colt Breaktime Hanover (post-seven) to Gregg McNair. The fourth newcomer to the circuit is Keystone Dylan (post-nine), who had been racing at Pocono and will be making his debut for new connections of Marty Fine and company. The Valedictory Series divisions have been carded as Races 3 and 4 on Saturday's 11-race card. Last year's Valedictory final was captured by Shades Of Bay in a series-record clocking of 1:50.3 for driver Phil Hudon and trainer Sean Mehlenbacher. Post time for Friday and Saturday's cards of racing is 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

I have spent quite a bit of time this year getting to know the horse industry in Ontario. One thing I have noticed is the enduring passion of our horse people, including my veterinary colleagues, regardless of the ups and downs of the industry.   The equine industry in Ontario has encountered real challenges over the last few years, but it remains an important contributor to the culture and economy our province. The racing industry has been hit the hardest, but we are now seeing consultation and reorganization of racing, leading to an atmosphere of cautious optimism at tracks and training stables.   The University of Guelph has always played an important role in supporting the industry through education, research, and clinical care, primarily through the efforts of our talented people in the Ontario Veterinary College, Ontario Agricultural College and Equine Guelph. Changes are afoot in the industry, and the role of our university may be set to expand once again.   Equine Guelph has a special place in the horse industry. Its mission is to support the health and well-being of horses and the equine industry. Since its inception in 2003, Equine Guelph has kept an unwavering focus on this mandate with remarkable success. This past week, I attended a meeting of the Equine Guelph Advisory Council and was once again impressed with the industry support around the table. The output of this centre is especially impressive given that it is almost entirely self-supporting.   Equine Guelph's education programs are the most widely known examples of their success in connecting with the horse industry. The student numbers in these programs, such as the continuing education program in Equine Studies, and certificates in Equine Science, Business Management and Welfare, illustrate their success. Since the first diploma in Equine Studies was awarded in 2009, 170 diplomas have been awarded. To date, 365 Equine Science certificates have been awarded since this program began in 2002. The Equine Science certificate program is the first of its kind from an accredited university with evidence-based information and welfare of the animals as the underpinning of all its offerings.   Education offerings such as the Equine Welfare Certificate, a partnership between Equine Guelph, the Campbell Centre of the Study of Animal Welfare (CCSAW) and Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd), emphasize the co-operative partnerships Equine Guelph has developed.   The remarkable reach of Equine Guelph cannot be overstated. Horse people in the US and Britain often know about Equine Guelph. The award-winning EquiMania! Program for children, which just celebrated its 10th year at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, is a regular fixture at the Minnesota State Fair. Last year, as I was preparing to take my position here, my farm clients in PEI were envious that I was about to meet Gayle!   Equine Guelph also prides itself on developing educational programing that is relevant, practical and topical. In 2016, Equine Guelph responded quickly to the unfortunate rash of horse barn fires, launching a Fire Prevention program providing valuable information to prevent fires.   The innovative programs of Equine Guelph were recognized in 2015 when Gayle Ecker was awarded the Equine Industry Vision Award, sponsored by the American Horse Publications Group and Zoetis. This is the only time a Canadian has been so honoured, and recognizes Gayle's leadership and the growing recognition of Equine Guelph's high-quality programming.   Beyond its mandate for education, Equine Guelph has been a trusted steward of the industry's research funding. In 2015-2016, more than $130,000 was directed towards research to support new and ongoing projects including research into new approaches to stem cell therapy, emerging disease concerns, failure of pregnancy, and new approaches to modeling and tracking biosecurity issues and risks.   Much of this research draws on the talents of researchers at the Ontario Veterinary College who bring expertise in infectious disease, biosecurity, reproductive technologies and therapies. Emeritus professors such as Dr. Laurent Viel and Peter Physick-Sheard are internationally known for their contributions to horse health. Not only do these projects focus on industry-identified priorities, they provide important training opportunities for student veterinarians and develop local expertise in these important areas.   Communication and promotion of University of Guelph research results occurs via print and social media. A new on-line portal is about to be launched which will provide a platform for connecting with the horse world at the owner and the advisor levels.   Aside from Equine Guelph, there is a lot going on at the UofG. The equine undergraduate program at OAC is expanding, with several new equine faculty now at the Guelph campus and enrolments increasing. Interest in equine careers remains strong in our DVM program, and there are outstanding practices looking to hire our graduates. On December 15th, equine faculty in the Health Sciences Centre are hosting a Research Update for practitioners, signaling a renewed commitment to building relationships through the equine veterinary community.   At the same time, in concert with OVC strategic planning, and the on-going racing industry renewal process, the members of OVC, OAC and Equine Guelph have convened a planning group to look at leveraging their success. Dr. Scott Weese is leading the group, and they are making plans to better position UofG within the industry, and further expand our role in research and education in support of a sustainable and innovative horse industry. Look for further announcements on new models for funding equine research and education in the New Year.   Story by: Karen Mantel   Equine Guelph, 50 McGilvray St, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program is currently organizing its 19th Annual Stallion Auction to be held through OnGait.com Feb 7-10, 2017. The harness racing program annually offers hundreds of former racehorses a safety net through rehabilitation, retraining, and placement in carefully screened and monitored homes. New Vocations embraces racing and the excitement and joy of racehorse ownership. At the conclusion of a horse's racing career, New Vocations stands ready to assist with its aftercare needs. "We rehabilitate the horses as needed, break them to ride and care for them until a qualified adopter can be found," said Executive Director Dot Morgan. "Then we educate the adopters on the idiosyncrasies of racehorses, answer myriads of questions, encourage them through problems and offer training guidelines. And we will always take our horses back. "The stallion auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year. If you have a breeding that's not going to be used, please consider donating it. Or if you know someone that's not using theirs, tell them about our need. Generating dollars is the ultimate goal so if you don't have a breeding, think about a year end contribution." New Vocations is a 501 (c) 3 charity so donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. FMI email dot@horseadoption.com or call (937) 947-4020. Donations can be made through our website at www.NewVocations.org or mailed to New Vocations 3293 Wright Rd. Laura, OH 45337. Dot Morgan  

On Tuesday, harness racing's newest inductee to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Yves Filion, will be feted before the Quebec National Assembly in Quebec City. Filion, and his renowned Bayama Farms, are names that have resounded throughout North America in harness racing over the last few decades, and have resonated with the name of his home province, Quebec. Sponsored by his deputy in Argenteuil, Yves St-Denis, Yves Filion will be honored before the National Assembly with a special tribute for his immense contributions to the development of harness racing in Quebec for many years. Yves comes from a family steeped in harness racing history, the Filion's, which made itself known at all the North American Standardbred racetracks. But beyond the name Filion, there is the name Yves, a man who built himself and whom he radiated by his own exploits. For more than fifty years in the racing industry does not necessarily bring success, but for Yves, that was the case. Goliath Bayama, Leader Bayama, Rebeka Bayama, Naomi Bayama, Lady Bayama, champions of their time, is the fruit of the passionate work of a man who has possessed all the keys to this difficult art of developing champions. "This is such an honor," Filion said, "Something special that can happen only once in a lifetime. I am very proud and at a loss for words to express my feelings. With this honor and my induction to the Hall of Fame in August, it has made for a very good year. "If not for the many owners who supported me," Filion added, "My career would not have been so fulfilling. I must thank many of my owners including Réal Bélanger, Brian Paquet, Jacques Damours, Luc Paiement, Gaston Bibeau, Sylvain Deschenaux, Serge Godin, Gene Kruger, Normand Mondou and others helped me a great deal." Filion, 68, from Saint-Andre-D'Argent, has been one of Quebec's premier drivers and trainers for the better part of 30 years. He has driven in over 18,000 races and has 4,387 victories and earnings of over $26.7 million to his credit. He's also trained 273 winners and horses to earnings of nearly $3.7 million, and bred many successful horses at his Bayama Farms. Two of the most successful horses that he developed, trained and drove were millionaire pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama. Yves trained and drove Runnymede Lobell to victory in the 1988 North America Cup, his richest of 31 victories. Runnymede Lobell won over $1.6 million during his career. Goliath Bayama was another millionaire that Yves not only trained but bred. Considered his top trainee, Goliath Bayama won 25 races with earnings of over $1.5 million in his career. After his two-year-old season, Yves turned the driving duties over to his son Sylvain. The pair combined for a runner up finish in the North America Cup in his three-year-old campaign. As an older pacer, Goliath won both the Breeders Crown in 1:48.4 and then the US Pacing Championship in 1:48.2 in 2001 at the Meadowalnds. On August 19, 2001, Filion's Goliath Bayama set a Canadian record of 1:48.1 at Hippodrome de Montreal and then another of his trainees, Ring of Life, a horse he had purchased as a yearling, captured the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. Filion's son, Sylvain drove both horses. Filion also bred, owned and trained the top pacing mare Rebeka Bayama, a multiple stakes winner who won 23 races and over $690,000 during her career. Filion also bred, trained and owned a number of Quebec champions including Goodtime Bayama, Sandy Bayama and Le Brave. Yves is a brother to Hall of Famer Herve Filion and the youngest of eight boys and two girls. His son, Sylvain Filion, was Canada's Driver of the Year in 2012, 2013 and 2015. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Drivingthedragon N made quick work of her harness racing feature race rivals on Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Charlottetown. Leaving from post 7, the Jason Hughes trainee blasted off the wings, engaging in an early dual with Motorino to the opening quarter before taking complete control and drawing off to win by six. Owned by Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge, she laid down fractions of :28.1, :58.4, 1:28.2 before closing in out in 1:58.1 over a rain soaked capital city oval. The seven-year-old daughter of Sutter Hanover is making a late case for the Aged Pacing Mare of the Year award in the region. Since arriving on red soil the mare has seven wins from 13 starts, including the Atlantic Aged Mares final and knocking off invitational superstar D Gs Camme. The victory capped off another stellar day for 'The Blue Knight', in race eight he steered Dial The Bossman to his fourth consecutive victory, using first up tactics to win by three and a quarter lengths. The two-year-old son of Artistic Fella has been impressive in his young racing career for trainer Tom Weatherbie and owner Doug MacPhee. It was part of a driving hat-trick who also scored with trainee First Art Down. Fresh off winning the Paul MacDonald Drivers Championship last week, Corey MacPherson picked up right where he left off scoring three victories on the card. Macpherson, who is enjoying a career best season scored with Just A Professor from off the pace and followed up with front-end victories about Jetster and Jetta Flys. Marc Campbell will have to wait another day to break his record for most wins in a season at Red Shores Charlottetown. He headed into the card just two back from breaking the record but only managed to score with his own trainee Woodmere Articblue, who picked up her third straight victory. Veteran reinsman Kenny Arsenault was in fine form on Saturday afternoon with a pair of victories aboard Frill Seeker and Dbs Rosco from his own outfit. The afternoon wager for the 16-dash card was $43,086. By Bo Ford

Charlottetown, PE - Two horses with winning streaks and one driver chasing history makes up the action packed 16 dash harness racing card Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time is 12:30pm. Dial The Bossman, a two year-old son of Artistic Fella, rides a three race win streak into race 8. Known as "Bruce" around the barn, Dial The Bossman leaves from the rail as trainer Tom Weatherbie lists Jason Hughes to do the driving for owner Doug MacPhee, New Haven, PE. The colt has been impressive with front end tactic victories and that brisk 28.2 closer in his last start. Meanwhile, Political Crisis goes after his fourth in a row in the 11th race showdown for trainer-driver Adam Merner and his co-owner Max Sehl. The pacer has 21 wins, 16 seconds and 20 third place finishes out of 152 races lifetime. Drivingthedragon N (Hughes) has been established as the morning line favorite (5-2) in the afternoon top class in race 15. Post position 7 doesn't bother the odds maker. The mare, owned by Donald MacRae, Vernon Bridge, hasn't missed a top three finish since making her first appearance on the red soil August 27th. Motorino (Terry Gallant), Rash B Havior (Ken Murphy) and Eagle Jolt (Marc Campbell) are also listed as top contenders in the field. Campbell is looking to make history once again on Saturday as he attempts to break his own single-season win record of 130, set in 2012 at Charlottetown. The O'Brien award winner needs two more victories to open a new chapter at the legendary CDP oval. The two-time Gold Cup winning pilot has an impressive resume since starting his driving career in 2004 with 8,580 starts, 1,690 victories, 1,292 seconds and 1,136 thirds. His first career win was July 24, 2004 aboard Crestwave Gaze. For race programs and top picks go to www.redshores.ca   By Lee Drake

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For those who can’t attend The Stable’s Open House this Saturday, December 10, the commentators on the live broadcast of the harness racing event will do their best to inform (and entertain) the video streaming audience.  Guest Commentators Bill O’Donnell and Fred MacDonald will guide viewers through the 44 horses slated to be showcased on the track at the Tomiko Training Centre, starting at 10:45 a.m. EST via on The Stable.ca Facebook page. Facebook Live (@thestablecanada). Mark McKelvie of the Woodbine Entertainment Group will conduct interviews following each set of yearlings. O’Donnell, known as The Magic Man is one of harness racing’s most prolific drivers with 5,743 winners and earnings of more than $99 million. He’s a member of both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame and the U.S. Hall of Fame at Goshen, N.Y. Fred MacDonald is a PEI native and CBC host of Fiddler's Facts.   “We need hosts that can keep an audience’s attention over the entire three-hour broadcast,” explained The Stable’s Anthony MacDonald. “O’Donnell has more stories than Warner Bros. And Freddie, who is my father, talks more, faster and with more colour than anyone I know. So, dialogue shouldn't be an issue. Tune-in for the humor alone.” The Open House & Horse Sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (with the broadcast scheduled for 10:45 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.). The event is an opportunity to see the fractional ownership operation up-close and personal. “The message from The Stable is simple: if our industry is to grow in a substantial way, we have be serious about how we will do that,” said MacDonald. “Fractional ownership, done in this manner, will change the face of horse racing forever and you will get a real glimpse of how during Saturday’s Open House.” The event is free but an RSVP is required and a non-perishable food item for the Guelph Food Bank is appreciated. All ages are welcome. Complimentary hot drinks and food will be available. There are currently 61 horses and 164 active racehorse owners in The Stable. During the Open House & Horse Sale, guests are invited to meet the horses and chat with the Anthony & Amy MacDonald, and meet other racehorse owners in The Stable and industry professionals. The Stable.ca is inviting other trainers to participate in the event, at no cost. “It’s an opportunity for trainers to showcase a horse or two of their own that they’re selling shares of,” said Anthony MacDonald. “They’ll have a different audience than usual, and the chance to network with people who are looking to get into the game.”  Interested trainers must contact MacDonald no later than Dec. 8 to participate. A catalogue will be available on The Stable.ca website on Dec. 9/16, detailing all horses for which shares are available for purchase. The catalogue will include a schedule of when each horse will be showcased on the broadcast during the Open House & Horse Sale. Complete event details and the RSVP form are available here. For more information, contact Anthony at anthony@thestable.ca or (519) 400-4263. Begins 10:45am EST.
Trackside, an informative harness racing column by Diane Daniels, has appeared in the Truro Daily news for the past 13 years. Daniels, also race office supervisor at Truro Raceway, does a great job promoting harness racing and keeping fans updated on horses, drivers and race results. Quietly, behind the scenes, Daniels works positively with horsemen and she plays a key role in projects such as the annual standardbred sale. Reading Daniels’s column last Saturday, a headline 'Calendars' caught my attention. Daniels explained that Truro Raceway was once again offering The Heart of Harness Racing calendars at a cost of $5 with the proceeds being donated directly to Truro's Colchester Food Bank.dvertisement  Daniels pointed out that the month of March photo was a submission from Truro track photographer Kyle Burton. “At The Wire” is a breathtaking four-horse finish Burton captured earlier this summer at Truro Raceway. It was an easy decision – deciding to support a good cause Sunday afternoon and to watch some exciting harness racing. Arriving at Truro Raceway for the third race of a nine-dash card, following the race, I purchased a food bank supporting calendar at the race office. Great racing and interesting conversations followed. “It was a surprising photo to capture,” Burton said as we discussed his calendar photo. “I didn't expect the finish to be that close. It's really unique to get four horses that close together at the end of a mile. It was really exciting and I’m sure the fans enjoyed it.” The feature eighth race was for winners over $950 their last five starts; the purse was $1475. Surrealist, a 10-year-old gelding, won the race for driver Paul Langille in a time of 2:01 on a track rated off by three seconds. “Surrealist is owned by Dana Getto of New Waterford,” Burton said. “He is now trained by Paul Langille, that win makes him a 19-race-winner in 2016. He is tied with two other horses as the winningest horse this year in North America. Surrealist will race in Truro for the remainder of the season, which is good for local fans.” Burton has a vast knowledge of harness racing and when Surrealist was featured this month in the national Trot Magazine, Burton's photos helped tell his incredible story. Langille, who drove Surrealist to the win in the feature, commented. “I sat fifth early in the mile, I started to move my horse at the three-eighth marker. We came second over following Rawdon Gold Digger. He took us to the three-quarter pole where I moved to go three high – Surrealist and His Boy Elroy, with Bernard McCallum, battled it out the last quarter mile. This horse has 54 lifetime wins, he really knows how to dig in the last quarter of a mile." With two driving wins on the afternoon, Langille, the 2015 driving champion with 55 wins, brought his 2016 total to 23 wins to sit fourth among Truro's top drivers. Darren Crowe is closing in on the driving championship with 39 wins, Ryan Ellis is second with 28, Todd Trites has 27 for third and Ernie Laffin holds down fifth spot with 19 wins. Adding to the afternoon were comments from longtime handicappers Gary "Mouse" Fielding and Irving Mathews. Fielding and Mathews shared unique methods for picking winners. Scott Daniels It was good to talk to former driver Scott Daniels, Diane's husband, another very knowledgeable race follower. “The races are very competitive and they are fast,” Scott said. “Years of breeding the best to the best is now on the race track. There are no clunkers any more. We also have quite a number of good young drivers, I enjoy the game; I haven't missed a card this year. With me, it's close between watching harness racing and watching hockey, I love both sports." Scott began driving pacers and trotters in 1957. He drove his last horse at Truro Raceway in 2010. Scott's record shows 3,835 drives and he recorded 462 wins. There were some years along the way he could not drive because of his 30-year career as a correctional officer at Dorchester Penitentiary. A member of the famed Daniels harness racing family, Scott's father, Frank Daniels, had more than 1,700 career wins, while his brother Gary paraded back more than 1,500 winners. Lyle Carter's sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857. Reprinted with permission of The Truro Daily News
TORONTO, December 9 - Icthelight Hanover and Jimbelina made their sire Big Jim proud in the opening round of the harness racing Niagara Series Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A group of 16 sophomore pacing fillies battled over two $17,000 first leg divisions Friday evening. Icthelight Hanover kicked the series off by scoring a 13-1 upset for trainer/driver Rick Zeron. The daughter of Big Jim blasted to the front from the eight-hole and posted an opening-quarter of :28. The public's choice, Hot Spot Hanover, circled around from the two-hole to grab command heading towards the half and posted fractions of :57.2 and 1:26. In the stretch, Hot Spot Hanover could not live up to her 2/5 billing and gave way to Icthelight Hanover up the inside. The Zeron trainee was able to muscle by the favourite and reached the line a nose ahead of an outside charging Queenofthejungle for a 1:54.1 score. Hot Spot Hanover finished third. Icthelight Hanover now has five wins and over $49,000 earned this season in 25 starts. The sophomore pacing filly has now visited the winner's circle six-times in her career and banked $69,056 for owner Holland Racing Stable. The Zeron trainee paid $28.80 to win. Icthelight Hanover The second division saw another opening-quarter leader click off a two-hole trip, as Jimbelina won in a career-best 1:52.2. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out from post-seven by Sylvain Filion and posted a snappy opening-quarter of :26.2. Before the field could enter the backstretch, Docs Sausalito was out of the two-hole to circle around to command. Docs Sausalito kept the tempo honest, pacing by the half in :55.2 and three-quarters in 1:24. In the stretch, Jimbelina was angled to the outside and immediately surged by Docs Sausalito to go on for a length and a half victory. Docs Sausalito finished second, while Art Angel Baby was third. A daughter of Big Jim, Jimbelina made just $360 in three starts as a rookie, but now is an eight-time winner with over $47,000 banked in 17 starts as a three-year-old. The Bourassa trainee is owned by Roland Trudel. Jimbelina paid $7.10 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-old pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016, were eligible to the Niagara Series. Round two of the series will take place next Friday (December 16). Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Racetrack with the first leg of the Valedictory Series and a $34,000 Preferred Pace headlining an 11-race card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie
London, December 9, 2016 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has an exciting opportunity for an Assistant Racing Manager to join its harness racing team. The Raceway, located in London, Ontario, is a part of the Western Fair Association - a not-for-profit Agricultural Association that operates a multi-faceted entertainment District which includes music and shopping, gaming and sports along with the annual Western Fair. The Raceway hosts an eight-month live racing season (October - May) highlighted by Molson Pace night, held on the last Friday in May (Closing Night). As part of the management team, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a growing organization with a long term commitment to horse racing in the province. Those interested in finding out more about this position can click here. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email: gblanchard@westernfairdistrict.com  
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