With the surname Henry - Travis Henry was always destined for a career in harness racing. From the moment he jogged his first horse at the age of seven, Henry junior was injected with the racing bug - and now some 15 years later he is well ensconced in the sport having driven 58 career winners in just one-and-a-half seasons.
Henry’s father is Burlington-based Paul (447 training wins and 222 driving victories); his grandfather Ross trained 533 winners, while his Uncles Trevor, Wayne and George have all driven 3,880, 1,361 and 791 winners respectively.
Twenty-two-year-old Travis Henry was born in Brantford, which is located on the Grand River in Southern Ontario. He did contemplate working in construction when he left school but didn’t enjoy that.
“The horses were always calling. I worked for Dad for 18 months before going to work for Rene Allard for a year - and then Erv Miller for two summers. I trained the first of my five winners in 2009 but these days I concentrate solely on driving,” Henry told Harnesslink.
Burlington-based Henry drove 22 winners in his first season last year and so far in 2011 has saluted the judge 36 times. All up he has had 513 drives and placed 106 times for $285,040 in purses – not bad for just 18 months work.
These days Henry jogs and qualifies horses for former New Zealander and now Rockwood based Mark Herlihy - and does his catch-driving at Flamboro Downs, Hanover Raceway, Grand River Raceway, Georgian Downs, and occasionally Mohawk.
“My Dad uses me a lot to drive his horses and other trainers have been calling on me, so at 22 I’ve been lucky to get as many drives as I have.
“My goal is to be the best one day and for that to happen I just need the drives to keep coming my way. Ultimately I’d love to win the North America Cup one day,” Henry said.
“In the meantime though I just want to keep travelling and build up my name,” he added.
Henry rated the Herlihy trained 3-year-oldfilly, Misty’s Art as the best horse he had so far driven.
“She went 1:53 for me when finishing second behind Taxi Fare Hanover at Mohawk on June 30. I’m also hoping to win with her on Tuesday (today – July 5) in the $20,000 Town Pro Elimination at Mohawk. We have drawn two,” Henry said.
“I’m also driving 2-year-old colt Duke Of Vegas at Kawartha Downs on Thursday. He’s also trained by Mark and is having his first start. I think he’s a got quite a bit of potential,” Henry said.
Henry is certainly a name to watch for in the future. Winning six races in a series at Rideau Carlton in January this year is proof of that.
Outside racing the promising reinsman enjoys hockey and supports the Washington capitals.
He said the best horses he had seen were, , and .
By Duane RANGER (editor)
Misty's Art with Travis Henry driving finishing second behind Taxi Fare Hanover
Travis Henry's favourite hockey team - the Washington Capitals:
Visit Brantford - the home town of Travis Henry