Horse Racing New Brunswick officials have announced that this past weekends cancelled harness racing card will be made up this Saturday in Saint John. Condition sheet now available on Standardbred Canada for the October 15th program scheduled for 1:00 P.M. Draw will be held this week on Thursday so horsemen are asked to have entries in the box by 10:00 A.M.
Horse Racing New Brunswick will close out the provinces harness racing schedule for 2016 on Monday, October 10th at 1:00 P.M at Exhibition Park Raceway. Six races are scheduled with the track's driving title on the line. Todd Trites has one more win than Dr. Mitch Downey going into the afternoon's action. Trites, a former Maritime driving champion has been hot of late coming off a three win performance last week. He will have the advantage as he is driving in all six races. Downey meanwhile will drive two on the day including the top overnight pacer of 2016 in the province. Fall Bliss. He will see action in the final of the season in the top-class of the afternoon. Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks and best wishes on this Thanksgiving weekend to fans, horsemen, volunteers, and everyone who made 2016 racing possible in New Brunswick.
Horse Racing New Brunswick, in partnership with the Woodstock Driving Club and it's sponsors present a seven-dash harness racing program at Connell Park in Woodstock, New Brunswick on Friday evening starting at 7:00 P.M. Racing is a long standing tradition at the half-mile oval and part of Old Home week celebrations at the New Brunswick track. Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Woodstock organizers are expecting a large and enthusiast fan base on Friday night. Friday night's featured event will be the Kelti Burnett Memorial pace which carries with it an attractive purse of $ 6000 thanks to the sponsors of the prestigious race. Corey Ford, one of New Brunswick's leading dealerships, along with the McCain family are sponsoring the nights events. Now to the field of pacers assembled for the premier event of the night. Representing the Downey Stables are two pacers who have been a sold combination the last few weeks in New Brunswick. Fall Bliss, driven by Dr. Mitchell Downey leads the charge from the coveted rail position. He is the provinces top pacer this season and will face a fierce challenge not only from his stable mate City Of The Year for Mike Downey but invitees from Prince Edward Island. Downey's charge Fall Bliss is coming off four consecutive wins. He will have his hands full with P.E.I pacers Forever Paradise and Jeb who ship in for the event chasing the lucrative purse along with Machinthesand with catch-driver Todd Trites, Horse Racing New Brunswick, it's President Kathy McLean Harvey and organizers would like to thank everyone who made this week's racing at Connell Park in Woodstock a success, and helped to carry on another tradition in the provinces racing history. Scott Waddell
Ramblinglily, one of Atlantic Canada's premier pacing mares came to Woodstock, New Brunswick on Monday afternoon and returned a harness racing winner for co-owner Allan Jones in the sulky. Horse Racing New Brunswick in partnership with the Woodstock Jockey Club hosted a six-dash program on the civic holiday. Leaving from post-five, the mare was on top early and never looked back as she turned away the first-up challenger, City Of The Year ( Dr. Mitchell Downey ) to score her 43rd career victory. Norman Leger shares ownership in the mare who stopped the tele-timer in 1:59.2 for the victory. Momara rallied nicely for third in the $ 1350 top-class. Racing will continue on Friday night with the Kelti Burnett Memorial invitational for $ 5000 and the Eagles Nest Jr. Invitational for $ 2000. Scott Waddell
The locks on Winners Lounge and the offices of Horse Racing New Brunswick were changed overnight by Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. Roberta Nixon said after Winners closed around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, the bar's manager was contacted by its alarm company and told alarms were sounding. The bar manager returned to Winners to find Fredericton police, security, Mike Vokey, the Fredericton Exhibition's executive director, and a locksmith. "They've locked us out," said Nixon. who is the executive director of Horse Racing New Brunswick. "We cannot access our bar, our simulcast, our Coasters, or our head office and all of our business operations." Lease breaches Vokey said the exhibition's board of directors voted to take the action after numerous lease breaches by Horse Racing New Brunswick. Nixon said as of Sunday, her organization "didn't owe them a penny." Nixon said property taxes of about $36,000 were due on Sunday and when a cheque for that amount was delivered to Vokey on Monday, he refused to accept it without opening it. Vokey said the attempted late payment of property taxes is one of the lease breaches involved. "It was due on the 15th and they were told to have it in on the Friday to make sure it was in by the 15th and that didn't take place," Vokey said. Vokey said by the time the attempted cheque delivery was made on Monday afternoon, the exhibition's board of directors had already decided to take the action that unfolded early Tuesday morning. VLTs shut down Winners is a popular Coasters lounge with 25 video lottery terminals owned by the Atlantic Lottery Corp. In a good two-week period, Nixon said, the VLTs provide Horse Racing New Brunswick with about $15,000 as its share of the revenue from the machines. It is not clear when Winners Lounge will reopen. Vokey said the plan will "kind of develop on its own" in the near future. "I think the Exhibition's hope would be it continues and the VLTs remain there and the property continues under some new management," he said. "It is possible HRNB could come to the table and negotiate a new lease for it, but it would be a lease that is different and more substantial and protected the interests of the Exhibition." Fredericton Exhibition Ltd. "is prepared to" take over operating Winners Lounge, said Vokey. "It was certainly not a goal that we've ever talked about," he said. Atlantic Lottery spokeswoman Christine Manore said the corporation is aware of the situation. "This is between the retailer and the landlord," said Manore. "At this time, Atlantic Lottery is evaluating the situation." Only 3 race dates Vokey said the lease agreement also states there is to be a "full schedule" of harness racing at Fredericton Raceway, but this year only three race dates are scheduled for Fredericton. "That's an important term because we provide that space for harness racing," said Vokey. "It's provided for $1 a year. "In exchange for getting it for a dollar, they have certain conditions they are expected to meet." Nixon said "because of money" the number of harness racing dates in the province this year was reduced to 16 from 21, with Fredericton getting three of those dates. Nixon said Horse Racing New Brunswick has about $150,000 in operational costs on the Fredericton Exhibition grounds, including the $36,000 in property taxes. "We pay all of the power, the water, sewer, all of the maintenance and repair, all the groundskeeping, all the snowplowing." By Alan White, CBC News Reprinted with permission of the cbc.ca/news site
Esteemed equine journalist and photographer, Barbara Sheridan, received second place honours at the 2015 Canadian Farm Writers' Federation (CFWF) Awards Banquet this past Sept 26th. Founded in 1955, CFWF serves the common interests of agricultural journalists, including reporters, editors and broadcasters as well as those in business and government whose primary responsibility is agricultural communications. The Don Baron Award, presented at the annual conference held this year in Calgary, Alberta, was open to photographs published by a Canadian medium that accompanies written copy on an agricultural topic to improve the editorial story telling capacity of the medium. "It was tricky capturing the action shot," explained Sheridan. "I only had the opportunity to shoot off a couple of frames before I had to get out of the fire fighter's way." Of course, a dynamic shot, such as this, comes with an interesting story. First appearing in FIREFighting in Canada magazine, the image was captured during a training exercise led by Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) and hosted by Equine Guelph in the fall of 2014. Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, world renowned TLAER instructor, came back to lead a sold out second round of this important training in October 2015, again hosted by Equine Guelph. "This news is a double delight" says, Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, "spreading the word about safety and welfare for horses through fantastic training programs and honoring a great photographer, who also happens to be the instructor for Equine Guelph's online Journalism course. Congratulations Barbara!" Barbara Sheridan is an award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, as well as instructor teaching the online Equine Journalism course that is part of the Equine Studies Diploma from Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph. To learn more about this course and other training opportunities visit EquineGuelph.ca. To read related articles by Barbara Sheridan visit the Equine Guelph news archives: http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=426. by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
“Increasing the plane of nutrition should start at conception rather than waiting for the last trimester” emphasized renowned equine nutritionist Don Kapper. Sharing his wealth of knowledge in equine nutrition and management in a recent visit to Canada, Kapper spoke on how to feed the broodmare and the newborn foal right up to weaning. Nutrition begins with the Broodmare Nutrition is a vital component in your horse’s health triangle, where genetics, management and nutrition are all equal. Before the foal even hits the ground it is important that the broodmare has received optimal prenatal nutrition, explains Kapper. Replenishing the mares body reserves earlier rather than later will lend greater ability for her to take care of the baby in utero and when it comes time for nursing. It would be remiss to talk about the nutritional needs of a growing horse without first addressing the needs of the broodmare. What the mare consumes will greatly affect her milk production, her own health and the well-being of her newborn foal. There is a genetic and management component explains Kapper. The mare’s genetics decide how much milk she can produce as well as the quality. The management and nutrition component comprises of making sure we are putting the nutrition, i.e. calories, protein and minerals, into the mare that she is passing on to the foal in her milk. • If we fail to feed enough calories the mare will lose weight. • A lack of protein in the diet will show up as loss of muscle, visible first by a diminishing top line. • Without the appropriate amount of minerals, the mare’s bone and liver stores could be compromised. Feeding the mare a balanced diet is crucial for her own health and that of her offspring. Maintaining the mare’s body condition score between 5.5 and 6.5 and an “A” topline score throughout the pregnancy is recommended management. Colostrum (first milk) is full of protein (75%) and the antibodies the foal needs to quickly acquire and is produced for the first 12 – 24 hours. It is recommended that as soon as the foal is up on its sternum (preferably within the first half-hour after birth) the mare should be milked so the foal can receive 2 – 4 ounces of colostrum from a baby nipple before the foal stands. This allows them to gain immunity from the whole protein antibodies which is absorbed by their open small intestine and diminishes the chance of scours. Scours can be serious, especially to a newborn, as it causes dehydration. Consumption of colostrum before the foal starts wandering around licking foreign objects, which could contain bacteria or viruses, is beneficial in closing the small openings in intestine and boosting immunity. A 100 pound foal should receive 250 ml (approximately one cup) of colostrum each hour for the first six hours after birth. Every breeder should have an adequate stock of colostrum (1500 ml) stored in their freezer (can be stored for up to 5 years), or access to a colostrum bank, just in case. You can collect colostrum for saving, the same time the foal is nursing during the first 12 hours. Feed According to Need Keeping track of a foal’s rate of growth is an important part of managing its diet. The average foal should weigh between 10 – 12% of the mare’s body weight at birth and will double their birth weight in the first 30 days. Not many horse owners have a scale to measure how fast the foal is growing, but monthly monitoring of their age and size becomes critical to feeding according to their growth rate. Feeding less nutrients than required can result in skeletal and soft tissue problems while overfeeding calories can increase the trauma on the sensitive growth plates causing inflammation to occur, i.e. physitis. Physitis can also occur when inadequate minerals are fed and/or when protein (amino acids) are fed below requirement. Physitis can retard closure allowing multiple things to go wrong at this age. Kapper says, “We do not recommend trying to speed up or slow down a young horse’s growth rate.” Just provide the nutrients according to their individual need, that is determined by its age and size i.e. rate of growth. DOD’s If Developmental Orthopedic Disease (DOD) or limb abnormalities are apparent, immediate action should be taken calling in the vet. These conditions do not go away on their own and are indicative of an underlying problem. The mare’s diet should be checked and milk analyzed. Analyzing the milk is easy, inexpensive and can be the key in getting to the bottom of developmental problems in foals. The nutrients in the milk need to match what is recommended to support optimal growth rate. Checking mineral and nutrient density in the milk is suggested at seven days after foaling and then again during week four, eight and twelve. For example: low protein levels or low calcium or phosphorus can result in decreased bone density and have a negative impact on tendon and ligament strength. A deficiency in copper can result in contracted tendons. When the DOD is nutrition induced - balancing the diet in foals under 30 days old can yield a positive response in ten to fourteen days. For weanlings positive results can be seen in 30 – 45 days and yearlings in 60 – 90 days. This is based on the rate of tissue turn-over being faster in the younger horses. If a DOD is diagnosed, you will need to work closely with your veterinarian, farrier and nutritionist. Kapper cautions against practices such as starving the mare to prevent rapid growth. It will only result in decreasing your mares’ body reserves that will reduce the quality and quantity of her milk. Decreasing these essential nutrients and not addressing the real cause of the problem will only lead to more developmental issues in this years’ foal, as well as next years. He also stressed the importance of prenatal nutrition the ‘entire’ pregnancy. Kapper states, “During the past 30 years of research and monitoring growth related problems, when farms have over 25% of their foal crop affected with DOD, we have reduced the incidence on those farms by over 80%. The two management changes we made were: 1) prenatal nutrition fed the ‘entire’ pregnancy and 2) monitoring growth rate and the nutrients (amino acids, minerals and vitamins) fed to meet their requirements based on their growth rate. The Suckling For the first 30 days –foals will average drinking seven to ten times per hour. This is unchanged whether it is straight from the mother or an orphan foal drinking out of a bucket. The frequency of this purely milk diet is key in reducing digestive upsets which can be caused by drinking too much, too fast, from being too hungry. The hungry foal may attempt to eat forage, bedding or the mares feed that they cannot digest yet. Orphan or rejected foals will be extremely hungry if left for 2 hours without milk and therefore require diligent monitoring and free choice feeding of milk. Little and often is the well-known rule to reduce the chances of diarrhea. Proper nutrition is also essential for thermoregulation and weight gain. Foals grow rapidly; doubling their birth weight in just 30 days. First week to Three months old Access to the mare’s cereal grain should be denied to reduce the chance of diarrhea. The foal is not yet equipped with the enzymes to digest the mare’s cereal grain mixture that is formulated to compliment forage, not mare’s milk. A milk-based foal feed should be introduced which complements the mare’s milk they are already receiving. The quantity of ‘Milk Based’ Starter & Creep pellets consumed per day will be directly related to: how much milk the mare is producing per day, the age of the foal and the size of the foal in relation to the mare. One pound of milk-based feed per day per month of age is an average. It is important to consider factors that affect milk production of the mare: • Maiden mares do not produce as much milk as mares that have had foals previously. • When you cross breed a smaller mare to a larger stallion be prepared for accelerated growth (termed hybrid vigor). • Mare’s normally produce enough milk for a foal to grow to her size, not beyond. • At 4 – 6 weeks the mare’s milk production peaks and then dwindles. Three - Four months old Between three and four months of age the enzymes in the digestive system begin to change. The cecum undergoes further development and a weanling feed can be introduced. Kapper states, “It is very easy to get a pot-belly on a 4 – 6 month old foal due to stemmy hay because they are not very good at fermenting fiber yet.” It is recommended to feed the softest hay when they begin to digest forage. Following Guidelines, Feed Tags and Testing not Guessing National Research Council (NRC) has recommended minimum nutrients to feed for every horse’s status. It is important to consider the changes and variances in forage quality in order to remain above NRC levels. Anything below will result in a state of deficiency. Of course, exceeding the top end of an optimal range can also cause problems if excess of minerals interfere with absorption of nutrients or cause toxicity. Be sure to read the purpose statement on the feed tags and feed according to their recommendations in order to fulfill nutrient requirements. When feeding mares and young horses, it is important to choose a feed that has been formulated to meet the needs of a growing or reproducing horse, as opposed to one that is specifically for mature, idle or maintenance needs. There will not be enough protein or minerals in the latter to support the growing horse. Performance feeds may be higher in calories but will not be balanced with the vitamins and minerals to support development of a strong skeletal structure in a growing horse. Always choose a feed that is tailored to the individual horses needs and feed according to the instructions. Kapper cautions, “Getting away with feeding less than recommended, means you have chosen the wrong feed.” Feeding less than the manufacturers recommended intake will result in nutritional deficiencies. Finally, if you are not testing your hay – choosing a grain mixture and supplements are guesswork. Other than the first 3 to 4 months of life, ad-lib forage should be the bulk of your horse’s diet so it is important to feed good quality and know what is in it. This also applies to testing soil to determine nutrient levels in pasture. “Horses are designed to be continuous feeders,” explains Kapper. An 1100 pound horse will eat up to 18 hours a day consuming about 2 – 2.5 % of their body weight per day in dry forage. This will improve nutrient absorption and over-all health and well-being. Knowing the levels of nutrients in your forage is the starting point for balancing a horse’s diet. Summary It is important to address nutrition right from the start in your horse’s health triangle along with genetics and management. A healthy broodmare is essential to produce a foal full of vigor and good health. Plan ahead to ensure access to extra colostrum, just in case you need it. Feed the right quantity of the right feed for the horse’s life stage to fulfill their dietary and growth needs. Testing the food source (mare’s milk, forage) is the most simple and effective way to make sure your horses are receiving the necessary level of recommended nutrients. Address any developmental abnormalities immediately, working with your healthcare team of veterinarian, farrier and nutritionist. Bio: Don Kapper is a highly experienced equine nutritionist and a member of the Cargill Equine Enterprise Team. Don graduated from Ohio State University and achieved his credentials as a Professional Animal Scientist from the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists in 1996 and has been a sought-after speaker for equine meetings in both the U.S. and Canada. He was a member of the “Performance Electrolyte Research” team at the University of Guelph and wrote the chapter on “Applied Nutrition” for the authoritative veterinary textbook: “Equine Internal Medicine”, 2nd edition. Don also co-developed the “Equine Nutrition” course for the Equine Science Certificate program for Equine Guelph and has been a popular guest speaker in several Equine Guelph online courses, including the Equine Growth and Development, Exercise Physiology and Advanced Equine Nutrition. Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
April 7, 2015 - Another bright new harness racing star is bedded down in the Stable That God Loves. McWicked, a gem of consistency in his three-year-old campaign sported a 12-5-4 record in 23 starts, with earnings of $1,482,447 for his Toronto owner, Ed James, who purchased him at Harrisburg for $210,000. He was a multiple stakes winner with victories in the Hempt and the Adios, among others, before capping his season with an impressive 1:48.4 victory in the $301,560 Progress Stakes. The big bay gelding was the recipient of three-year-old pacer of the year honours in Canada in 2014. McWicked is one of the finest and richest campaigners Ed James has owned in his long tenure in horse racing. "I bought my first horse 59 years ago and I am still trying to get even" said Ed. Following McWicked's victory in the Progress Stakes he enjoyed three months off and is currently being prepped by trainer Casie Coleman at her Florida training centre for an extensive 2015 stakes campaign. Some of McWicked's big name stablemates in the Stable That God Loves include Adriano Sorella's 2013 Little Brown Jug winner, Vegas Vacation, John Craig's 2013 Breeders Crown winner Luck Be Withyou, John Fielding's Shake It Cerry, recipient of a 2014 Dan Patch Award, and Mac Nichol's Kentucky Derby hopeful, Madefromlucky, who is scheduled to go postward in the $1million Arkansas Derby on April 11th. The members of the Stable That God Loves will contribute one per cent of their 2015 purse earnings to the Standardbred Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada. For regular up-to-date postings on the Stable That God Loves follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @ StableGodLoves. For additional information contact Bill Galvin: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ken Middleton: email@example.com
Harness racing is a worldwide industry which is getting more and more international as time goes on. Stallions move between hemispheres and bloodlines are getting to look the same no matter where in the world you are. The World Trotting Conference brings together all the administrators from around the world to try to smooth some of problems with horses moving between countries and different systems. One issue which they seem to ignore repeatedly is the one with regards to money won in different countries and how it is counted in the overall scheme of things. In Canada and Australia, a dollar won anywhere in the world is counted as a dollar won when assessing a horse's lifetime earnings. In America and New Zealand, every dollar earned outside of the country is converted back to the local currency equivalent in dollar terms. With so many horses moving back and forth between Canada and America and also between Australia and New Zealand it can either inflate or deflate a horses earnings which to us here at Harnesslink is just absolutely ridiculous. It can also alter siring charts as we saw last year in the two year old ranks in North America. In Canada where they count every dollar won as one dollar, Sportswriter topped the charts for two year olds with a lead of $125,000 over his nearest rival Art Major. In America where they convert money won outside America to American dollars at the exchange rate on the day the money is won, Art Major finished $26,000 dollars in front of Sportswriter. We are of no doubt that Sportswriter was the leading money earning two year sire in North America in 2014 and we recognize him as such in all our articles. When we quote any money won either by a sire or individual in a story, the figures we use are always sourced via Trackit from the Canadian Harness Racing Site as Trackit is the only database with a true money won system in our opinion In our view the American system is an absolute joke and is done primarily to protect the stallion owners based in America from those upstarts across the border whose stallions just happen to earn more money in a season. The same anomaly occurs between Australia and New Zealand. Harness Racing Australia to its credit counts every dollar won anywhere in the world as one dollar earned for all its lifetime records for horses. New Zealand on the other hand converts all money won overseas back to New Zealand dollars on the day the money is won overseas. That results in inflated lifetime earnings for a lot of New Zealand horses who spend big parts of their racing careers in Australia. In some cases it has turned horses into millionaires when in reality they are still a fair way off the magical seven figure mark in actual earnings. We will highlight a couple here just to show the difference it can make. Take our latest millionaire in Stent who according to Harness Racing New Zealand has earned $1,010,053 to date where in actual dollars earned the figure is $984,460. Another horse to have his earnings inflated was Vulcan who was lucky in that when he raced in Australia the New Zealand dollars was worth in the high seventy cents range in relation to the Australian dollar. So why Harness Racing New Zealand records Vulcan as having earned $1,006,002, in actual dollars won, his earnings stand at $898,855. Now these are two absolute champions and should be respected as such but the system has let them down badly in our view. Let us have a look at a horse that raced extensively in both hemispheres in Tupelo Rose. Tupelo Rose's earnings as recorded on the four countries data bases we have mentioned in this article. * Harness Racing New Zealand - $1,146,603 * Harness Racing Australia - $879,867 * Standardbred Canada - $586,785 * United States Trotting Association - $578,671 As you can see the current system has left us with four different figures. Which one is the correct one is a hard question to answer but we would lean towards the Australian as probably being closest to the truth in this instance. As the above example shows the current system between these four countries is open to ridicule and rightly so in our opinion. We need some commonality on these important statistics and all four countries on the same page. A dollar earned anywhere in these four countries should be treated as a dollar earned by the governing bodies by each of the four countries. Until that happens you should treat all claims with regards to money won and sires stakes earnings coming out of America and New Zealand with a high degree of skepticism. JC
Many ex-racehorses are finding second careers once their racing days are over, thanks to the ever increasing awareness of what these multi-talented athletes can also do off the track. As a result of this growing movement to retrain the racehorse, Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and Quarter Horses have successfully been transitioning from the track to a new lifestyle as sport horses, show horses or all-around pleasure mounts. Canadian Olympian Jessica Phoenix is a huge proponent of the "ex-racehorse" breed and has successfully worked with them for years. Two of her well-recognized horses in eventing -Exploring and Exponential - were off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) that successfully took Phoenix to top international levels of competition in eventing. "Exploring went to the Pam Am Games in 2007, and Exponential went to the Olympics and the Word Equestrian Games in 2010 and 2012," says the Cannington, Ontario resident. "Exponential is such a tough horse. He's 17 now and is still competing at the four-star level." In June of 2014, Phoenix won the CCI3* division at the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont Three-Day Event in Quebec aboard A Little Romance. Owned by Don and Anita Leschied, the nine-year-old Canadian-bred mare is a Thoroughbred-Trakehner cross. "I believe that Thoroughbreds are so appealing to our sport because they love to run, as that's what they're bred to do, and I think that's one of the biggest draws to having a Thoroughbred in our sport," says Phoenix. "They also have such a courageous spirit and a zest for life." Phoenix feels that she would not have been able to get a start in this sport if it hadn't been for her OTTB's, Exploring and Exponential. "They were both inexpensive horses to purchase and they were both extremely talented," she says. "They gave me a real opportunity to get into the sport of eventing, to compete at the highest level and be competitive. Starting out, I certainly wasn't in a position where I could purchase a really expensive horse, so honestly, without having been able to start with Thoroughbreds; I probably wouldn't be where I am today." As a competition coach and eventing specialist, Phoenix operates Phoenix Equestrian in Oshawa, Ontario and notes that of the 35 horses currently in their program, half of them are Thoroughbreds. Phoenix is currently training a LongRun Thoroughbred graduate named Exultation, (aka Down By The Docks) who has been declared for the Pan American Games in 2015. Finding Mr. Right With their versatility and great work ethic, a retired racehorse can be hugely rewarding, but it's important to do your homework in order to find the most suitable mount for you. Each year, the racing industry ensures a steady stream of horses that have found themselves at the end of their racing careers. On average, ages can run from two-year-olds (they usually begin their racing career between the age of two and three), to four-and five-year-olds, while some with steady, lucrative careers retire from the track at six years and upward. Their reasons for retirement vary, but most common is their lack of speed, while others, because of the high cost of training, may have been downsized by the owner for economic reasons. Ex-racehorses are naturally competitive, with a willing- to-please personality. As a result, they can be easily trained to adapt to a new discipline, says Phoenix. But with their abundance of availability, how do you know which one is right for you? "I would definitely recommend that you purchase a horse with a basic vetting done, because nine times out of ten, if the horse is clinically sound, and their heart, eyes and lungs are good, they will last the average rider a long time," says Phoenix. "It doesn't have to be an X-ray of every single joint, but this just gives you a bit of information so that if there is something there, you are aware of it and able to maintain it going forward." Some suitable ex-racehorses come off their racing career in fine health, while others can have lower level issues that can be overcome with rest and rehab. Find out ahead of time what your prospect is capable of achieving and whether or not he would a suitable choice, whether for pleasure or as a show mount. To assist with your search, Phoenix recommends the assistance of a trainer or agent, as some ex-racers come at a bargain price for a reason. Those without access to a trainer or agent can turn to one of the many "Off the Track" rehabilitation organizations readily available across the country that retrain and place ex-racehorses for successful second careers. "When you purchase an ex-racehorse from a reputable and established organization, you get the right history on that horse," says Dr. Oscar Calvete, Farm Manager and Veterinarian at Adena Springs North, based in Aurora, Ontario. Created by the Stronach Family in 2004, the Adena Retirement Program was developed as a rehabilitation and retraining program for former racehorses. "At Adena, we take care of the injuries first before we make the horse available on our website. We keep records of everything and make these records available to the public." Calvete notes that by providing the new adoptive owners with full disclosure of each horse's health history and their current retraining status, they're able to ensure that the horses are matched with the right owner and home. The Right Choice Once you've narrowed it down to a few prospects, Phoenix recommends using one's "horse sense" and good judgment to decide on the right prospect. "When considering a purchase, make sure that you really enjoy the horse. Not that you just like the looks of it, but that you really like the horse's personality," she says. "And sometimes, that means you have to spend some time with it. Horses are just like people. They all have different personalities; and sometimes you get along well with them, and sometimes you don't. I would also say knowing their history is helpful, including if they've had any vet-related incidents." A career in equine sport, for both racehorses and sport horses, can put them at risk for training-related injuries. However, the past decade has seen tremendous advances in the field of equine sports medicine in both identification and treatment of these injuries. "The most common ailments that you will find in retired racehorses are mainly soft tissue issues such as tendons and ligaments, as well as joint problems in the front limbs," Calvete notes. "This would be followed by hind limbs, hocks, stifle, hip and back problems, mostly in that order." Many of the more common ailments, such as soft tissue injuries, can easily be overcome with treatment and rest. A vet check can assist in identifying any possible issues that may affect the horse during its second career, as well as advise if the injury is recoverable to allow him to return to full athletic function. "We recommend a program that goes in a slow and consistent manner, always having in mind the horse's temperament and conformation," adds Calvete. Patience is Key Racehorses are worked differently than the average riding horse, as their training mostly involves fitness and speed work. While the transitioning process from racehorse to retraining can vary depending on the horse, most recommend some type of down time before beginning the retraining process. "When they've just come off the track, they are really fit, as they've been galloping every single day," says Phoenix. "Often times when people give them a break, it's more to just let their fitness down and their bodies relax to allow them to be more like an average horse, instead of a finely tuned athlete. But each horse is different. We've acquired horses straight from the track, and two weeks later they've happily competed in their first show. Others, we've given them two months in order to allow them to relax their bodies after coming off the track. You really have to look at each horse as an individual so that every plan is made different." Because Thoroughbreds are sensitive and have a quick mind, Phoenix says her training techniques involve getting their mind to work for her, to keep it really fun for them, but also to keep them engaged. "We do a lot of ground work with them," says Phoenix. "We apply a lot of games so that they learn how to follow us and look for us, and then read our movements. Often times we do that every day before we even get on them so that they're really thinking about the rider and working with you. Because they're just very playful in their minds, you have to make sure that they're ready to work when you get on them, otherwise you're just going to fight with them." Off-The-Track Feeding Checkup As with any horse, an ex-racehorse's feeding program should be based on its individual needs and level of training. Because of their high-energy needs during their racing careers, they would typically receive three to four feedings a day of a calorie-dense diet made up of energy-rich grains in order to meet their nutritional needs for optimum performance. While in training, most are offered roughage in the form of hay throughout the day, but often times concentrate can make up a very high portion of their diet. Once he's being re-trained as a riding horse, Calvete recommends reducing the level of carbohydrates in his diet to reflect his new workload. "We recommend a feeding program based on roughage, grain and beet pulp, in addition to a lot of turnout." Achieving that correct balance of roughage and nutrients to meet your horse's needs can be easily achieved with the advice of a qualified feed specialist. Most major feed manufacturers have a nutritionist available on staff that would be able to come out to the farm and assess your horse to help you decide which the best product is for him. Many times, this service is offered for free. The Sweet Reward Ownership of an ex-racehorse can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether they're purchased directly off the track, through a trainer, or from a retired racehorse organization. There are plenty to choose from and can be quite affordable. Taking the time to assist with his new way of life will make the transition a positive experience for both horse and rider. "I love working with my Thoroughbreds every day," says Phoenix. "I love their attitude, and I love the excitement that they bring. It actually excites me to get up in the morning and see what they're going to do that day. I definitely owe them a lot." Sign up for our free e-newsletter which will deliver monthly welfare tips throughout 2015 and announce tools to aid all horse owners in carrying out their 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' to our beloved horses. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Equine Guelph is developing a 'Full-Circle-Responsibility' equine welfare educational initiative which stands to benefit the welfare of horses in both the racing and non- racing sectors. Visit Equine Guelph's Welfare Education page for more information.
Harness racing, like any industry is a business. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be put on the table and we are responsible for our families. An excellent showing of the importance of family took flight on Thursday October 16th when trainer Kyle Reibeling was notified through social media that one of his past horses was set to be put down. "A friend of mine, Jackie Panko alerted me that a friend of hers noticed some Standardbreds in a meat pen in Ottawa, ON waiting to go to slaughter" says Kyle. "One of the tattoo numbers matched a mare I bred and raised." "I raced her for a year before she was purchased by another party" explains Kyle. This didn't sit well for Kyle; it left a sinking feeling within that this would be her demise. "My heart sank." Kyle describes. "I know we can't control what happens to our horses after they leave our care, but when (a situation like this) is presented, you have to do something about." That's exactly what Kyle did. Did Kyle think it was possible to save Pocketfulasunshine? He did not know to be honest, but instead of wondering Kyle took action to save her. His first thought was 'I cannot let this happen'. "This was happening in the Ottawa (Ontario) area" explains Kyle. "I didn't know how to go about, we got the contact information we needed and luckily I have a good friend and a gentleman I train for down in Ottawa who really stepped up to the plate." Enter Bern Lavigne and Rick Sullivan who came through with back to back home runs. "They went down the next day and purchased her for me and took her to their place." Kyle notes, "They picked the burrs out of her and gave her a good bath. She was real skinny." Kyle is proud to say she has a great life now. Pocketfulasunshine is done racing, however Kyle admits he does enjoy taking her out for a jog and Pocketfulasunshine is responding well. And she's eating well; Kyle adds she finishes every meal. His daughters have fallen in love with Pocketfulasunshine too. "This is something we had to do." Kyle continues, "We are not looking for praise and I don't think this is anything out of the ordinary. Nobody wants to see anything bad happen to one of their horses they took care of and loved like family." A few years ago while riding in his tractor Kyle recalls wondering what to name her, "I remember thinking 'what am going to name this foal?' and a Natasha Bedingfield song came on that was full of spunk and Pocketfulasunshine it was." The song: Pocketful of Sunshine 'Take me away, to a secret place...' are the first few words that catch me when I listened to the song that inspired the name. At the time, who would have known how deep this would mean? More powerful were these next set of lyrics written by Natasha which took this story to an entire new level of meaning. 'Take me away to better days... take me away to a sweet escape.... In the darkness there is light and nobody cries.... Take me away to better days... the sun is on my side... I smile up to the sky and know I will be alright.' Roderick Balgobin Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com
If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young. "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final. After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps." The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52. "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope." The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year. "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily. "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1 Happy Becky 2 The Show Returns 3 JK She'salady 4 Float On By 5 Solar Sister 6 Ideal Nuggets 7 Rock Her World 8 Band Of Angels 9 Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications
After an overpowering win last week in the afternoon's top-class, five-year-old J Rs Hurricane will be looking to repeat in this week's top conditioned harness racing event. Lonny Stokes, no stranger to driving the son of Mach Three will be holding the lines of the pacer from post-four in the five horse top-class. Man In Pink will once again have the advantage of the rail position for driver Mark Haig. Dance Hanover will have post-two for catch-driver Mike Barrieau for the Ultimate Stables of Moncton. American Captain will leave from post-four for veteran driver and trainer Mike Campbell. Wave That Banner from the Eric Wilson stable will have the outside post-five. Starters will face-off for a purse of $ 1500. This Saturday will also feature the final leg of Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping contest. Week twenty ( 20 ) will be contested and an overall winner announced next week. Post time for Saturday's matinee card is slated for 2:00 P.M. Scott Waddell
Results are in from week nineteen ( 19 ) for Harness Racing New Brunswick's season long handicapping contest. This week will feature the 20th and FINAL LEG of the contest and the top-three going into this Saturday's final leg at E.P.R all have a legitimate chance to take the top prize. This weeks $ 50.00 prize winner who checked in with $ 53.40 on Saturday was second place competitor Kayden Buchanan. Please see complete standings below. It appears that strategy could play a huge part in the final leg this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway. Totals After Week 19 Adam Saunders 325.70 Kayden Buchanan 307.40 Rose Doyle 298.20 Brad MacPherson 244.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00 Scott Waddell
CAMPBELLVILLE, September 25 - Harness racing driver Driver Anthony Macdonald was recognized Thursday evening for recently surpassing $25 million in career earnings. On Sunday evening at Flamboro Downs, MacDonald guided Kate Smith to victory in a $105,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event to surpass the $25 million mark. On Thursday evening, MacDonald was presented with a sign from Bill McLinchey, Manager of Racing Operations, recognizing his recent accomplishment after guiding pacer Nine Lives Hanover to victory in the evening's eighth race. MacDonald, 37, is a resident of Guelph, Ontario and is in the midst of his tenth consecutive season with over $1 million in earnings and more than 100 victories. This season, MacDonald has 105 victories and earnings of more than $1.3 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Anthony on his accomplishment and wish him continued success. Mark McKelvie
Two-year-old trotting colt Caulfield recorded his third straight harness racing victory in the third and final $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division tonight at Flamboro Downs. In that division Wilbur Eden was very quick at the start, hitting the opening marker in :29.3 for Trevor Henry. As they reached the half in 1:00.3 he had company from Holiday My Way and three wide came Alacrity as they reached the third panel in 1:30.1. Holiday My Way broke stride in the final turn and down the stretch Caulfield and Chris Christoforou closed a ton to win in 1:59.3. Wilbur Eden held for second while Winning Wizard was third. A son of Kadabra owned by Synereco Ventures Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, and trained by Chris Beaver, Caulfield was notching his fourth win in six career starts and third in a row. Bred by Jeff Ruch of Innisfil and Ted MacDonnell of Allenford, Ontario, Caulfield sold for $20,000 at last year’s Harrisburg sale. Christoforou was also victorious in the first division where the two outside horses left quickest. Boli (post six) and Infiniti AS (post seven) got away first and second as the gate left with Boli leading the group by the first quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:02.1. Luck O The Irish took over well before the 1:31.2 third panel as Boli went offstride. He soon had company in the form of Dont Rush and that pair battled down the lane with Dont Rush narrowly winning in 2:00.3. Luck O The Irish had to be content with the bridesmaid spot while Amityville Lindy survived an inquiry to take third. Christoforou was up behind the winner, a son of Infinitif owned and trained by breeder Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario who recently sold a share in the talented colt to Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. This was the second lifetime win for Dont Rush who improved his summary to 2-3-1 in nine lifetime starts for $136,000 in earnings. Three colts broke early in the second split which saw Namesmuscle by the first panel in :28.1. Just past the :59.2 half A Little More Love was neck and neck with the leader and managed to get a head in front by the 1:29.1 three-quarters. Three wide came Platoon Seelster and those three were close at the finish with Platoon Seelster prevailing, despite an early break in stride, in 1:59.4 for Ryan Holliday. A Little More Love, the leading point earner in this division coming into tonight’s contest, was a close second with Namesmuscle third. A lightly raced son of Holiday Road, Platoon Seelster was making just his fourth career start for trainer David Holliday and owners Caroline Holliday of Mount Forest and Dennis Hannath of Harriston, Ontario. Bred by Seelster Farms of Lucan, Ontario, the colt has yet to finish worse than second with two wins and two seconds in his young career. This group has one more Gold event to contest before the October 11 Super Final. That will take place one week from tonight, September 30, at Mohawk Racetrack. To view the complete results from tonight’s program, please click Flamboro Results - September 23. OSS News