Three jockeys have won the Belmont twice in the new Millennium - John Velazquez, Edgar Prado and Mike Smith. 102 years between FILLIES winning the Belmont 1905 Tanya, 2007 Rags To Riches. 5 - Five Straight Belmonts for Woody Stephens-1982-1986 NONE before NONE after. 678 horses have lined up and started in the Kentucky Derby SINCE Affirmed last won the Triple Crown in 1978. 1997-2009 "Sidewalks Of New York" the Theme song. 2010 "Empire State Of Mind. 2011-2015 "New York New York". 70-1 was the price on Sarava who ended Bob Bafferts's LAST Triple Crown bid-2002-with War Emblem. Three-time eclipse winning jockey Braulio Baeza's hat trick - he won the Belmont three times on three DIFFERENT Surfaces. 1961 and 1969 at Belmont the second time on a revamped track-1963 at Aquedect. Mike Tabor is the ONLY owner since 1986 to win the Belmont TWICE! 2007 Rags To Riches, 1995 Thunder Gulch. 6 of the last 7 Triple Crown winners were also the defending 2 YO CHAMPION - (Assault the only one who wasn't). 6 of the last 7 Triple Crown winners in harness racing - were NOT the 2 YO CHAMPION (Niatross the only one who was). 42 YEARS since the record of 2:24 set - Secretariat. His stablemate Riva Ridge also won the Belmont - the year before in 1972 - in 2:28 flat. Count Fleet owns the SECOND Highest Belmont Margin of 25 lengths (Secretariat's 31 lengths in 1973 the standard). May 16, 1979, 11 months AFTER Affirmed won the last Triple Crown, Gary Stevens won his FIRST ever race-for his father who trained. The Highest ever BEYER NUMBER for a Belmont winner went to Easy Goer -1 22 in 1989 (Beyer established in 1987). The Belmont was held at AQUEDUCT from 1963-1967 while the track was under restoration and renovation. FIVE of the ELEVEN Triple Crown winners were chestnuts-including Affirmed and Secretariat. 1931 was the year the order was established for the Triple Crown. 120,139 came to see Smarty Jones in 2004 just miss in his attempt for the Triple Crown. It was to be his final career race - he wound up 8 for 9 with a second. All nine of his races were competed at DIFFERENT Distances. 37 and 25 - the two largest GAPS between Triple Crown winners. 1978-2015 ???? and 1948-1973. Many would argue that Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont by 31 lengths in a time that STILL stands as a North America Dirt record and the margin that STILL stands as the largest Grade One effort ever-you'd have thought THAT would be the cover of Sports Illustrated,THAT WEEK Right? WRONG! The cover featured George Foreman - who - by the way - did NOT fight that week or even in the last six months. Secretariat only made pages 9-13. Think somebody missed the boat here? (Don't anyone even THINK to say he'd been on the cover just recently - Jeremy Lin made it two STRAIGHT weeks a couple of years ago for the Knicks). In 1977 - Jean Cruguet was an astounding 9 for 14 during the week at Belmont - but would not even chance riding on Thursday or Friday while awaiting Seattle Slews Belmont on Saturday - and his own Triple Crown try. SLEW would win it - and remains the only horse ever to make it through the Triple Crown UNDEFEATED! Seattle Slew is also the only one of the eleven Triple Crown winners to have sold at public auction - $17.500 - 90 seconds in the ring and into the record books. Triple Crown wins - total 11 - Bob Baffert 12 - Jimmy Takter 14 D Wayne Lukas (Note that Jimmy Takter AND D Wayne Lukas have each won the Triple Crown -with two DIFFERENT horses - Takter last year and Lukas in 1995). The Belmont Stakes was NOT held in 1911 and 1912. Conquistador Cielo won the 1982 Belmont - the first of five in a ROW for Woody Stephens - on 4 DAYS REST! (METROPOLITAN MILE winner at Belmont on Memorial Day). IF 10 or more enter and go to the gate for the 2015 Belmont - it marks the first time EVER that for seven STRAIGHT years, there has been a DOUBLE - digit sized field for the Belmont. Chrysler offered their $5 Million bonus from 1988-1995 NO WINNERS; Visa then the same from 1996 - 2005 NO WINNERS. It's been 35 YEARS since Harness Racing had a Triple Crown winner (Niatross) who was also the 2 YO champ; 37 years for thoroughbred racing (Affirmed 1978). Bill Shoemaker won the Belmont 4 times in an 11 year span. 1957, 1969, 1962, 1967 (Also won it in 1975). If the restriction to hold the crowd to 90,000 does hold this year, then the Belmont cannot have it's SIXTH 100,000 plus crowd in its history. ***************** NEVER has a horse finished the Triple Crown - the Belmont-with larger than an 8 horse field!! ************************ Here are the field sizes for the Eleven Triple Crown winners: (Chronologically backwards) 5-8-5-8-7-3-4-8-5-4-3. Affirmed and Secretariat each won in a five horse field. The average sized field for the ELEVEN Triple Crown winners is 5.5 horses. BUT - since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown in 1978, the average BELMONT FIELD SIZE has been 10.2 Horses! The COMBINED 3 YO earnings of the 11 other Triple Crown winners in history is $4,708,701 Times Have changed dept? In 2008 Big Brown fell short in the Belmont and finished 6-7 career and never raced again. Smarty Jones got beat in the Belmont of 2004 for a career slate of 9 8-1-0 and he too never competed again. In 2012 - I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and scratched from the Belmont never to race again. BUT - in 1941 - Whirlaway won the Triple Crown - raced 89 TIMES CAREER!, won the Kentucky Derby PREVIEW in addition to the Derby, and - get this - won an allowance race IN BETWEEN the Preakness and the Belmont - thus wrapping up the Triple Crown. Let's hope there's some action in the Belmont this year - remember the Kentucky Derby had the top three finishers go 1-2-3 all the way - in an 18 horse field, none of the top three finishers was worse than third at any point! How rare was that? The LAST time that had happened was in 1915, when Regret won -in a 16 horse field. 100 YEARS to be exact! Robert Heyden
Harness racing three-year-old fillies were in action at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (May 20). They competed in four divisions of The Stallion Series with each going for a purse of $20,000. Bay Pond Racing's Angel Plus (Scott Zeron) was a wrapped up winner in the first division. The daughter of Quik Pulse Mindale picked up her sixth career win of sixteen starts for trainer Steve Cook. She was the heavy post time favorite, and went on to make every call a winning one, with fractions of :27.1, :56.3, 1:24.1, 1:52.3. It was a lifetime's best performance. Dobre Povedane (Corey Callahan) was second, while Somewhere Fameous (Dave Miller) finished third. The winner paid $3.00. It was a bit of an upset in the second division as Doug Lewis trainee Cover Model (Corey Callahan) went on to a two length win. The daughter of Dragon Again showed tactical early speed from post six, landing in the third spot off the gate. She made her move just past the half, and was able to grind past the race favorite Rumor Mill (Tim Tetrick) for the win. It was the fourth win in her career and the first of the season. She stopped the clock in 1:53.1, a lifetime best. Rumor Mill secured second, while the previously undefeated Repeat Please (Andrew McCarthy) finished third. The winner, owned by Fred Hertrich and CTC Stable's, paid $10.80. Driver Scott Zeron struck again in division three, this time with Ted Gewertz's Apricot Sour. The daughter of Well Said was able to draft in the pocket behind favorite Tucson Breeze (Tim Tetrick) until the head of the stretch. She had to hold off late charges from Alexa Said (Brett Miller) and My Girl Friend (Yannick Gingras) who finished second and third respectively. The Anette Lorentzon trainee now has three lifetime wins out of ten starts. She paced the mile in a life's best 1:55, and paid $5.80. In the final division, Tom Kemp's Mezzanine Fashion (Tim Tetrick) dominated the final half for the victory. The daughter of Well Said drafted in the three spot until the half, when she moved to the outside and easily swept by. She won by three in the end, pacing her mile in a wrapped up 1:53.4. Lean On Yourself (Andy Miller) moved up the passing lane for second, while Official Belle (Scott Zeron) rallied mildly for third. Mezzanine Fashion is now three out of four in the win column this season for trainer Joann Looney-King. She returned $4.00 to win. Michael Bozich
Goshen, NY --- Musclesprinctonian has provided co-owner Jim Monismith with several win photos, but the trotter’s impact goes beyond the racetrack. In fact, harness racing as a whole has given Monismith a positive outlet since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago. Monismith, a retired probation officer from Middletown, N.Y., is among the 24 participants at the U.S. Trotting Association’s 17th annual Driving School. The school is conducted at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen and the Mark Ford Training Center near Middletown. On Thursday, the second day of the four-day program, participants spent the morning working with trainers at Ford’s complex and the afternoon gaining insight into amateur racing from Joe Faraldo and Lon Froncione and into stable management from Kelly Ford. Monismith had the opportunity to jog a horse for the first time on Thursday morning. It was even more memorable because it was with Musclesprinctonian, a 4-year-old male trotter he owns with Oldford Farms, Tyler Buter and Nicole Monismith. The group bought the son of Muscle Hill-Broadway Schooner last July. “It’s a lot tougher than I thought,” Monismith said about sitting behind a race horse. “I didn’t realize that it takes such upper body strength. He really wanted to run. After I finally got him calmed down a little bit my back started bothering me. I was sitting straight up; I don’t know how these guys do it when you see them leaning all the way back. We only went around the track three times and I couldn’t imagine doing that every day, jogging horses and then racing horses at the track at night. “I wanted to come to the Driving School just to gain more knowledge and to be able to jog a horse,” he added. “I’d been around the barn before, but now doing the work, I do it for the love of the sport.” Monismith became a fan of harness racing as a teenager. “I worked at a deli and the owner there had Standardbred horses, so I used to go to the track with them back in the day, especially at Monticello, and sit in the owner’s box,” he said. “From that point on, I just loved the sport.” After retiring because of his illness, Monismith got the chance to buy into Musclesprinctonian thanks to his relationship with Amber and Tyler Buter. Musclesprinctonian has won two of seven races and hit the board a total of five times this year. He races Saturday night at Vernon Downs. “I go to a lot of tracks and got to know a lot of people,” Monismith said. “This is very therapeutic for me. I go to a lot of the races when the Buters have horses in and especially when my horse is racing. He’s been in the winner’s circle a couple times so I’ve gotten my picture taken, but I just find being at the farm to be very therapeutic. “This is just for the fun of it and whatever happens, happens. It’s been great. I have good days and bad days (dealing with Parkinson’s disease). This gives me something to do rather than just sitting at home doing nothing. I had a rough job for 27 years as a probation officer so it’s just nice to be on my own schedule and do things on my own. I’m alive and I’m enjoying it.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
Guelph, ON - Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph, has been selected as one of four finalists for the prestigious Equine Industry Vision Award for 2015. Intended to recognize innovation, leadership and service in North America, the Equine Industry Vision Award, sponsored by Zoetis, will announce a winner on Friday, June 19, 2015. The Trophy created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine will be presented at the American Horse Publication Tally-Ho at the Alamo Seminar in San Antonio, Texas. Ecker received the distinction of being 'short-listed' from a record number of 25 nominees. “To be selected as one of the four top finalists for this prestigious award is truly an honour,” says Ecker. “Many thanks go out to our sponsors, partners, donors and supporters that make it possible for Equine Guelph to promote horse health and welfare through our education programs.” The other three finalists include: EQUUS Foundation, a charitable foundation providing financial support and services to equine charities across the United States; Jim McGarvey, Chairman of the Board, Back Country Horsemen of America; Juli S. Thorson, Editor-at-Large, Horse & Rider. Finalists were judged by the AHP Board of Directors plus a Zoetis representative, on their performance in relation to the achievement(s) cited and their demonstration of the following attributes and abilities: 1) The vision and innovation of a true pioneer; 2) Leadership, commitment, dedication and willingness to serve; 3) Original and effective ideas and/or products, services, programs; 4) High moral, ethical and professional standards. The Equine Industry Vision award has been presented thirteen times since its inception in 2002 to top industry professionals and equine institutes. AHP director, Chris Brune says, “It represents that these individuals and organizations are being recognized for making a real difference in the horse world.” Many congratulations go out to Ecker from her peers, supporters and the multitude of horse lovers that have been inspired, educated and motivated by her tireless efforts and contributions to the horse industry through her work with Equine Guelph. Previous winners: • Patti Colbert (2014) • Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (2013) • Equine Land Conservation Resource (2012) • Robert Cacchione (2011) • John Nicholson (2010) • Charlotte Brailey Kneeland (2009) • Sally Swift (2008) • David O'Connor (2007) • Stanley F. Bergstein (2006) • John Ryan Gaines (2005) • American Quarter Horse Association (2004) • Don Burt (2003) • Alexander Mackay-Smith (2002) Go to the AHP site for the full list of nominees and past recipients. Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
Can-Am President, Ross Miller and his team received a gift of appreciation celebrating the ten-year relationship forged between his team and Equine Guelph. Accomplished artist, EquiMania! volunteer and long time friend of Equine Guelph, Ruth Benns created a beautiful painting depicting a typical jovial scene of the ever-popular EquiMania display. The specially commissioned artwork was presented to Ross Miller, Mike Straw and Ron Waples in the main arena on Can-Am's Saturday night to help kick off the extravaganza show to a sold out crowd. "Can-Am Equine Expo is proud of the relationship with Equine Guelph that is based on promoting the welfare of the equine while also educating people young and old on the equine world," says Ross Miller. "Gayle Ecker and her staff always partner in a most professional manner and we look forward to a continued relationship in the future." EquiMania! has been featured at the Can-Am Equine Expo right from it's debut. The once little booth aimed towards teaching kids to be safe around horses has grown up with Can-Am to educate and entertain thousands of horse lovers of all walks of life. This year, the now 5,000 lb display occupied an entire barn, bringing it's interactive, fun way to learn about horses and safety to the multitudes who attended. "Sharing a common vision promoting education, health and welfare for a vibrant equine industry makes it a pleasure to work with Ross Miller and his dedicated crew," states Equine Guelph's director, Gayle Ecker. "We always look forward to presenting EquiMania! at Can-Am and we were so pleased to present Ross with a token of our appreciation." Equine Guelph would also like to pay special thanks to the artists who offered donations of proceeds from their booth sales and through donations of artwork auctioned off at the Saturday evening extravaganza: Ann Clifford, Wendy Fraleigh, Nola McConnan of Merriweather Studio, and Winnie Stott with the equine artists of Winsong Farm.Notes to Editor: by Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
Tracking vital health data in real-time on your smart phone or tablet is a snap with Equine Guelph's new Horse Health Tracker App! Whether you have one horse or a whole herd, this app empowers horse owners to give the ultimate in care to their animals. Assess your horse's vital health data, body condition score and body weight with a few simple clicks and easily share this information with your healthcare team. Upgrades allow you to keep track of information such as heart rate, temperature and respiration for up to 50 horses! Special graphs plot this vital data over a 13-month period. Instructional videos are also included in the upgrade to show you how to properly perform the assessments. Appointment reminders sync with your smart phone calendar, making it easy to stay on top of your horse's health care regime. The app accommodates multiple checks per day, making it the perfect tool to monitor sick horses as well as healthy horses. Its built-in e-mail capability allows you to share data with your veterinarian. "The ability to share pertinent information with your veterinarian is a wonderful feature," says equine practitioner, Dr. Laura Frost. "The Horse Health Tracker makes it easy for the horse owner to systematically collect vital health data and provide this information in real-time to a veterinarian. This app ensures that important pieces of the puzzle are not missed when communicating health concerns regarding a sick horse." The Horse Health Tracker App is a must-have management tool for you to become the leading advocate for your horse's health. A user guide is available at EquineGuelph.ca. The App is available for download at the App Store and Google Play. Not only will this app benefit your horse healthcare program, your purchase will support Equine Guelph in its mission to 'Help Horses for Life' as proceeds will be invested back into welfare education programs. This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Other partners include: Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare; Equine Canada; Farm & Food Care Ontario; Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies; Omega Alpha Equine; Ontario Equestrian Federation; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ontario Racing Commission; Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Standardbred Canada. Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca. by Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
Three racetracks in the state of New York have formed what they describe as a "unique and unprecedented" alliance to help better promote their harness racing products. The three racetracks - Empire City Casino, Saratoga Casino and Raceway and Batavia Downs - will launch an online handicapping contest through their eBet Technologies-powered advance deposit wagering sites EmpireCityBets, SaratogaBets and BataviaBets. Throughout April, the sites will offer over $4,000 in prizes through contests that will be held every Friday night, featuring New York harness racing, with two separate contests to be conducted on alternate Saturdays, featuring Aqueduct and Keeneland racing content. Players from each site will pay into the same contest pool, marking the first time such a collaborative game has been launched by the trio. Alongside the regularly scheduled contests, syndicated handicapping content will be made available across each of the three ADW sites, with daily selections and analysis provided by pundits. The three racetracks praised the New York State Gaming Commission for supporting and assisting in launching the initiative. “Traditionally, racing entities have focused on brick and mortar outlets to host handicapping competitions, but we see tremendous potential in the online component,” Saratoga Casino and Raceway director of racing operations John Matarazzo said. “This alliance was forged to reach this expanding demographic and help re-define that segment of this industry.” Michael Kane, president and CEO of Batavia owners Western Region OTB added: “Working collectively with our partners in the New York racing industry is now more important than ever. “I would like to thank the New York State Gaming Commission for its approval of this concept, and we look forward to additional synergies amongst New York's racing stakeholders in the coming months.” Empire City Casino general manager Robert Galterio said that it was “imperative” that the racetracks continue such collective efforts to secure the future of horse racing in New York. Gaming Intelligence
Everything at your fingertips and an easy-to-follow resource manual make the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit your "go to" item when an equine emergency hijacks your perfectly planned day. Equine Guelph and Greenhawk have partnered to offer this extensive first aid kit, at a great value, to keep you organized and ready to deal with emergency situations. Proceeds from the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit will be donated by Greenhawk to Equine Guelph in support of its welfare education programs. The first thing you will notice is a section to store all your emergency numbers. The resource manual includes checklists and explains the contents of the kit to equip horse owners for emergencies. The manual makes it easy to keep track of items and when to replenish supplies with a handy inventory checklist and log. How to deal with wounds and how to bandage are also covered in the kit along with a list of a horse's vitals. Greenhawk believes in the importance of equine healthcare and welfare as illustrated by its commitment to offering the Equine Guelph First Aid Kit to its valued customers through this unique partnership. The partners have included 16 essential items in your kit at a cost savings of over $55! There is room to customize your kit with additional suggested items, keeping everything in one handy, sanitary container. Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker explains, "The launch of this first aid kit is part of the Full-Circle-Responsibility program Equine Guelph initiated with the help of many partners to promote welfare in the equine industry. Your purchase will support Equine Guelph in our mission to 'Help Horses for Life'." She adds, "Every horse caregiver should be prepared to manage an emergency situation." In case of emergency, Equine Guelph recommends following its abbreviated list of emergency procedures, "A.C.T.", intended to help you stay efficient during an emergency: 1. Assess the situation, 2. Call for help and 3. Treat the horse. Equine Guelph also recommends that all horse care givers should receive first aid or emergency preparedness training. The Equine Guelph First Aid Kit is available for $129 at select Greenhawk stores: Mississauga, Ottawa, Gormley, London, Beamsville, Barrie, Orangeville, Campbellville, Whitby and Toronto (Avenue Road). This project is funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario. Other partners include: Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare; Equine Canada; Farm & Food Care Ontario; Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies; Omega Alpha Equine; Ontario Equestrian Federation; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ontario Racing Commission; Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Standardbred Canada. by Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
ELORA, ON - Over the course of two days next week, more than 800 Grade 3 students will delve into the unique Pizza Perfect event at Grand River Raceway. The local youngsters will spend the field trip in a hands-on agricultural education program themed after the favored pie. The ninth annual event happens on March 31 and April 1 in the race paddock at Grand River Raceway. The students are bused in from 20 local schools across four school boards in the Waterloo-Wellington area. More than 8,000 local students have benefitted from this program since its inception at the Elora racetrack in 2006. Pizza Perfect is a one-day program designed specifically for Grade 3 students. The event is themed after pizza, which typically represents all four food groups identified by Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. The agriculture-awareness program involves a comprehensive study of related agriculture, nutrition, food processing, economics, mathematics, science, arts and language, and agricultural careers. Pizza Perfect explores these subject areas with complete interactivity. Hands-on activities and live demonstrations include milking a cow, cheese making and transplanting seedlings. Hosted by the Grand River Agricultural Society (owner/operator of Grand River Raceway), Pizza Perfect is made possible with the help of more than 85 volunteers and representatives from over 30 agricultural producer's groups, associations and suppliers. Educational video about the Pizza Perfect program, produced by Grand River Raceway. Photo gallery of past Pizza Perfect events WHAT: 9th annual Pizza Perfect - agricultural education event hosted by the Grand River Agricultural Society (owner/operator of Grand River Raceway) WHEN: March 31 and April 1, 2015 WHERE: Paddock Building at Grand River Raceway in Elora WHO: 800 Grade 3 students (400/day) from 20 schools across four school boards WHY: This hands-on field trip is an ag-education program themed around ag products required to build a pizza. Throughout the day, kids explore different stations hosted by ag producers, and enjoy pizza for lunch. Dorothy Key, Administrator Grand River Agricultural Society
Equine Guelph's interactive youth education attraction is the perfect fit where education meets fun! From sitting on top of everyone's favorite fiberglass horse, "Shorty Legs", to learning the inner workings of the horses skeletal and digestive system - EquiMania! delivers information in the most entertaining way for the whole family. The EquiMania! Explorer safety program tours youth through the entire display learning how to be safe around horses, in the stable, around equipment and in the barn yard. Our new helmet safety display is proving popular, teaching riders why it is so important to use their head and always wear a helmet when working around horses. This youth safety education initiative is made possible each year by our partners: Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian Federation, SSG Gloves, System Fencing and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. Equine Guelph also thanks Greenhawk, Shur-Gain and Zoetis for their generous support as sponsors of our healthcare displays. Our next stop will be at Can-Am Equine All Breeds Emporium, April 3 - 5 at the new location of Markham Fairgrounds. Help us celebrate our 10th year at Can-Am! Bring the kids to enter a new colouring contest (up to age 10). And for horse enthusiasts new to riding, the Ticket to Ride program will trot out again. Brought to you by Equine Guelph and the Ontario Equestrian Federation, "Ticket to Ride", offers youth an opportunity for a FREE assessment lesson, discounted lesson package or free introduction to horses barn tour at participating OEF member riding facilities. Pick up your Explorer Passport at the EquiMania! display and let the learning begin! Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada
York Harness Raceway Presents The PACT Charity Two Day Harness Racing Extravaganza... SATURDAY 15th & SUNDAY 16th AUGUST 2015 This event is set to be the biggest two day race meeting in the history of the sport. It is going to be a full weekends racing! Along side the racing there will also be lots for the family, including children's rides, country stalls, hog roasts and much more, maybe even celebrity appearances!! There will also be a late night bar with live music/entertainment! (More info to follow) All to raise money for PACT, a Parents Association of Children with Tumours & Leukaemia. Please watch this video as this is such a fantastic and worthy charity. If you would like to sponsor this event, or if you wish to donate money please contact email@example.com FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1425422884421435/ FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/pages/York-Harness-Raceway-presents-the-PACT-Charity-Two-Day-Racing-Extravaganza/1540552852874713
Harness racing pundits only wanted one horse tonight in the second heat of the New South Wales Derby at Menangle. Art Union was expected to be too strong from barrier four and punters would have been happy with themselves after 500 metres when driver Dexter Dunn let the son of Art Major slide to the lead without having to really use him. Sporty Spook after an early burn from barrier nine to grab the lead settled into a lovely trail on Art Union's back with Kilcullen working to the death and in the process giving Ideal For Real a lovely sit in the one by one. Dexter held the favourite back to the field until the corner where he set him alight but it was to no avail as Ideal For Real and Gavin Lang just burned him with raw speed as he went straight past him half way down the Menangle straight and kept going to the line for a very impressive win. Art Union fought on gamely for second just in front of Sporty Spook while Kilcullen was much improved in holding on for fourth after doing the most work in the race. Trained by Emma Stewart the American Ideal colt paced the 2400 metres in 2:54.7, a mile rate of 1:57.2 with closing sectionals of 55.8 and 26.4. When Ideal For Real gets the kind of run he did tonight he can be lethal over the last 400 metres as he showed recently with a huge finish for second in his heat of the Victoria Derby. With Gavin Lang in the bike Ideal For Real will lack nothing in the driver department on Sunday week and looms as a major win chance if he can get the kind of run he did tonight. Harnesslink Media
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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.
"Education that fits into your busy schedule, that you cannot afford to miss" is one statement to describe Equine Guelph's two week eWorkshops. With access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, hundreds of students from all over the world have armed themselves with knowledge; protecting themselves and their horses against costly and often dangerous mistakes. Created as a response to industry demand; the three eWorkshops on offer this spring are: Horse Behaviour and Safety, Colic Prevention and Biosecurity. $75 + HST/course is cheap insurance to help reduce the risk of sickness and injury. Behaviour and Safety eWorkshop Can you think of a better way to study horse behaviour than to learn how to speak their language? Equine Guelph's Behaviour and Safety eWorkshop reduces your physical risk by teaching practical horse handling skills while taking into account how horses perceive the world around them. Paddock safety, fire prevention, barn safety, rider safety and trailer loading basics are covered in this practical two-week eWorkshop running from February 23 - March 8, 2015. Renowned guest speaker Dr. Rebecca Gimenez from Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) is back for the third offering of this popular course available to participants 16 years and up. Learning horsemanship through understanding behaviour provides a great foundation for learning safety. Course instructor Susan Raymond says, "This eWorkshop is invaluable for beginners and a great way for industry professionals to brush up on knowledge they work hard to instill in their students." Equine Guelph also offers a Train the Trainer module for industry professionals who wish to impart the Behaviour and Safety course by hosting their own clinics. Contact Susan Raymond for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit EquineGuelph.ca/eworkshops/behaviour_safety.php Colic Prevention eWorkshop The majority of colic incidents can be avoided through preventative stable management strategies. The Colic Prevention eWorkshop helps horse owners reduce the risk of colic in their horses by increasing their knowledge of risk factors and developing sound management plans. Student Natalie Price said, "This course is a must for all horse owners as knowledge is the first and best defense against colic!" Colic is the number one killer of horses other than old age! Participants age 18 and up will learn about the different types of colic and how to implement practical ways to reduce the risks of colic in this two-week eWorkshop running from April 13 -26, 2015 Biosecurity eWorkshop From Equine Herpes virus outbreaks to common flu virus outbreaks, prevention is the key concept every horse caretaker needs to implement. In Equine Guelph's Biosecurity eWorkshop, industry experts, including guest speakers from the Ontario Veterinary College, share their knowledge showing horse owners the simple steps they can take to protect their horses from infectious disease. OVC researcher, Dr. Weese, who also authors the "Worms and Germs" blog, says "Having a basic infection control plan in place is probably the biggest thing someone can do to reduce the risk of disease." Infection control both on the farm and while traveling are covered in this practical two-weekeWorkshop running from April 20 - May 4, 2015. Time for Two-weeks of eLearning The spring offerings will deliver more knowledge from experts on topics the equine industry has cited as top priorities. Equine Guelph's director, Gayle Ecker says, "The two-week short course format has proven popular as a quick, effective way for horse owners to learn more about safety and important equine welfare topics." Equine Canada has also approved the eWorkshops for updating credits for their coaches. You can register for Equine Guelph's upcoming Spring eWorkshops at: http://equineguelph.ca/education/eworkshops.php Horse Behaviour and Safety - February 23 - March 8, 2015 Colic Prevention - April 13 - 26, 2015 Biosecurity - April 20 - May 4, 2015
It was the first day of school for students at the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre yesterday. Twenty students have enrolled into full-time studies at the facility at the Warragul harness racing track, and a further fourteen will attend on Wednesday's as part of their secondary school studies, known as the VET In Schools program. Centre founder Des Hughes is delighted with the level of interest in the Centre over recent years, but in particular for 2015. "We're still getting enrolments and enquiries. We don't know where it will end up," Hughes explained. "There are a lot of first timers, but they all have an interest in horses." With the financial support of Harness Racing Victoria, who have provided funding to assist with the purchase of horses, there are now more opportunities than ever for students to experience hands-on involvement with horses. "The hands on aspect is very busy here at the moment," Hughes said. "The HRV contribution has certainly helped us get a few more horses, and their help is much appreciated." As well as from the immediate Warragul area, students are also coming to the Centre from areas closer to Melbourne such as Pakenham and Croydon, as well as areas such as Traralgon and Stratford in the Latrobe Valley/East Gippsland region, where harness racing hasn't been held for some two decades. Students at the Gippsland Harness Training Centre learn all aspects of horse training and driving, as well as animal welfare, and personal development, all keys to embarking on a successful career in the racing or equine industries. The friendships and connections made and life skills learnt by students are also invaluable for their day-to-day lives. The Centre's courses are in their nineteenth year and are co-ordinated by the Warragul based educational provider, Community College Gippsland. The Gippsland Harness Training Centre and its achievements are a good news story for the trotting sport. Kyle Galley