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Horse Racing New Brunswick are pleased to announce to horsemen and harness racing fans that dates have been set to edge closer to live racing with qualifiers on the following dates.   After a harsh winter in New Brunswick, H.R.N.B will offer qualifiers this Saturday on May 10th at 12:00 P.M. They will then offer a date of May 13th in Saint John at 6:00 P.M.   In Fredericton, two dates also have been announced on Sunday, May 11th at 12:00 P.M and then on May 14th at 6:30 P.M.   Horse Racing New Brunswick have been busy getting ready for the 2014 racing season, and horsemen can contact the two race offices, Saint John and Fredericton to enter.   For the latest information, check our new and improved website.

Nominees for harness racing top horsemen awards have been announced by the Saint John Harness Horsemen for the upcoming awards gala.   Horse person of the Year will be a three way race between Mike Downey, Wayne Hubbard, and Bob MacNeil. Downey was inducted this year into the Fredericton Raceway Wall of Fame and will be looking to build on that momentum.   Owner of the year has also attracted three very deserving finalists. This award will be sponsored by Standardbred Canada and will be presented by Darren Crowe at the May 10th ceremonies.   Ultimate Stable, Dr. Mitchell Downey, and the Downey Stables will compete for the coveted award. This should be a tough category and the S.J.H.H.A would like to congratulate the nominees.   Scott Waddell    

Standardbred Canada are once again looking for regional qualifying rounds for the National Driving Championship in Canada and I will take a look at the local region here in New Brunswick. Who ultimately will get the chance to compete? Let's take a look. We have a number of talented and capable drivers in our province so to narrow it down is harder than one might think. I will give it a whirl and welcome comments. If there are eight challengers, here are the top-four I think will be quite easy in selecting. Gilles Barrieau, who will race out of P.E.I but is still a resident of New Brunswick is the first logical choice. Gilles has represented Canada at the worlds previously and is a automatic selection. Next, Todd Trites would be the second selection. He continues to post impressive numbers in Saint John and Fredericton, and is a popular catch-driver right through the Maritime driving circuit. My third choice is Mark Haig. Year after year the quiet and talented teamster who makes harness racing driving a weekend job, is always in the top five in standings at both tracks in N.B. For the fourth spot, I will say Stephen Trites, the elder brother of Todd and a more than capable driver. In fifth spot, I will put in Gordon Hennessey, the Moncton native and brother to Wally and Jody Hennessey and a very good option for catch-driving assignments in the province. For positions six through eight, its gets a little tougher. There are a number of capable drivers that could fill the last three spots and its a tough call. In no particular order, my picks for the final three regional competitors are Lonny Stokes, Dale Spence and Chris Davies. Like I said, a tough call and there are a few more who could easily make the grade but these are my picks for the eight representatives who will compete to represent N.B in the Atlantic Regional Final later this year in P.E.I. by Scott Waddell, for Horse Racing New Brunswick. Contact Scott at swaddell12@gmail.com

I recently penned a piece in the Atlantic Post Calls, the premier Maritime racing paper on looking ahead to the 2014 and looking for positives for racing in New Brunswick. While it was a challenge in compiling positive information without a one thing to focus on, one thing became clear. New Brunswick horse racing, and some involved, feel the only hope is a change in government in 2014. This fall, the New Brunswick electorate will have the chance to choose four more years of the Alward Tories, or take a change on a new young politician in Brian Gallant to lead the province. While there are three other options in N.B when it comes to official parties, I would be shocked to see anything but a Red/ Blue party again leading the province. So where does that leave harness racing? From everyone I have contacted, it seems to be a growing agreement that a change to a Liberal government is the only hope. As many are aware, the gov't opted out of the five-year deadline to support racing any further. It was the Shawn Graham led Liberals, who then had Mike Murphy in cabinet who is a horse owner and breeder that struck the deal when in power. Graham was turfed out after only one term and then it was up to the industry to keep things flowing with the Tories led by Alward and Finance Minister Blaine Higgs, a rookie cabinet choice with experience with the Irving Empire. It was no secret when the Tories took over that the province was in a dismal state of finance and it was up to Higgs and the new caucus to reign in spending, and horse racing was one area that was cut. There was even talk of a lawsuit by Horse Racing New Brunswick against the gov't for a breach of contract and a feasibility study was done, reportedly just to pacify the industry. Many insiders say the study was never going to amount to anything and was nothing more than a stall tactic. Also, there has been talk that gov't is not interested in dealing with H.R.N.B the way it is set-up now. So, it appears that the industry leaders in the province will do all they can to keep racing going this spring with approx. 23-24 dates in total. They will wait and see how the election of 2014 turns out and take it from there. Politics- they play a part in just about everything, including harness racing. Let's hope something can be done to keep the tradition of N.B racing alive but it may rest, as I mentioned, all up to politics. Scary. By Scott Waddell, for New Brunswick Horse Racing. Contact Scott at swaddell12@gmail.com

North America's top percentage harness racing driver in 2013 has been named the inaugural winner of the Earl Avery Award. Gilles Barrieau, the perennial New Brunswick driving champion and leading UDRS driver in North America last year with a phenomenal .420 average, edged out Woodstock, N.B. native Ivan Davies in voting for the award by industry leaders in New Brunswick. Janet Stevenson Davis, Dale Spence, Chris Davies and his horse, Dusty Lane Oscar, and Philip 'Bo' Sowers were also nominated. "I'm really honoured to win this award," said Barrieau, who maintains a large stable at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B. "Earl Avery was an outstanding horseman and just to hear that I was nominated had already been a special moment for me. My father [Alfred] actually worked for him when he was racing in the United States so I thought that was interesting connection. "This award is a fitting tribute to Earl Avery himself and a great addition for the harness racing industry in New Brunswick." Earl Avery was a native of Knowlesville, N.B. who later moved to Woodstock to begin a legendary career in the sport back in the early 1920’s. He was the first member of the harness racing fraternity to be inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1976; the normal five-year waiting period after retirement being waived for the much-respected Avery. Avery is the only horseman from New Brunswick to ever be elected to Horse Racing Hall of Fames in both Canada and the United States. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1977 and later the same year became the 25th person to be elected to the Living Hall of Fame of the Trotters in Goshen, New York. It was a fitting culmination of a career that saw him win more than 4,000 races and $3.5 million in career earnings and establishing nine world records. During his career, Avery became associated with arguably the greatest pacing horse in the history of harness racing when he convinced owner Norman Woolworth to purchase Meadow Skipper 50 years ago. Meadow Skipper went on to become a world champion race horse for Avery, pacing Lexington, Kentucky’s famed Red Mile in 1:55.1 in October 1963. He later developed into one of the most prolific stallions of the 20th century and his influences on breeding continue to be felt today. “This new award creates an opportunity to bring recognition to outstanding harness racing achievements in New Brunswick while also honouring an industry pioneer,” said Brent Briggs, administrator of the Earl Avery Award. “Besides being an outstanding horseman, Earl Avery was also a great ambassador of the New Brunswick industry for over 50 years. "I think the voting panel made an excellent choice in Gilles Barrieau as he has always been an outstanding representative of New Brunswick harness racing, not just this year but throughout his career. He is widely recognized for his training and driving talents; a complete horseman and gentleman, much like Earl Avery was himself." Barrieau will receive a cheque for $1,000 in the name of a recognized charity that he has chosen and will have an opportunity to present it to that charity on behalf of all horse people in the province during the upcoming horse racing season. The creation of the Earl Avery Award and the prize is a collaboration between Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Horseman’s Associations in Woodstock, Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton. Submitted from Earl Avery Awards

The finalists for the Earl Avery Award, an honour given to a horse, horse person or personality, or horse racing event that best represents the New Brunswick harness racing industry over the past season, were announced on Saturday, February 1. This is the first year for the Earl Avery Award, which recognizes successes within the province or could also honour a distinguished horse or horse person and their accomplishments outside New Brunswick that brings recognition to the industry, both of which Avery himself did with distinction. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 17. The presentation will be made at the Fredericton Horseman’s Association Annual Awards Banquet and Wall of Fame ceremonies later this spring. The recipient of the Earl Avery Award will also receive a cheque for $1,000 in the name of a recognized charity that they have chosen. They will have an opportunity to present it to the charity on behalf of all horse people in New Brunswick. The creation of the Earl Avery Award and the prize is a collaboration between Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Horseman’s Associations in Woodstock, Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton. The six finalists are: Bo Sowers - The Fredericton native was the 14th top-ranked trainer in North America in 2013. He had a .330 training average (640 starts - 129 wins - 99 seconds - 99 thirds). Sowers was also the top trainer in the State of Maine in all categories - wins, money and percentage. He returned home on July 1 and won the oldest running Free-For-All in Canada, the prestigious Walter Dale Memorial, with Malek Hanover. Chris Davies and Dusty Lane Oscar - The horse and his trainer became fan favourites in New Brunswick this past summer, winning 10 races in Fredericton and Saint John during a shortened harness racing season. Davies and his ever present smile and 'Hey bud, how’s it going?' attitude, along with his nine-year-old race horse Oscar, kept on winning this past summer and paced to a lifetime best of 1:57 over Fredericton, his 50th lifetime win. Dale Spence - He became a media sensation in New Brunswick in August after blazing Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John in a track record performance of 1:53.4 with Big League. The 1:53.4 mile was the fastest mile ever over a half-mile track in the province while breaking the longstanding track record. Making it more special was the fact that Big League was a New Brunswick homebred, who had his early beginnings in Saint John. Gilles Barrieau - He was the leading UDRS driver in North America in 2013 with a phenomenal .419 average (507 starts - 138 wins - 96 seconds - 64 thirds) finishing three percentage points ahead of another New Brunswick native, Drew Campbell (.416), who races primarily in Maine. Barrieau was the leading driver at both race tracks in New Brunswick and he also campaigned the top Maritime-bred two-year-old Tobins Fusion. Ivan Davies - Woodstock native Ivan Davies capped an undefeated season with the three-year-old trotting colt sensation Obrigado at Scarborough Downs in the $77,415 Maine Sires Stakes Championship Finals. Obrigado was undefeated in 13 starts in 2013 and earned over $100,000. Davies ended with the top two trotting colts in their division including Wakefield Fire, owned by his brother Owen and mother Donna. He has raced for a number of years in the New England States and has amassed 1,885 career driving wins and his horses have earned over $4.6 million. Janet Stevenson Davis - She was the winner of the 2013 Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s Service to Youth Award. The Service To Youth Award is given annually to an individual, farm, or organization who exemplify outstanding effort in facilitating youth participation in harness racing. Recipients show exceptional assistance to existing HHYF programs or in their own successful efforts. The native of Fredericton, who now resides in Delaware, also co-owns and trained the three-year-old trotting colt Good Skies, who won the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Stake at Harrington in July in a record time of 2:00.2. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcananda.ca

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – “Caring for Your Equine Athlete” is the over-arching theme of the upcoming Horse Management Seminar hosted by the Rutgers Equine Science Center and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.  The seminar, scheduled from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 9, 2014, will feature presentations by several equine industry experts. A special discount is extended to anyone whose registration and payment are postmarked by January 26, 2014.  Adults may register for only $50 for the full-day program which includes continental breakfast and lunch, while children, students, and seniors may register for $20.  After the deadline, prices increase to $65 and $35 respectively. “With the World Equestrian Games being held in Normandy, France this year, we thought this would be the perfect time to focus on the equine athlete,” says Dr. Carey Williams, Extension Equine Specialist and Associate Director of Extension for the Equine Science Center.  “Our goal in presenting this workshop is to give participants a glimpse into the life of a WEG rider and valuable advice for any equine athlete, whether it’s an international champion or a trusted lesson horse.” Williams has assembled presenters who are recognized as experts in their field to offer perspectives and personal insight.  The morning will start with a panel of top competitors from WEG disciplines, including endurance rider Meg Sleeper, combined driving/dressage rider Sara Schmitt, reiner Matthew Palmer, and eventer Carol Kozlowski.  They will discuss their beginnings, ways for interested riders to get started in their disciplines, trials and tribulations of competing at an elite level, and of course they will be open to questions from the audience.  Other topics and speakers will include “Getting Riders and Horses Ready for WEG” by Jim Wolf, with Wolf Sports Group, consultant to USEF; “Saddle Fitting for All Disciplines” by Rick Wills and Charlie O’Brien from Rick’s Saddle Shop; “Conditioning for Your Equestrian Sport” by Dr. Meg Sleeper, cardiology veterinarian for the Department of Clinical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and “Hoof Balance and Horse Performance” by Patrick Reilly, Chief of Farrier Services and Director of the Applied Polymer Research Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to the educational presentations, the seminar will feature informational displays, networking opportunities with industry companies and area organizations, and ample time for one-on-one discussions with the day’s presenters.  Complete program, registration information, and seminar brochure are posted on the Equine Science Center website at esc.rutgers.edu.  For more information, contact Laura Gladney at 848-932-3229, gladney@aesop.rutgers.edu, or Dr. Carey Williams at 848-932-5529, cwilliams@aesop.rutgers.edu. About Rutgers Equine Science Center The Equine Science Center is a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Its mission is Better Horse Care through Research and Education in order to advance the well-being and performance of horses and the equine industry. Its vision is to be recognized throughout New Jersey as well as nationally and internationally for its achievements in identifying issues in the horse industry, finding solutions through science-based inquiry, providing answers to the horse industry and to horse owners, and influencing public policy to ensure the viability of the horse industry. For more information about the Equine Science Center, call 848-932-9419 or visit esc.rutgers.edu.  

Harness Racing New Brunswick would like to let horsemen and fans know that this Saturday's final card of the 2013 racing season has been cancelled.   H.R.N.B would like to thank all horsemen and fans of racing for supporting the 2013 racing season and watch for updates throughout the year on the official website of H.R.N.B at http://www.hrnb.ca      

Todd Trites was dominating on Sunday at Exhibition Park Raceway as the Penniac, N.B harness racing driver scored four-wins on the seven-dash card.   With the four wins, Trites now stands at 69 wins on the year in the Maritimes. He connected with Boo Bro Bashfull in 2:03.2, Wave That Banner in 2:01.2 and Magical Alex in 1:59.1.   After winning the first three on the day he also scored in the days premier event with the Bo Sowers trainee Malek Hanover in 1:57.4 to record the fastest time of the day.   Other winners on Sunday were Goldin Opportunity ( 2:00.3 ) for Phil Reid, Lira Lira ( 2:02.4 ) with Sam Hodgin and Rockstar Bayama ( 2:00.1 ) for Mark Haig.   Racing is scheduled to wrap-up for 2013 this Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   Scott Waddell  

Officials from Horse Racing New Brunswick have announced the resignation of Jeff Malloy as Manager of Operations. Malloy has been with HRNB since its inception in 2008. “My position with Horse Racing New Brunswick has been more than just a job to me, I have been very passionate about the industry and the organization since Day 1. It was an honour and privilege to have been part of the organization and leadership team for the industry in the province.” stated Malloy. “It was a very difficult decision for my family and myself, I have two young children and a very supportive wife who have supported me over the past five years. This job is a lifestyle, it is not a 40-hour-a-week type of job. An opportunity came up that I had to consider.” HRNB President Dr. Mitchell Downey is disappointed, but understands Malloy’s decision. “I understand the pressure Jeff’s type of position puts on a young family first hand,” said Dr. Downey. “This was a personal decision Jeff had to make. He has a young family and has to put them first. He has indicated that he is committed to continue to assist and help the industry and organization going forward. We appreciate the dedication and effort Jeff contributed to the betterment of the industry both in New Brunswick and the Maritimes.” Horse Racing New Brunswick received some positive news from the Provincial Government in October when they engaged the Atlantic Lottery Corporation to study the feasibility of an entertainment facility at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. The industry is anxiously awaiting news of the study. “We are continuing to work towards a model that will allow the industry to prosper,” stated Dr. Downey, who expects that more information will be available in the upcoming weeks. From Horse Racing New Brunswick

In a show of salute for all war veterans, Horse Racing New Brunswick will feature a Remembrance Day Pace with a special guest of honour. Robert G. Kyle, a 91-year-old Second World War Veteran and Maritime horsemen from Memramcook N.B, will be on hand to drape the winning cooler to the victorious horse on Monday afternoons card. Monday's special program will get underway at 1:00 P.M. Horse Racing New Brunswick recognizes and salutes our war veterans.   Scott Waddell

Charlottetown, PE - The Atlantic Breeder's Crown Host Committee has released the names of the four Atlantic Canadian harness racing families which will be honored for their longtime achievements during the Atlantic Breeders Crown on Thanksgiving weekend. The Annear family, from Montague, Prince Edward Island; the Emmons MacKay family of Truro, Nova Scotia; the Bob Forward family of Newfoundland and Labrador; and the Stevenson family from New Brunswick, will be recognized. The family recognition will be part of the upcoming Atlantic Breeders Crown weekend in Charlottetown on October 12-13th. Atlantic Sire Stakes divisional champions will be crowned during the weekend. The four families from each of the Atlantic Provinces will be saluted with memorabilia on display in the "Memory Lane" room on the second level of Red Shores at the CDP. Family presentations will also be part of the gala awards night on Saturday, October 12 at the Rodd Royalty, Charlottetown. The reception will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the banquet at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and available at Charlottetown Vet Clinic, Red Shores race office or by calling 1-902-629-6636. For more information about the Atlantic Breeders Crown including hotel rates go to www.redshores.ca By Jerry McCabe  

It's a moment that will be remembered by racing fans, horsemen, and management for years to come in Maritime racing history.   On Friday, August 30th the maritime harness racing everywhere were buzzing about Big League's performance on that sunny Friday afternoon of exhibition week.   To recognize the moment, Horse Racing New Brunswick will be unveiling a new track record sign symbolic of the connections of Big League and his epic mile of 1:53.4 over Saint John's Exhibition  Park Raceway.   Officials of Horse Racing New Brunswick will be on hand for the special moment as part of this Saturday's program at E.P.R. Neal Moase owns the four-year-old Four Starzzz Shark gelding and is trained by son Jonah. Dale Spence was in the drivers seat on that historic day.   by Scott Waddell

Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action will resume this weekend when the two-year-old pacers check out the Northside Downs oval in North Sydney on Saturday afternoon. The two-year-old pacing colts will go in three 'A' divisions, attempting to capture the winner's share of the $7,120 purse.  A lone 'B' division will go for $2,500. Meanwhile, the two-year-old pacing fillies will go in two 'A' divisions, each with a purse pool of $9,420. Saturday's Atlantic Sires Stakes action will be the final events of the regular season, leading into the Atlantic Breeders Crown Championship Weekend.  This year's Atlantic Breeders Crown will be hosted by Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park on October 12 and 13.  First race post time on Saturday at Northside Downs is 1:30 pm. by Lynne MacLennan for ASBA    

What was first thought to be a joke among brothers now has a family laughing in Hampton, N.B. A couple who raises racing horses awoke Tuesday morning to find one of their colts standing on the roof of their garage. Shocked by the scene, they rushed to help the horse, but not before snapping a photo of the one-year-old colt stuck on the roof. A New Brunswick couple who raises horses says they were shocked to find one of their colts on the roof of their garage. “We saw the picture,” says Pat Downey, who owns the horse with her husband, Stephen. “He called as soon as he got him off because he didn’t have any trouble. Well, it took him a while, but he didn’t have any trouble getting him off.” She says the horse, Must Win, stays on the farm with her husband’s brother Archie and that it was Archie who awoke to the strange sight. She says she and her husband were baffled by the photo and convinced it was a joke. “It looked like Archie had done a joke on Stephen and Photoshopped the horse on the roof because that just doesn’t happen,” she says. “You would never get a horse to do something like that." “I sent it to a lot of people and a lot of people laughed,” says Stephen Downey. “They think it’s not real. They think you’ve Photoshopped it but it’s real and it really happened and it’s a good story because nothing bad happened.” They aren’t certain how Must Win managed to get on the roof but assume he somehow jumped up three feet and scrambled onto the structure. They managed to herd him off the far side of the roof with a long pole, prompting him to jump the three feet down. Must Win was checked for injuries but he appears to be in good health. “There was one spot, the hoof went through on the roof and there’s a hole,” says Pat. “The drop must be 12 feet down to the ground so I don’t think he would have recovered from it because we couldn’t have gotten him out.” The Downeys have raised horses at the farm for several years but say this is the first time a horse has climbed onto their roof. “In the 15 years we’ve had horses, I can honestly saying nothing like this has ever happened,” says Pat. The Downeys typically have several horses on the farm but they are being trained in Saint John, leaving the colt all alone. “I think he was just bored. He’s here alone and he’s usually not alone,” says Stephen. “He’s like a two or three-year-old kid and he was just looking for some excitement and he got into trouble like a regular kid would do.” The Downeys have now put a fence to the roof in the hopes that will stop their horses from spending another night high off the ground. Read more: http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-b-couple-shocked-to-find-horse-standing-on-roof-1.1460707#ixzz2fMRuQkCr Reprinted with permission by CTV news of New Brunswick

As part of a Canadian wide initiative taking place over the next few days, Horse Racing New Brunswick in Saint John are pleased to host the Bring a Friend to the Races promotion this Saturday.   There will be loads of activities for both new and future fans including:   Paddock Tours ( After Races )  Ask Me Person   Meet the Drivers + photos– before races at Promo Booth (between betting station and patio) Noon Bring A Friend registration – promo booth BBQ – free hotdog for those registered for event Handicapping workshop station – promo booth - 11:30 Draw box for starting gate ride, watch from the judges stand and other prizes  ( promo booth) Winner’s Circle Emcee Bouncy Pony races Free program and 2$ betting voucher for first 50 participants registered SJHHA will be donating $250 worth of gas for a grand prize draw. Participants must enter this contest before the third race and must be present after the last race to win.   All this and more on Saturday, August 24th which will also be    Maritimer Day as the best three-year-old fillies in Atlantic and Canada will clash. Post time is at 1:00 P.M. You can register by clicking here:     by Scott Waddell  

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