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.
Westfield, IN- The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is pleased to announce its 2015 harness racing summer program schedule which includes eight states and two time-zones, including a leadership camp at the Goshen Historic Track and a one-day event at Nappanee Raceway, an Indiana track that features Trottingbreds - the breed the Foundation uses to teach horsemanship. Complete 2015 schedule information, along applications for all of the Foundation's Summer Programs is available at http://www.hhyf.org/schedule-applications. HHYF's popular five-day overnight camps, for students 12-14, will be held June 20-24 at Harrington Raceway, in Delaware; July 7-11 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, in Pennsylvania; and July 14-18 at Vernon Downs in New York; and a five-day non-overnight camp at Gaitway Farm in New Jersey, July 27-31. These camps culminate with a driving exhibition on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands on August 8. The leadership program for high school age students with previous HHYF experience is set for Goshen Historic Track for July 20-24. All events feature hands-on experience, including driving the organization's stable of Trottingbred horses. Shorter introductory programs for children ages 11 and up are scheduled for Running Aces in Minnesota on June 8-9; Nappanee Raceway in Indiana on June 15; Ocean Downs in Maryland on June 26; and at Scioto Downs in Ohio on August 11. Check the website for possible additional public programs. A number of closed programs for interested groups (4-H, scouts, etc.) are scheduled and dates remain available for additional programs for similar organizations. "HHYF will be hitting the road earlier than usual this year and extend the HHYF season into mid-August in order to accommodate all our hosts. We are very fortunate to have supportive sponsors and volunteers who recognize our mission's importance. I hope we can find a way to share with even more people the enthusiasm of the participants as they discover the fun of driving and caring for a racehorse; seeing it really refreshes one's outlook," explained HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. Keith Gisser, email@example.com or 216-374-1392.
Westfield, IN - After last year's success the Harness Horse Youth Foundation's Drive for Youth, the organization's annual fall fundraiser, will again be a week-long national effort, kicking off on October 5 at The Red Mile and running through October 11. Top driver and HHYF trustee Corey Callahan is again challenging his fellow horse people to participate. "Last year was a Great Success and of course we want to improve on that this year," he explains." We really appreciate everyone's help to continue with these programs so we can see more epic HHYF stretch battles like we saw on Hambletonian day this year. Those kids left with a wonderful experience and memory and the Drive For Youth fundraiser guarantees that many more will have that great experience." Owners, trainers and drivers can pledge either a percentage of their earnings during Drive for Youth week, or they can pledge a flat amount as Executive Director Ellen Taylor explains. "We are thrilled to have the support of horsemen at Hoosier Park on October 10, and The Meadows and Harrington Raceway with dates soon to be announced, but we are requesting all trainers, drivers, and owners to participate. Their support ensures longevity for our programs including our summer camps and scholarships." To make a pledge to Drive for Youth, download the pledge form from www.hhyf.org/drive-for-youth. You may also contact Taylor at 317- 867-5877 or by e-mail: Ellen@hhyf.org for additional information. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.
Guelph, Ontario - August 7, 2014 - When it comes to breeding the importance of sound management and health practices play a key role in building a solid foundation toward a horse's future. Equine Guelph is pleased to offer its newly updated "Growth and Development" online course as part of its Fall 2014 lineup, which has been designed to increase awareness by incorporating the advances in research and evolving management practices for the broodmare and stallion. "The Growth and Development course will eliminate all the old wives' tales and myths, and replace tradition with hard facts from research and development," says course instructor Doug Nash who served as farm manager at Glengate Farms in Campbellville, Ontario for almost 30 years. "It will also bring those same people up to date with the latest technology, nutrition and methods used today by the professionals of the trade, through class discussion and the use of guest speakers, as well as the new audio/visuals and revised textbook." Offered as a 12-week online course through the University of Guelph in September, key topics include examining barn and breeding facilities, property location and renovation of an existing facility, water sources and quality, bio-security, nutrition, and animal conditioning for reproduction, as well as encompassing all aspects of reproduction and sound management practices prior to conception and beyond. The course will also consist of video interviews with experienced industry breeders; along with video demonstrations of preparing for semen collection and new technological advances such as embryo transfer. "This is a course for anyone who might be contemplating horse ownership and breeding, as well as future veterinarians considering large animal practice, and veterinarian assistants," says Nash. "It would also benefit those working in the production for sales of equine breeding supplies and building design for the horse industry, as well as the area of bio-security with regard to producing or selling mare and foal feeds, supplements and milk replacers and those boarding mares and foals as a profession or producing weanlings to yearlings for sale or training." Registration for Equine Guelph's Fall 2014 semester is now open with courses beginning on September 15, 2014. Other Fall course offerings include Management of the Equine Environment, Equine Health & Disease Prevention, Equine Nutrition, Equine Functional Anatomy, Equine Business Management, Stewardship of the Equine Environment, Equine Journalism, Advanced Equine Functional Anatomy, and Advanced Equine Behaviour. The early bird deadline is Friday, August 15, 2014. More information can be found at www.EquineStudiesOnline.ca or by contacting Open Learning and Educational Support at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca or 519-767-5000. 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: Barbara Sheridan Photo Captions: Understanding the birth cycle of the horse and related warning signs of problems is just one of the many topics that will be explored in Equine Guelph's Growth and Development online course.
(Millstone TWP, NJ) - The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF), August 5, 2014. Verification means that SRF meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS's rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a site visit, and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles. "Standardbred Retirement Foundation is an important resource for New Jersey and Kentucky," said Jackie Beckstead, GFAS Director, Accreditation and Field Operations. "The Standardbred Retirement fills a crucial niche in the equine rescue community by specifically focusing on the needs of retired Standardbred horses, saving those animals from slaughter, educating the public about the need to provide second careers and rehoming opportunities for these amazing equine athletes, and using the benefits of equine contact to connect with at-risk youth in the community," she said. Jannine Kraus, Business Administrator of SRF, said, "Our Verified status with GFAS affirms our absolute commitment to provide our rescued Standardbred horses with the very best care possible, as well as maintaining strict adherence to a code of transparency and organizational integrity. She continued, "GFAS verification is very important to us; they provide a standard of rescue best practices, support for funding sources and education, and open a network of resources that would otherwise be unavailable to us. We are appreciative of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and proud to have received GFAS Verification." Beckstead states, "Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides a strong example for other equine rescue organizations to follow. We applaud their efforts to constantly upgrade and improve their already outstanding efforts in helping Standardbred horses, both in their care and those still at risk, as well as the at-risk youth who are inspired by the time they spend with the horses who live at the SRF facilities located at Cream Ridge, NJ, Wallingford, KY and Blairstown, NJ. The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by a generous grant from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsÂ®. About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization's work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the ASPCA, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. www.sanctuaryfederation.org. Heart: The story of Pam Berg Pam Berg is the consummate advocate and founder of GEVA, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and retirement of horses - Many of which are thoroughbreds off the track. Pam is also "off the track," being an x-racehorse trainer and rider. Visit GEVA's website at www.glenellenfarms.com About Standardbred Retirement Foundation Standardbred Retirement Foundation, incorporated in 1991 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, operates three separate rescue facilities in Cream Ridge, NJ, Wallingford, KY, and Blairstown, NJ. The organization's mission statement says, "The Standardbred Retirement Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization created to care for, rehabilitate, and secure lifetime adoption of non-competitive racehorses, to ensure their proper care with follow-up, and to combine the needs of youths at risk and these horses in therapeutic equine programs to benefit both." For more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732.446.4422. http://www.adoptahorse.org About the ASPCAÂ® Founded in 1866, the ASPCAÂ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsÂ®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation's leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca. Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp.
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 7 - Jetpedia drew first blood in the opening leg of the Define The World Series for two-year-old trotters on Thursday night at Mohawk. Formerly known as the Bridger, the series was renamed this year in honour of the John Bax trainee, Define The World, who earned more than $1.7 million dollars during his seven-year racing career. The opening leg saw a group of eight battle for a purse of $12,000. Jetpedia, the 6/5 favourite, turned in a dominating gate-to-wire victory to break his maiden in 1:59. Driven by co-owner Mike Saftic, Jetpedia left hard off the gate for a comfortable lead at the opening quarter in :28.2. Saftic slowed things down in the middle half leading through a half of 1:00. and a three-quarter time of 1:30.1. In the stretch, Jetpedia cruised away from rivals with a last quarter of :28.4, under a Saftic hand drive, to win by 3 Â½ lengths. Homen Dry, who was second over on the final turn, took second, while Monopoly Blue Chip was third. Jetpedia is a son of Muscle Hill - Baker Black Jet and is trained by Gregg McNair, who shares ownership with Saftic. The maiden breaking score came in the two-year-old gelding's second start of his career. Jetpedia's clocking of 1:59. was a second slower than his career mark of 1:57.4, which was taken in a qualifier on July 22. The second leg of the Define The World Series takes place next Thursday (August 14) at Mohawk. Mark McKelvie
Montreal, August 7 2014 – Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, announced his intention to put forward a bill that would redefine animals in the Civil Code of Quebec and grant them the status of sentient beings. In order to proceed with this reform, Mr. Paradis reached an agreement with the Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée. Mr. Paradis’ announcement comes in response to the Animals are not things manifesto, which was launched on January 22nd and has been signed by over 46 000 people. The manifesto, which is supported by theMontreal SPCA, calls for a reconsideration of the legal status of animals in the Civil Code of Quebec. Currently, our Civil Code considers animals to be moveable property, indistinguishable from a toaster or a chair. Under civil law, the act of hurting or abusing an animal is therefore tantamount to the destruction of property. The SPCA applauds Minister Paradis’ willingness to reform the legal status of animals. “Given the importance and complexity of this issue, as well as the fact that over 46 000 Quebec citizens have expressed their concern about it, it is crucial that public consultations take place before moving forward with a bill” said Me Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and Campaigns Manager for the Montreal SPCA Animal Advocacy Department. “We feel that this is an opportunity to effect real change for animals in this province and for Quebec to become a leader in animal welfare instead of lagging behind.” Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or email@example.com.
August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim Beviglia
Horse Racing New Brunswick have released the latest standings in the year-long handicapping challenge. Winner will receive a trip for two to Toronto. After week eleven of the challenge, Brad MacPherson still leads the charge with a total of $170.10. Rose Doyle maintains here spot in second place, while Kayden Buchanan rounds out the top-three with $148.20. This week's top handicapper was Jenn Ritchie with $16.10. She will receive a prize from H.P.I of $25.00. Week twelve will be held on August 9th at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. Brad MacPherson 170.10 Rose Doyle 155.80 Kayden Buchanan 148.20 Adam Saunders 147.30 Jenn Ritchie 115.40 Bruce Smith 78.00 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00 Dale Spence Sr. 18.60 Scott Waddell
The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River Raceway showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends. This week, A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field. In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway's Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows: The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway's G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna. Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. Standardbred Canada and Meadowlands files Thomas H. Hicks
Cheating on your spouse is not very nice; and is still a crime in many places. While prosecutions for Adultery are admittedly rare, the Scarlet Letter crime is still on the books. In fact, at last count it's a criminal offense in 21 states. While liberalized divorce laws in all 50 states have eliminated the need to plead and prove civil grounds for divorce, such as Adultery, some spouses try to encourage prosecution of their wayward betrothed to extract an advantage with issues such as child custody and visitation. Public Intoxication is also a criminal offense in several states, and, unlike adultery, arrests and prosecutions occur with regularity. A related crime, Public Lewdness, occurs when too much beer leads to the need to relieve oneself in an open place. How prevalent are the types of activities described above? You don’t need to have a degree in the social sciences to conclude that everybody has, and everybody will, do regrettable things during their lifetimes. While not everyone sleeps around or drinks to excess in public, there are those who have shoplifted a candy bar; made graffiti; sold a bootleg recording; hosted a poker game; walked across railroad tracks when the gates were down; passed a joint to a friend (constitutes a drug sale); cheated on their taxes and committed hundreds of other criminal offenses. Imagine someone being permanently banned from participating in pari-mutuel harness racing because his spouse caught him carousing around her back, or because he screamed obscenities in a park at midnight in an inebriated state. Not nice; and possibly criminal activity… but do these actions truly speak to the appropriateness of participation in our industry? Moreover, if the activity occurred away from a racetrack, what possible business would a racetrack management, much less a racing commission, have in using it to judge the character and fitness of an individual who always acts as a professional while in the paddock? Finally, all other things considered, would the penalty of perpetual banishment truly fit the crimes referenced? The stakeholders in our industry have varied opinions when it comes to horse slaughter. Irrespective of my opinion or that of anyone else, the present legal status of horse slaughter in this country is what it is; like it or not. Against this backdrop, consider the lawsuit presently pending in a Federal District Court in Ohio entitled, Mumaw v. Ohio State Racing Commission. The plaintiffs are longstanding owners and trainers of Thoroughbreds at Thistledown Racetrack. They contend that in 2012 they retired one of their horses by giving it to a woman seeking a riding horse for her children. The plaintiffs did not transfer the Jockey Club registration papers, explaining that they didn’t want the horse to end up racing ever again. They allege that it wasn’t until 2013 that the Jockey Club permitted a “Sold as Retired from Racing” designation on registration papers. Thus, they remained the paper owners of the horse. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs were contacted by somebody they describe as an animal rights’ advocate who indicated that the horse was purchased at a livestock auction house known as a conduit for horses destined for slaughter. It is alleged that this individual demanded money in exchange for her silence. Plaintiffs state that they balked at what they describe as blackmail, and the advocate then contacted both the stewards and track management. Purportedly based upon a racetrack boarding agreement provision prohibiting any horse from being transported from the track for the purpose of slaughter or to an auction house who sells horses for slaughter, the stewards and racetrack management permanently banned plaintiffs and their horses from participation in racing at the track. The question as to whether plaintiffs received a full, fair, constitutional hearing before the stewards is an open question in the litigation; as is the question of whether plaintiffs knew or should have known that the horse was going to a slaughter auction. The answers to these questions and many others are dependent upon what the court ultimately elicits as the true facts in the case. There are, however, questions that can be addressed without the need for much fact finding. The truth is that there is no jurisdiction, including Ohio, which makes it a crime to either buy or sell a horse for the purpose of eventual slaughter. In other words, while some may think selling a horse in a grade sale is horribly wrong, nobody has made it criminal. Yes, slaughter is illegal in certain states, but selling a horse with even nefarious intent doesn’t constitute slaughter. Moreover, not every horse at a grade sale necessarily goes to slaughter. In Ohio, some are purchased by Old Order Amish community members for transport or farm work. In fact, it appears from the complaint in the matter that the horse in question was actually purchased by a horse rescuer and never sent to slaughter. Plaintiffs deny that they transported a horse from the track for the purpose of slaughter. Even if they were found to have done so, what was violated was a track rule embodied in a stall application, not a state statute or regulation. While Thistledown management might be allowed to exclude plaintiffs’ from participation at their premises, what authority did the state’s stewards have to enforce a “house” rule? The question is important, because there are other Thoroughbred venues in Ohio where the actions of the stewards could have wide-ranging implications. What’s more, the very validly of house rules have always been a shaky issue. Decades ago, New York’s highest court voided a “policy” which was never promulgated according to state-mandated procedures that required jockeys suspended by the state during the Saratoga race meet to take their days at Saratoga. Years later, a federal judge refused to dismiss a complaint by New York jockey agents which challenged the legitimacy of a house rule limiting them from representing more than one journeyman jockey. In essence, if a house rule adversely affects a licensee, it impinges upon the vested property right granted to him or her via their state-issued occupational license. It’s for this reason that New York’s highest court also invalidated the state’s attempt to delegate licensing authority to the private, non-governmental Jockey Club. In sum, you could commit a crime and not serve a day’s suspension. You could also violate a racetrack’s house rule, not be in violation of a single law or regulation, and be banned for life not only by racetrack management, by the stewards in their official capacity as state commission agents. Don’t think slaughter is good? I don’t either, but that’s not the point. If Ohio doesn’t have a rule on the books, their officials shouldn’t be enforcing the rules of private organizations. Judges should fine and suspend the state licenses of individuals for regulatory violations, not because a private organization doesn’t like something. After all, aren’t the judges beholden to state law and regulation? When track managements persuade the judges to enforce track rules, it gives those non-governmental rules the impermissible imprimatur of the state. That’s just wrong, because while today the issue is slaughter, tomorrow it might be about free speech, driving style or perceived disloyalty. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network. Chris E. Wittstruck Courtesy of The USTA Web Newsroon
Montreal, July 30, 2014 – The Association of Progressive Jurists (AJP) and the Montreal SPCAare announcing the publication of AJP’s document which provides a critical analysis of traditional animal control by-laws and the publication of Montreal SPCA’s model animal by-law. The AJP and Montreal SPCA consider that the current legislation contains a number of problematic elements. The AJP points out that animal welfare provisions are often left out of animal related municipal by-law laws, but that they shouldn’t be. “General provisions that ensure the welfare of animals should be an integral part of all animal related municipal by-laws, in particular taking into consideration the scientifically recognized principle of animal sentience” says Me Marie-Claude St-Amant, who is responsible for the animal law committee at the AJP. “We drafted this text in order to explain, from a legal perspective, the issues inherent in most municipal by-laws that deal with animal control” she adds. In addition, the Montreal SPCA considers animal related municipal by-laws to be an integral part of a comprehensive solution to ensure the safety and welfare of animals and citizens. “Municipal by-laws should facilitate the reduction of companion animal overpopulation, ensure for responsible animal ownership and regulate the general way in which citizens and animals interact in the community” says Alanna Devine, jurist and Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We drafted this model by-law in order to provide Municipalities with an example of what they should be adopting in their communities. We are really pleased to have the support of the AJP for this important initiative” adds Devine. To consult the AJP’s text in its entirety, please visit the AJP’s website by clicking here(available in French only). To consult the Montreal SPCA’s model animal by-law please click here (available in French only). About the Association des juristes progressistes AJP is an association of lawyers, law students and workers dedicated to defending rights and determined to bring legal services to the struggle for social justice and to bring an end to inequality. About the Montreal SPCA Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is to: protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation; represent their interests and ensure their well-being; raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings. For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with the three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) to improve laws on animal protection. For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com. Media contacts: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, email@example.com. Me Marie-Claude St-Amant, AJP, 514-793-9448, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Horse Racing New Brunswick have released the top drivers and trainer numbers so far for the 2014 harness racing season in the province. Of all drivers in New Brunswick, Mark Haig leads the way going into this Saturday's program at E.P,R. Haig has reined a total of ten winners so far this season at tracks in Saint John and Fredericton. Todd Trites is sitting with nine trips to the winners circle and two are tied for third place. Mike Campbell and Mike Downey both have five wins on the year in New Brunswick. In the training category, there are three individuals who have five wins in 2014 as Mike Campbell, Sifroi Melanson and Bob MacNeil. Campbell had a big day on Canada Day as he registered three winners. Racing will continue this coming Saturday, July 12th at 2:00 P.M. By Scott Waddell
ELORA, ON - What's it like to be going crazy fast behind a 1,000-pound animal, with no seat belt, just two strips of leather as your steering wheel and only millimeters separating you and eight other thundering horses? Veteran driver Randy Waples says there's no feeling anything like it. "It's the greatest high in the world when you get to line up behind the gate. I've never lost it. It's been 31 years of driving horses now. Every time I go behind the gate I get that same kind of a rush, that adrenaline rush. It's just fantastic," Waples said. "You want to feel what it's like to be in a horse race? Get on a motorbike and do 100 miles an hour down the 401." Randy Waples went to high school in Fergus. When he was young, he used to play in a field in Elora that became the site of Grand River Raceway. Today, he's one of Canada's leading harness drivers and a four-time winner of Grand River Raceway's signature race, the Battle of Waterloo. At the age of 49, even after more than 6,000 wins and over $100 million in purse earnings, Waples said he still gets pumped when he takes the reins. "It's got that dangerous sort of aspect. You know they're close to you. You know how powerful the animals are. But you really don't put that into your mind because, basically, the whole time you're thinking, 'What should I be doing? Where should I be? Is this one live? Is that one stopping? Can I get out? Do I want to pull now?' There's a lot of things that go through your mind where you kind of push the dangerous part in the back of your mind." Waples said there's no better place for fans to get a taste of that adrenaline rush than at Grand River Raceway. "First of all, you're up close to the horses. To me, that's more important than anything," Waples said. "The other thing is, I think Grand River Raceway has gone out of their way to treat people the way they should be treated. It's customer first. "It's just such a friendly kind of an experience. That's Elora. Fantastic people." Waples is one of the most personable drivers in the game. He invited fans to say hello at Grand River. "I hope I see you there and if I do, come over to the fence, lean over and say, 'Hi' unless you're an ex-school teacher, then stay away," he said, laughing. Waples said horses are simply the greatest animals on earth. "We've been so lucky that God put these animals on the earth... They're so accommodating," he said. "Horses went to war with us, they carried the guns... Years ago, when there was no cars, the doctor went to the houses in a horse and a buggy. If that doctor couldn't get around in that horse and a buggy, a lot of people wouldn't be here today. We've got a horse to thank for it. "A lot of people don't know horses have blue eyes. You get up close to them, every one of them have the prettiest blue eyes you've ever seen in your life." As for the horse that changed his life, Waples didn't even think for half-a-second before answering. "San Pail. Absolutely San Pail," he said of the Breeders Crown and three-time Maple Leaf Trot winner. "People looked at me differently. I was able to compete at the highest level with a very good horse and he made me look good and people just, all of a sudden, looked at me in a different light. "He's meant everything to me." To hear more of our conversation with Randy Waples - including which three people, living or dead, he'd pick to have dinner with - check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Kelly Spencer for Grand River Raceway
Market Share has visited six different states and the Canadian province of Ontario during his award-winning harness racing career, but has never been to Ohio. That will change this weekend. Coming off a world-record performance 10 days ago, Market Share heads to Scioto Downs for Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Market Share drew post four in a field of 10 and will be driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano. The Charlie Hill Memorial field also features Arch Madness, Archangel, Creatine, Undercover Strike, Modern Family, Fusion Man, Major Athens, Rompaway Beau, and DW's NY Yank. Toscano said she was "on the fence" whether to go to the race, particularly because Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick, would be unavailable due to commitments in Canada, but made the decision after talking with owner Richard Gutnick. "We sat down yesterday and talked about it," Toscano said. "We made a 'pro' and 'con' list and the only thing on the 'con' list was we're not going to have our driver. But we're very fortunate to have Jeff Gregory in the barn and there's a break from Yonkers and the New York Sire Stakes this week, so he can go and drive the horse. "Our next main goal is to have him as good as we can for the Maple Leaf Trot (in mid-July). I think this race fits his schedule nicely and he seems good. I understand the track is great out there, so we're going to take a shot." Gregory drove Market Share to a 5-for-5 season as a 2-year-old in 2011. For his career, the 5-year-old Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He was named the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter. He is owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable, and Bill Augustine. Market Share's victories include the 2012 Hambletonian Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot, and this year's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. In winning the Maxie Lee on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Market Share trotted history's fastest mile on a five-eighths track, sto "He came out of the Maxie Lee really, really well," Toscano said. "He had a nice easy week last week and should be ready to go." Market Share is not the only star in the Charlie Hill Memorial. Ten-year-old Arch Madness is one of just nine trotters to earn more than $4 million in career purses. He has won 34 of 111 lifetime races, including the 2007 Breeders Crown, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. He is a two-time runner-up in the international invitational Elitlopp in Sweden. Archangel and Creatine both won Trotting Triple Crown races at age 3; Archangel capturing the 2012 Yonkers Trot and Creatine the 2013 Kentucky Futurity. Modern Family is coming into the Charlie Hill off a second-place finish in the Cutler Memorial on May 17 and has finished no worse than third in 11 starts this year. He has won five times. DW's NY Yank leads the field in earnings this year, with $171,600, and has exceled on smaller tracks. He has won nine of his last 14 starts around five-eighths-mile ovals and failed to hit the board only once. "It's going to be a good race," Toscano said. "It all goes to promoting the horse and promoting the industry. That's the beauty of the older horses. I think we're going to find that the older horses really develop a following. People really like watching quality horses race. "Years ago, the horse was the star. I'm all about making the horse the star. I believe in it. I love that." Racing in Ohio has enjoyed a resurgence since the introduction of video lottery terminals in 2012 and has attracted some of the sport's best horses for Grand Circuit events. "It's nice to see Ohio is getting back on the map again," Toscano said. "They've always been good fans. Probably the single-biggest turnout every year is the Little Brown Jug, so Ohio has been very good to Standardbred racing. It's kind of fun to be able to pay back a little bit and go out there and race." Here is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arch Madness, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Trond Smedshammer; 2. Archangel, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 3. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 4. Market Share, Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano; 5. Undercover Strike, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Tony O'Sullivan; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Fusion Man, Dan Noble, Jeff Smith; 8. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock; 9. Rompaway Beau, Don Harmon, Krista Harmon; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Ron Burke. DW's NY Yank will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
CAMPBELLVILLE, June 4 - They may have set the bar high in 2008 when they teamed up in the Pepsi North America Cup, but harness racing's Paul Macdonell and Brent MacGrath are hoping to recreate magic in 2014. The trainer / driver duo amazed thousands at Mohawk when they captured the 25th edition of the race with Somebeachsomewhere and this year they team up with Melmerby Beach, a son of the great pacer. Melmerby Beach won once in five starts as a two-year-old and resurfaced for his three-year-old campaign in a qualifier on May 2. Off the one trial, the colt was victorious in a conditioned event at Woodbine on May 8 in 1:51.4. However, sickness would prevent Melmerby Beach from making another start in advance of the stakes race raced named for his sire this past Saturday. Despite the slight change of plans, he finished third behind Hes Watching, the fastest winner of the three Somebeachsomewhere divisions. "He really kind of needed the start between his first start and the other night, but I thought he raced pretty good," said MacDonell. "I don't know if he was just at peak condition for that race, but with that start and going into this race (the elimination) he should be getting pretty close to it." Melmerby Beach will leave from post six, in Race 5, on Saturday, the second of three eliminations for the North America Cup. That field includes Somebeachsomewhere division winner Always B Miki and a pair of second place finishers in Mcwicked and Lets Drink On It. "It looks pretty snug, it is a competitive field with Holloway's horse (Always B Miki) in there," said MacDonell. "It will probably set up for a pretty competitive race and if he is back to where we think he can be he will be competitive as they are." Last year was the first appearance for Somebeachsomewhere as a sire in the North America Cup. His most notable son to date, Captaintreacherous, captured the Cup en route to earning over $2 million on the season. MacDonell said he is happy to have another Cup hopeful and for it to be a son of "The Beach" is an added bonus. "It is special and especially with a son of his, until we get there it is a bit stressed, but if we get there it will be a nice feeling," said MacDonell, also noting the parallels between "The Beach" and "Melmerby". "They have a lot of similar qualities, they are both top gaited horses, they both want to race and all those things add up." The 2008 Cup victory for MacDonell was his first North America Cup in his eighth try, since then he has had two attempts to regain Cup glory, finishing third in 2010 behind Piece Of The Rock and seventh in 2011 with Eighteen. Capturing his first North America Cup meant a lot to MacDonell and he would love to do again. "(Winning) it certainly takes that burden off, I don't know how many tries I had at it before I actually won it, and once you get it it's kind of really nice and just makes you crave more." by Mark McKelvie