2014 has not been very kind to Travis Henry, who both trains and drives horses in the harness racing industry. Travis drives horses at both the Western Fair Raceway, (London, ON) and at Flamboro Downs, (Hamilton, ON) and due to extreme weather many race cards were cancelled at Flamboro Downs due to unsafe track conditions. Travis says his drives have been cut down to 15 a week from 30 a week compared to this time last year. The harshest part is how the year began for Travis, with the passing of his father Paul Henry. Paul was well known and very well respected within the harness racing industry and one could only imagine what Travis has been dealing with. "I have uncles who have done their best to help me out" Travis explains. "I have great friends and family who help me out. I keep going on and do the best I can." Travis is forever grateful for everything his dad taught and told him, to help encourage him to be the best. "I always know he wanted the best for me and I want to do the best for him." When Travis' dad Paul, was training horses Travis would focus his time and energy on driving. "He always told me if I want to be a driver, always watch the best drivers." As expected with anyone, losing a parent is difficult, to put it lightly. Travis is dealing with the loss but in his own words, he feels the new reality hasn't taken over yet. "I don't think the full effect has hit me just yet, because he was away the last two years in Florida. I am used to him being away but I would always call him and ask him 'what should I do?' if I was driving or looking to get a horse." "It's tough, I can't make that call anymore and I have to rely on friends and family, when I can't make that call anymore." It is hard and heart wrenching to know how important it was to Travis to speak with his dad regularly. To have the person who helped guide you suddenly disappear is unimaginable. These feelings cannot be put into words and the only way to relate is to have sadly gone through what Travis is experiencing. Travis thanks his girlfriend Maddie for being there for him during this time of need and tries to spend as much time with her possible. Travis, 25, does have a plan to succeed in harness racing. Yes his drives have been reduced, but Travis has expanded his talents by training horses. Currently Travis has 8 horses in his care. "As things started to get slow, I started looking to get horses and got a couple owners together to get some horses and (the owners) have all been really good..." says Travis. "I planned for this because I knew what was going to happen. I don't think it got as bad as everybody thought it was going to be... nobody knows what the future will be. I was actually planning on moving to Buffalo when all this (meaning the cut back by the Ontario Government), happened. Things kind of worked out for me and I ended up staying." With the plan the Liberals have today, it does sound positive but Travis has an interesting opinion about racetrack owners. Expressing racetracks should be owned and run by people who have their roots from horse racing. "...they understand the business. I drive at Georgian (located in Innisfil, ON), a lot. I see the grandstand is full with people, but if they want to bring their kids, there is nothing for the kids to do." "Grand River is owned by a horse person." Travis says. "They do stuff for family and kids between races. The grandstand is always full and that's how it should be." Some racetracks in Travis' opinion only care about the slot machines and the revenue generated from the slots. If the track owners had a choice, Travis feels they would give up on horse racing and only focus on the casino money, especially at the smaller racetracks. Looking forward Travis is working to have a strong and successful stable as well becoming more successful when driving at the races. In Travis' stable he has "one 3 year old, two 4 year olds and the rest are aged horses." Out of all his horses, Travis really likes Shesbadtothebone and believes this is the horse of highest caliber in his barn and has her set to race in a week or two. When Travis isn't working with horses or at home, he enjoys going the Ranch, which is a bar in Guelph but admits he doesn't get out too much anymore due to time constraints. "It is still the one bar we all go to if we are going out" says Travis. Travis follows hockey and says the Washington Capitals are the team he cheers on and his favorite player is 'Ovie' also know as Alexander Ovechkin. "I'm a big Ovie fan and I get bugged about it all the time" Travis says. Prior to cheering for the Capitals, Travis was a big fan of the Colorado Avalanche dynasty which starred players like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Ray Bourque and Patrick Roy to name a few. One day, with all his hard work, Travis may have a dynamic stable and all he learnt from his dad and uncles will shine bright like the morning sun. By: Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
A nasty-looking, two-horse spill involving drivers Travis Henry and Bruce Richardson occurred late in the mile in Thursday’s first race at Flamboro Downs. Mckenna Sister appeared to leap over a pylon that had blown onto the track around the final turn, and she fell right into the path of Designer (Bruce Richardson) who couldn’t avoid the fallen foe. Both drivers were ejected from their bikes and booked off their remaining drives. Travis Henry was taken to nearby hospital, where he was later released. Henry stated on his Facebook page "I am very lucky to be home right now with a bad headache and a bruised and a sore neck. Richardson, who landed on his back, booked off the remainder of his drives after suffering a sore hand and knee. There was no update from track officials on the condition of the horses involved in the accident. To view results for Tuesday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca
Three eliminations for the $70,000+ Dream of Glory Trot were contested at Hanover Raceway Saturday night. The field for the Dream of Glory final is now set, and eight horses will headline the biggest night of the year at the Hanover oval on August 3rd. In race three, Enough About You went off as the post-time favourite and had it all his way from the outset of the race. Driver Travis Henry who was making his first steer of the three-year old Mutineer gelding rated an easy mile to win in 1:59.1. After the race, Henry noted that he had talked with regular pilot Anthony Macdonald earlier in the week and simply “did what [he] was told.” Enough About You won by two-and-a-quarter lengths over Muscle On Broadway and Ross Battin who also qualified for the final. Henry also noted that the Dream of Glory final will be the richest race of his young career and he’s looking forward to being a part of it. The win was the fourth lifetime score for Enough About You, who was coming off a sixth place finish in the Canadian Breeders Championship a week prior. Carmen Auciello trains for the Wheelhouse Racing Stable in Mississauga, Ontario. Another CBC finalist El Diablo Rojo engineered a wire-to-wire win in the second Dream of Glory elimination. Bruce Richardson was in the bike for trainer Mike Bishop and owner Karen Carroll, and Richardson was able to hold off a challenge from Bop Too The Top and Matt Bax. El Diablo Rojo trotted the mile in 2:00.0. After the race, Richardson said “depending on the post we draw, then I’ll figure out what trip to look for. If we draw on the inside, maybe the top will work out again, but we’ll see.” El Diablo Rojo ended up drawing the rail for next week’s final. The third elimination was contested after a lengthy rain delay soaked the track. Eat Pray Trot fired out to an early lead from post 7 with Garrett Rooney steering. However, by the three-quarter station Bax had grinded his way to the top with Her Name Is Lola. The Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series filly took control heading for home and held off late challenges from both Eat Pray Trot and a fast-closing Standing My Ground. Two-time Dream of Glory winning trainer John Bax conditions Her Name is Lola for Parkill Stud Farm, Gaelic Stable, and Don Allensen. Bax will send out both Her Name Is Lola and Bop To The Top in the final. The field for the $71,200 Dream of Glory Final is as follows: 1 – El Diablo Rojo 2 – Katla 3 – Muscle On Broadway 4 – Eat Pray Trot 5 – Standing My Ground 6 – Her Name Is Lola 7 – Bop To The Top 8 – Enough About You AE1. PC Momma Mia AE2. Northern Nandi Off the track, Jim McCrae of Sauble Beach was the luckiest fan in attendance winning a 55 inch Panasonic Smart TV and Blueray package courtesy of 92.3 The Dock, and Modern Appliances of Hanover. McCrae said he’s a regular to Hanover Raceway and joked he’s going to need a lesson to learn all the great features the TV has to offer. Dream of Glory day festivities will include a Bar-b-q and Live band, Mini-horse race, Rides in a Clydesdale Carriage for the post parades, a Match Race between the 2012 champion Summer Indian (1:51.1) and 2011 champ Traverse Seelster (1:51.2), the 70,000 dollar Dream of Glory final, and a Mascot Race before the huge BEM fireworks display. There will also be draws for accommodations and golf at Cobble Beach, tickets to Music in the Fields, and a draw for a plane trip for 6 via Brucelandair to either Killarney or Niagra Falls. Post time for Dream of Glory Night is 6:30 p.m and doors open at 5:00. Gord Dougan
Henry and Holliday steal the show on Ladies' Night. There was plenty of great harness racing action on Saturday night, as Hanover Raceway hosted Ladies' Night.
Dundas (Ontario) harness racing trainer Isaac Waxman has conditioned some pretty nice horses in his time - including 261 career winners who have banked more than $2 million - but now just over six years into his career the 24-year-old believes he's found his fastest horse yet.
With the surname Henry - Travis Henry was always destined for a career in harness racing. From the moment he jogged his first horse at the age of seven, Henry junior was injected with the racing bug - and now some 15 years later he is well ensconced in the sport having driven 58 career winners in just one-and-a-half seasons.