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Mie Ostersen can’t remember a time when she wasn’t entrenched in the horse world, as her parents raised her in the thriving harness racing industry in Varberg, Sweden. But she didn’t really get introduced to show jumping until she was a teenager. Now, at age 23, she’s one of the top grooms at Irish Olympic show jumper Cian O’Connor’s stable with an FEI World Equestrian Games on her resume and the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games on her to-do list. “My father trained trotting horses, and my mother would help with the riding and grooming of the horses,” Ostersen said. “From an early age I started grooming and riding my horses at home. All my basic skills I have learned from my parents. They taught me a lot, and I’m grateful for it. I can always call and talk to them. It’s great to have a family that understands the sport and the time it takes to do what I do. “[Harness racing] is very different from show jumping,” Ostersen continued. “But in the end, we want the same final result. We want happy horses that want to do the job.” Mie Ostersen learned her horsemanship skills while caring for her parents’ harness racing horses. Photos Courtesy Of Mie Ostersen Growing up, Ostersen helped take care of her family’s trotters and rode them when she could. Her father also worked as a farrier, and when she was 15, he introduced her to an Irish show jumping couple, Michael Whyte and Sarah Murphy, for whom he shod horses. “I was interested in seeing a different side of the horses. I’d been doing the racing thing for so long with my dad. That’s when I first fell in love with the sport,” Ostersen said. “I would go to the stable most days after school, and on the weekends we would go to shows. I rode their horses and groomed them. They taught me a lot. It was also a different language; I got to practice my English.” After Ostersen graduated from high school in 2016, she went to visit Whyte and Murphy in Ireland, where they’d returned after their sojourn in Sweden. She wanted to take a year off before university and thought about traveling, but she also needed to work. Whyte and Murphy connected her with O’Connor, and the job with him was a good fit. “I found out that I could do that with grooming—work with horses and see the world—so I thought it would be a great idea,” Ostersen said. “I got the chance to spend the winter in Florida, and it was nice. I thought it couldn’t get much better!” Mie Ostersen bonds with all of the horses she cares for, but she has a special affinity for PSG Final. O’Connor is based in Ireland, winters in Florida, and he travels extensively to compete. “I’ve been to so many countries!” Ostersen said. “There are times we’re busy, but there are also times afterward when we make time to see things. When we were in Paris, we got to see the Eiffel Tower and see a few things around town, which was cool as I’d never been to Paris before. I’ve gone to Dubai as well, which is such a different culture. In Florida is when we get to see the most of an area, because we’re based there for so long, three to four months. We’ve gotten to travel a good bit then.” Ostersen enjoys helping O’Connor. “Before I started, I’d heard that he was hard to work for, but we get along quite well,” she said. “He knows I mind his horses well, and I know what he likes. We have long days, but they’re usually really good days. He’s a quite fair man to work for. He is very organized and always has a plan! He always puts the horses first, no matter what.” When O’Connor’s team is in Ireland, they’re based at Karlswood, a state-of-the-art facility in County Meath. “The new facility here is a beautiful place to work, with absolutely everything you could think of, from water treadmill to salt room, spa and vibrating floor,” said Ostersen. “Our horses get to go on the water treadmill, and they all love it. They get to work out at the same time as they get to splash in the water. After jumping they get to go on the spa. On other days they would go on the vibrating floor or go in the salt room. A horse that is well-minded is also a horse that will feel good!” One of Mie Ostersen’s duties includes supervising horses using the water treadmill. Ostersen’s primary goal is to keep her charges content. “I keep my horses happy with a lot of grooming and snacks,” she said. “It’s important to have them out in the field, and if they can’t go in the field I would bring them out for grass. I keep my horses happy with a nice straw bed. We find they tend to lie down more in the straw instead of shavings. There is nothing better than a relaxed horse that can enjoy a good nap. Last but not least, it’s important to reward the horses if they do something good. That’s where the treats come in. Most horses are happy when they get food!” Ostersen doesn’t ride much in her role with O’Connor, but she doesn’t mind. “I love just spending time with the horses, grooming them, taking them out for grass, bonding with them,” she said. “When you get to spend a lot of time with them, you know what the horse is like, and if there’s an issue, you notice it. I love seeing the horses happy.” Mie Ostersen initially started grooming as a way to earn some money and see the world before going to university, but four years later, she’s still working with horses. PSG Final is one of Ostersen’s favorite charges, and she’s taken care of him for two years. “I love the ones that are a bit special, that there’s something different to them,” she said. “PSG Final is very much one-of-a-kind. He makes me smile every day! He loves napping; you could leave him napping for hours.” A highlight of her time grooming was when a jubilant Irish team, including O’Connor riding PSG Final, won the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final at Barcelona (Spain) in 2019. “Not only did we win, we also qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It was our last chance to qualify! We knew what we had to do, and as a team, we secured the qualification,” she recalled. Mie Ostersen loves spending time with the horses she grooms. Another memory she’ll cherish is accompanying O’Connor and Good Luck to the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. “Good Luck has always been in the stable, and he’s the kind of horse that you never thought you’d get to mind, but I actually got to mind him for a while and to do the World Equestrian Games with him, which was really cool for me,” she said. “It was a great experience. Just to be there and be able to groom that horse was a big thing for me.” Ostersen originally intended to take one year off before starting university, but it’s now been four years, and she doesn’t have plans to change course just yet. “I take one day at a time. My goal right now is to do the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021,” she said. “I would like to go back to school one day. But that could be a year or two down the line. I’m still young, and right now I’m very happy with my life.” By Molly Sorge Reprinted with permission of The Chronicle of the horse

Larry Resnitzky and Nicole MacLeod MacPherson of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, have established the website worldharnessracing.com to help draw attention to the many positives of the great harness racing industry worldwide. We’ve now completed a test run of 52 podcasts and are ready to embark on a new phase, with more participation worldwide. On April 7, 2020 we will release a special radio talk show with the legendary Joe O’Brien on worldharnessracing.com. The show aired in 1983, one year before Joe’s passing. It will be available with an interactive component that will see one person chosen at random on May 4 to receive a new copy of the now out-of-print book  THE HORSEMAN FROM ALBERTON The Story of Harness Racing Driver Joe O’Brien by Marie Hill. Contact:  larry@retromedia.ca

Post Time with Mike and Mike has an action packed harness racing show coming up on Thursday (March 17) at 1 p.m.   The "Voice of the Hambletonian" Gary Seibel will sit down with Mike and Mike to talk about his broadcasting career in the sport of harness racing. Gary is currently the Track Announcer and Simulcast Television Host at Cal Expo, as well as the play-by-play voice of the Hambletonian and The Little Brown Jug.   One of the hottest drivers at The Meadowlands Anthony Napolitano will join us as well. He is currently the leading driver at the Big M with 34 driving wins, and just under $300,000 in earnings for the meet.   Yonkers Raceway Director of Publicity Frank Drucker rounds out the guest list. He will talk about the upcoming George Morton Levy series, which gets under way Saturday at the Empire City oval.   Post Time with Mike and Mike will also draw the lucky winners to compete in the first of five legs of the George Morton Levy contest, in which the grand prize is a set of Yannick Gingras colors. Also, Mike and Mike will be giving away a Tim Tetrick bobblehead to a lucky winner on the March 24th show. To be eligible for the contests, go to http://www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com for more information.   Post Time with Mike and Mike is harness racing's newest podcast co-hosted by track announcers Mike Bozich and Mike Carter. The show's focus is to positively promote harness racing. Every hoof that hits the racetrack, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, has a story to tell, and they plan on telling those stories. Log on to Blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike to listen. If you miss the show live, you can listen on-demand at any time. Like them on Facebook at Post Time with Mike and Mike, and follow them on Twitter @ptmikeandmike1.          

The nominees have been set for the first ever "Post Time Awards" which will take place on Thursday, December 31st at 6:00 PM Eastern on harness racing's newest podcast "Post Time with Mike and Mike". The two-hour show can be heard on blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. There are six award categories, each with at least five nominees. The categories are Race Call Of The Year, Iron Horse Of The Year, Small Stable Of The Year, Horsewoman Of The Year, Upset Of The Year, and Race Fan Of The Year. The nominees will be announced on the Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, edition of "Post Time with Mike and Mike" beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern. Winners will be decided via open vote. Anyone can vote, and details on how to vote will be announced on Wednesday's show. Also on Wednesday's program, guests include Meadowlands and Freehold Track Announcer Ken Warkentin, and Anthony MacDonald continues his series about Thestable.ca. Post Time with Mike and Mike is harness racing's newest podcast co-hosted by track announcers Mike Bozich and Mike Carter. The show's focus is to positively promote harness racing. Every hoof that hits the racetrack, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, has a story to tell, and they plan on telling those stories. Log on to Blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike to listen. If you miss the show live, you can listen on-demand at any time. You can also follow the show on social media. Like them on Facebook at Post Time with Mike and Mike, and follow them on Twitter @ptmikeandmike1.

When people think of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes are immediately what come to mind. Very few think of races like the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot or the Kentucky Futurity.

Last week harness racing driver Mark Jones shared his thoughts on where he believes the Harness Jewels should be held. This week with the World Drivers Champ recently conducted we thought it was only right that the 2003 World Champ told us a bit about his World Drivers experience as well as his thoughts on some slightly more controversial matters surrounding the championship.

Harness racing should feel good it has Heather Vitale on its side. When it comes to a positive spokesperson for the sport, Vitale is one of the best in the business. She is celebrating the 15th anniversary as producer, writer and host of her CBS and Fox affiliated 'Post Time' in Delaware, a highly popular half-hour weekly television show that covers Dover, Harrington and Ocean Downs.

Harness racing needs to embrace technology and produce the best quality product if the Standardbred industry world-wide is going to compete against other sports. That's the opinion of award winning journalist Bob Carson.

Casey Leonard was reluctant to start driving horses, but the 35-year-old Illinois native is coming off back-to-back million-dollar seasons and will finish January as the leading harness racing driver at Maywood Park.

Al Carter III refers to himself as a 'self-diagnosed adrenaline junkie.' That's a pretty good diagnosis, considering you can get an adrenaline rush just reading the guy's biography. The lifelong Delaware resident is a partner and private derivatives trader for Diamond Carter Trading, a proprietary trading firm established in 1994.

Joe Hanney figures if he can make it here, he can make it anywhere. Hanney, a 30-year-old native of Dublin, Ireland, first came to North America in 2007 and after a year in Canada eventually settled in the U.S. to further his career in harness racing.

So, again, for all the harness racing horses, and for the entire sport of harness racing, start the year of 2013 by doing something different. Something new, something that might help make a difference.

Sam Bowie, Standardbred owner/breeder and former NBA center, will be the subject of an hour long documentary titled 'Going Big' and broadcast on ESPNU this Thursday (Dec. 20) at 9 p.m. (EST).

New Zealanders would love to claim her as their own. So would American trotting fans, but one of the world's greatest harness racing grooms is in fact both Japanese and deaf.

A revolutionary Indoor Air Purification System that will take the smoke out of your racetrack, racino or gaming facility and save you money has been developed and is currently being introduced by Racing Systems International, Inc. through its affiliation with Moleculair Technologies, Inc.

To coincide with the celebration of "Dave Palone Night," The Meadows Racetrack & Casino today posted on YouTube an original interview with Palone, who on July 5 became the "winningest" driver in North American harness racing history.

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