When jockey Jeff Burningham was unseated when his mount Proud Cause clipped heels with another horse in a bizarre racing accident Sunday at Hastings Racecourse, the reaction of many who know him was: “Oh no, not again.”

Despite his recent injury jockey Jeff Burningham stays upbeat at VGH – South End Photos

The veteran rider has had a history of suffering injuries at the track and Sunday was another reminder that mishaps happen not only in horse racing but other sports as well.

“One time following a racing accident a physiotherapist told me I would not only ever ride again but never walk again,” Burningham says.  “I refused to believe it.

“Later, after winning my first race following my recovery, I stopped by his office and gave him a picture of me in the winner’s circle.  To this day I will not accept the limitations put on me.  I’m sharing my thoughts with hopes others in the same situation will never give up hope.”

Burningham was speaking from his bed at Vancouver General Hospital earlier this week after learning his injuries included a broken L3 vertebra, broken shoulder blade, broken ribs and bruised lung.

“I realize because of all the injuries I’ve sustained during my career that people either think I’ve been the victim of bad luck or I’m accident prone,” he continued. “Those are words an athlete doesn’t want to hear.  My thought is that with lots of hard work, my name will be back in the racing program sooner than people think.”

It’s been suggested by doctors it could be a year to a year-and-a-half before he’s ready to ride again.

Burningham is determined to prove them wrong.

A GoFundMe page is being set up by his many friends and co-workers. Further details will be announced soon.

NEXT GENERATION:  Growing up on their parents’ farm in Pitt Meadows, twins Laura and Lisa Anderson shared a goal that one day they would own and train a racehorse. Now 24, their seeing that dream come true.  Last Sunday Laura saddled and won her first race with Ware’s My Jennie owned by her dad John.

All smiles in the winner’s circle at Hastings are the Anderson Family after daughter Laura has her first career victory – Four-Footed Photos

“We got the racing bug when our father bought us a big black thoroughbred named Happy n Bold,” says Lisa.  “That’s when we fell in love with thoroughbreds and began doing horse shows.  We were just starting high school.”

They purchased Ware’s My Jennie from the estate of Dave Dahl.  “We now have eight horses in our barn,” said Lisa.  “If you count the show horses, race horses, pets, senior horses and rescue horses, I guess you could say we are owners of 17 in total. We also made a former race horse named Simplicity a show horse who went on to win many show events.”

Lisa points to a “great support team” and says: “Somehow all the family has found a way to pull together and make it all work.”

HATS OFF:  Grooms of the week:  Geovani Olalde won Saturday’s nod with Wahoo Bill; Sunday’s winner was Ian Jewel with He’s The Reason.

NOTES ON A PROGRAM:  Don’t forget that racing under the lights resumes tonight at 7.  It’s the first of eight consecutive Friday Night Live cards.  The 11th annual Deighton Cup goes Saturday at Hastings with post time 1:50 p.m. There will not be Sunday racing … the Richard Yates Memorial is set for a week tonight – Friday, Aug. 2 – at 5 p.m. in the Marquee Tent at Hastings with dinner to follow.




You won’t see Kerri-Lynn Raven’s name appearing among the leading
trainers at Hastings Racecourse this season but take note that her horses have been making some noise lately.

Hastings trainer Kerri Lynn Raven checks out the blinkers on one of her horses prior to the race. Picture – Alan de la Plante

During the last few race days she has hit the winner’s circle twice and
is slowly gaining momentum.  Kerri-Lynn became familiar with horses while she was taking equestrian classes at Humboldt College in Ontario, which eventually led her to becoming involved in horse racing and working with several thoroughbred trainers.

“At one time I wanted to be a jockey and had ridden in a Powder Puff
Derby to support breast cancer in Alberta,” she says, “but that was a wake-up
call for me.  It wasn’t what I had expected. I really enjoy eating and having to watch my weight wasn’t in my plans. My regular weight is 130 pounds
and I’m happy with that.”

Once that decision was made, Kerri-Lynn went to work for the powerful
Alberta-based Greg Tracy stable and was an assistant trainer for four years.

“After parting company with Greg, I decided to go on my own and decided
to give Hastings a shot,” she says. “I’ve been lucky having owners who love and enjoy all aspects of the business.

“I have a filly for Don Danard and last Sunday won a race with George
Sharp’s Become an Insider.  I met George while racing at Phoenix.”

Raven is excited about her recent purchase of multiple stakes winner Blue
Dancer who has $325,000 in career earnings.

“I began exercising him in 2014 when he won the Alberta Futurity,” she
says. “Now I’m partners with Wayne Oliver and can’t wait to see Blue Dancer run at Hastings.”

Kerri-Lynn is a big believer in teamwork.  “Having people working
with you who love what they do is a big reason for anyone’s success,” she says. “For me, it’s my crew, my owners and good friend Scott Williams who always come by my barn to give me a helping hand.  I couldn’t do it without them.”

KEY WEEKEND:  Three major $50,000 stake races are on the weekend
agenda at Hastings with the Monashee going Saturday prior to Sunday’s Lt.
Governors and Spaghetti Mouse.

BC Stables Here’s Hannah being led to the track by her trainer John Morrison with regular exercise rider Angie Smith in the saddle – Picture South End Photos:

The Monashee for fillies and mares is named after Canmor Farms
outstanding Hall of Fame mare.  The race features a fine field including favored BC Stables Here’s Hannah going for her 10th win in 11 starts, trained by John Morrison and ridden by Richard Hamel.

Speaking of Here’s Hannah, her only exercise person since arriving at
Hastings has been former jockey Angie Smith.  “She’s nice to gallop,” says
Angie. “She can be professional and yet strong-minded at times.”

Second choice on the morning line is George Gilbert’s Good Luck to You
trained by Phil Hall and ridden by Enrique Gonzalez.  Good Luck to You is
coming off a big victory in the $75,000 Shirley Vargo Handicap at Edmonton’s
Century Downs.

The Lt. Governors will be competitive with Peter Redekop’s Apalachee Bay
trained by Phil Hall and ridden by Amadeo Perez going up against second favorite Calgary Caper owned by Hall, Kim Peacock and Lance Giesbrecht.

THEY’RE BACK:  A record field of 100 wiener dogs will be vying for
Top Dog honors this weekend in the 10th annual Wiener Dog Races at Hastings.  There’ll be five qualifying heats Saturday and three Sunday prior to the championship round after the sixth race on the thoroughbred ca rd.

NOTES ON A PROGRAM:  There is a Celebration of Life in honor of the late Mary Cowan scheduled for Monday, July 15, 2019, 1-4 p.m.  at 3530 – 208th Street in Langley.  Mary Cowan was the first female jockey  in Canadian racing history and truly a great person




After years of working in various capacities in horse racing, trainer Ryan Deyotte finally realized the thrill of enjoying the best of both worlds last Monday at Hastings Racecourse.

JT Racing, Wood N Cat Stables and Lumpy Stables, Durdle Door with trainer Ryan Deyotte, ridden by jockey apprentice Learie Seecharan enjoying their victory in the winner’s circle. – Four Footed Photos


Deyotte and partner/assistant trainer Judi Tweedie captured their first victory this season for their small four-horse stable when Durdle Door went wire to wire for owners JT Racing, Wood N Cat Stables and Lumpy Stables.

It was an especially enjoyable win for Deyotte for various reasons. “It was hard to find new owners and even harder to win races with cheap horses so I stepped away from the sport in 2010,” he says. “It was also during that time when I suffered a heart attack.”

He dropped his training plans and worked at various jobs associated with horse racing, including becoming a jockey’s agent.  Eventually he left the Hastings scene and went to work for the City of Burnaby where he remains, while Judi continues her full-time job as a dental assistant

“But our love for horses drew us back and we decided to get involved again,” Deyotte says. “We agreed we’d try to start building a stable and now have four
horses.  We arrive at the barn around 6 a.m., Judi leaves at 9 and I’ll
stay until the work at the barn is finished, then head home for a nap and head
out for my job at 3 p.m.”

He didn’t get much sleep prior to their initial win of the year. “It was actually a weird weekend,” says Ryan. “I’d been working late and when we ran the filly on Monday I hadn’t slept much the last few days.  But this is what Judi and I have
decided to do and you could say we’re living out our dream.”


White House Stables filly Exorbitant, wearing a special blinker on her inside eye, caused by a freak accident as a youngster, shown heading for home with Leo Espinoza guiding her to victory. – Allan de la Plante Photos

White House Stables filly Exorbitant, who lost her left eye in a
freak racing accident as a youngster, showed plenty of grit in winning Monday
for trainer Mary-Anne Baumgartner and jockey Leo Espinoza.  It was
Exorbitant’s second victory in five career starts,

“As a breeder we thought she could run a little,” said Nicole Wylie of White House Stables on Vancouver Island.  “It just proves how much patience plays into horse racing.”

ROLL:  A rarity happened Monday when identical twin jockeys Lenny and
Learie Seecharan scored victories on the same card.  Lenny won on
Ourevelady in the 2nd race and Learie won on Durdle Door in the 7th.

PROGRAM:  Racing fans last weekend got to witness two pretty nice horses
win their assignments rather handily.  Living up to his name, Canmor
Farms’ Explode did exactly that by trouncing his rivals in the $50,000 Chris
Loseth Stakes.  Explode is trained by Mark Cloutier and ridden by Amadeo
Perez. George Gilbert’s monster filly Summerland easily handled her opposition

in the $50,000 Supernaturel.  Asked what’s next for Summerland, trainer
Phil Hall said: “She came out of her race in fine form. Summerland’s next race
could be the $50,000 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes on BC Cup Day.”

Live racing resumes at Hastings Saturday and Sunday with 1:50 start times.



Behind the scenes of every top race horse there are many individuals who rarely get noticed despite their long hours and hard work. It is a situation that ranges from the grooms who look after the horses to those walking them after their workouts or races, as well as those who gallop them.  

They are the unsung heroes and if you ask them why they do it, the answer is always the same:  their love for horses. 

George Gilberts almost flawless runner Summerland with regular exercise rider Brad Cuthbertson walking to the racetrack – South End Photos

That’s where Brad Cuthbertson becomes part of this story and having that last name instantly makes you know he’s from a racing family. 

His father Alan passed away in 2010 and for years he was among the top jockeys in Canada, having ridden over 1,500 winners with career purse earnings of more than $10 million. 

“Growing up I did want to become a jockey but watching Dad dealing with weight restrictions and because of my size I realized it would be almost impossible,” says Brad.  “I decided not to pursue things as a rider but knew I would somehow get into the business because of my love for horses.

It was 10 years ago when he went to work as an exercise person at Hastings.  “Once you are around horses,” he says, “it becomes fun trying to figure out their habits even though a few of them have unseated me a few times.  Getting on a horse is like figuring out a puzzle. They teach you what to do and what not to do.”

Three years ago Brad went to work as an exercise rider for trainer Phil Hall.  “He gave me a chance to do a little bit of everything around the barns,” Brad says. 

That would include exercising great runners like multiple stakes winner Calgary Caper, Absolutely Stylish, Apalachee Bay and Summerland. 

“Some you can tell as soon as you get up on them that they are quality horses,” Cuthbertson says.  “An example is Summerland. She felt like a superstar right from the start. She’s always wanting to run at top speed and my job is to keep her from doing that in training.  Sometimes it’s easier just to let her stretch her legs out.”

Brad obtained his trainer’s licence two years ago and sometime in the future would like to train his own stable.  “For now, he says, “I’m having a lot of fun sharing the success of Phil’s stable.”

Continuing with keeping Hastings among the safest tracks in North America,
management and the horse racing industry recently hired an outside consultant to maintaining the racing surface.  According to Hall of Fame trainer Harold Barorby: “Things have been moving along quite nicely. Everyone I’ve talked to is quite happy. If we see horses coming from behind more frequently, then we know it’s an improvement.”

racing day the horse racing industry pays tribute to a groom who exemplifies
outstanding work with a $100 award. This week’s winners were Craig Hansen (Free Speech) and Michelle Henson (Metal Magic). 



Canmor Farms Explode winning the $50,000 River Rock with jockey Antonio Reyes riding – Four Footed Fotos

AHEAD:  With the Canada Day holiday racing card on Monday there will not
be any live racing on Saturday.  Sunday ‘s card features the $50,000 Chirs
Loseth Handicap with a fine field of sophomore runners hoping for a start in
the $250,000 BC Derby on September 7.  Early favourite Explode listed at
6-5 is coming off an impressive victory in the $50,000 River Rock Casino stakes June 2. Monday’s $50,000 Supernaturel for 3-year-old fillies has George Gilbert’s Summerland up against some formidable competition with the likes of Sunburst, Above All Names and Krissy all coming off win in their last outings. 

PROGRAM:  Remember, no racing Saturday but the action resumes Sunday and Monday with 1:50 p.m. starts.



Just like a good race horse, Hastings rider Scott Williams has that pedigree to become a top jockey.  Presently, he ranks among the top five riders and kept the process intact with winners for leading trainers Glen Todd and Barb Heads.

It’s a walk back to the jockeys’ room for Scott Williams and Ian Jewel – Allan De La Plante

Scott’s knowledge and love for the sport definitely come from family ties with grandfather Ron and dad Danny, two talented and respected jockeys during their own careers.

It is Scott’s background in the sport that has gained him respect from all sides of those who work within the industry.  Simply put, he understands the game in all facets.

“I have experienced the ups and downs in the business,” Williams says. “Before 2016, I was having problems with my weight.  I took a step back and went to work on the starting gate and soon realized that watching my weight all of the time had become more a mental game than anything.  That’s when it really hit me hard and that the time had come for me to make some changes to my lifestyle if I wanted to continue riding.”

Jockey Scott Williams gives a strong finish to Linwood Stables Harrys Hammer

He decided to take a step back and look at his current lifestyle.  “I really had no choice,” he says. “My thinking was dealing with weight was only physical and everything had a lot to do with dealing with things mentally.  That’s when things turned around for me.”

As for those high and lows discussed earlier, Scott says: “To me what’s enjoyable, after winning a race, seeing the smiles on the faces of the groom and hotwalker who are with the horses all the time. Isn‘t that what horse racing is all about?”

HOT STREAK:  Trainer Phil Hall continued to sizzle with three wins Sunday, giving him l7 on the season.  Glen Todd is second with nine.  In the jockey standings, Amadeo Perez with 23 wins (five on the weekend) continues to lead over Enrique Gonzalez with 19.  In the leading owners category, NATHC maintains the lead with $134,626 in earnings with the George Gilbert Stable at $106,570 in earnings

Two top fillies – Gilbert’s Summerland and BC Stable s& Paul Caravetta’s Here’s Hannah – continue to impress and delight fans with their unbeaten seasons.

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS: Each racing day the horse racing industry pays tribute to its unsung heroes with a $100 groom’s award.  The winners are judged on horse presentation and groom presentation.  This week’s winners were Ernesto Rojas (Indie Rock) and Josh McNeil (European).

NOTES ON A PROGRAM:  The Corgis return to Hastings this weekend with heats Saturday and Sunday leading up to the championship final Sunday … Sports Alumni Day at the Races returns to Hastings on Sunday, July 28 with legendary athletes form the Canucks, BC Lions, Whitecaps FC and Hastings jockeys all in attendance in the aid of charity. The afternoon will once again include a 50/50 draw and silent auction




Anyone involved in horse racing knows nothing can be more thrilling than winning that first race.

Hasting trainer Edgar Mendoza who in his first start training horses won with Rawson & Mendoza’s K K Gold with his best friend Antonio Reyes riding in Saturday’s seventh race.- Four Footed Fotos

It was even more exciting for trainer Edgar Mendoza Saturday when he experienced the thrill of victory saddling his very first horse – KK Gold – owned by Jodie Rawson, a former trainer herself.

Growing up in Mexico, Mendoza remembers being around horses as a nine-year-old on the family farm.  “Even back then I was hoping to one day become a trainer,” he says.  “I didn’t know my dream would become a reality as early as the age of 18.”

Through a program he had heard about from Hastings jockey Fernando Senties, now living in Mexico, and the late Bryant Mcafee, longtime executive with the HBPA-BC, Mendoza’s new journey was about to begin.

“Without their help I would never have gotten the opportunity,” he says. “Not long after arriving in Vancouver I met Chris and Tracy Loseth at Hastings who offered me a job working with them at Canmor Farms.  I was working as a groom when Chris asked me if I’d be interested in exercising horses and he began teaching me that side of the business. For that, I will always be grateful.”

Edgar soon took his easy-going style and hard-working talent to Hastings and quickly found work with many of the top trainers. Among his many duties today, he is assistant trainer to Dino Condilenios and also his main exercise person.

“Because we have a very good team in his barn I’m able to look after my own horses,” Mendoza says.  “It sure was exciting when Jodie gave me a chance to train for her with Dino giving me a hand.  Then to top it all off I was able to give the mount to my best friend Antonio Reyes.  He was my roommate for years ever since I arrived at Hastings.  How does it get better than that?”

2018 Horse of the Year, Here’s Hanna shown winning 2019 $50,000 Vancouver Sun – Patti Tubbs

QUEEN RETURNS:  2018 Horse of the Year, BC Stables & Paul Caravetta’s Here’s Hannah goes for her sixth straight win in Saturday’s $50,000 Strawberry Morn.  Here’s Hannah is 6-5 on the morning line and second choice is Good Luck to You at 3-1.  Sunday’s $50,000 John Longden 6000 will include Gord Christoff’s Calgary Caper, 2018 Champion Older Horse as well as 2018 Champion BC-bred Driller, owned by Don Danard and trained by Mel Snow. Start times Saturday and Sunday are 1:50 p.m.

HOT STREAK: Phil Hall continues to lead the trainers standings with 14 wins; Enrique Gonzalez and Amadeo Perez remain deadlocked in the leading jockey standings with 18 each; North American Thoroughbred Horse Company has a slight edge on George Gilbert (6-5) in the owners’ category.

NOTES ON A PROGRAM:  Five horses were claimed last Saturday and one was claimed on Sunday … Nice to see jockey Alex Marti win his first race of the season after suffering an injury during a training day just prior to the 2019 meet at Hastings opened … Regular horseplayers will certainly notice the name of Jim Daily, Jr. on Saturday’s program.  The 60-year-old has been riding quarter horses south of the border for the past few years. Also an accomplished artist, Daily’s father Jim and brother Randy once rode at Hastings.



Just as he has done for the past few years, Phil Hall has taken a commanding lead among trainers this season at Hastings Racecourse.

His 14 top finishes have him with a seven-win lead over his nearest competitor.

Trainer Phil Hall with daughter Sara celebrating a victory in the winner’s circle at Hastings

Last weekend he kept the streak going winning three races including the $50,000 Emerald Downs Stake with George Gilbert’s Summerland.

And if one was to ask Hall to put in perspective his thoughts on the success he is enjoying, he would reply with a slight grin: “it always hasn’t been this way.”

In order to make ends meet in the early going he went to work managing Ole Neilson’s Canmor Farms for six years.

“It was a great job but I really missed training,” says Hall. “I wanted to get back at it in the worst way but it was tough starting over. There was a lot of scraping and clawing to get started.

“George Gilbert asked me if I would train a horse for him and since our fathers were close friends, I couldn’t turn him down. Next Peter Redekop asked me to train a couple of horses and Praven Sorensen gave me a couple of horses. Guess I’ve been lucky enough to have some very good owners.”

Hall is well aware of how things can change as they say, In a New York minute.

Asked if he had any advice for young people hoping to become trainers, Phil says: “I’ve told my daughter Sara, who works for me If this is what she really wants to do then do it. Just never give up. It’s a lot of hard work. Being around horses can take up a lot of your time and you must have a love for it.”

FRIENDLY VISIT: Last Saturday Harold (Bunny) Johnson made a rare visit to Hastings Racecourse. On this day he entered the grounds accompanied by grandson Ray Barrett.

“I don’t think anyone will even remember me,” Bunny said. “Yet, he was determined to visit many friends he had known since arriving here from Alberta in 1949 as a young jockey turned successful trainer.

For 33 years Johnson trained for the late Jack Diamond and their record from 1978 thru 2004 resulted in over in earnings of over $2 million in earnings from 285 winners.

Among notable runners were Senate Appointee ($403,000), Woman in Space ($100,520) and countless stake winners.

Another achievement for Johnson was being inducted in 2014 to the BC Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Former BC Thoroughbred trainer Bunny Johnson visits Hasting jockeys room Denny Velasquez, Sean Evans, Gerry Brownell, Lee Haslam, Bunny Johnson and Richard Hamel

He was given a royal tour of Hastings Saturday by Ray and racing secretary Nichelle Milner. Among the stops were a visit to the jock room where he met several jockeys, valets, and the clerk of scale Lee Haslem. It created a happy smile for Bunny and memories of his many good times spent working at Exhibition Park.

He also presented a trophy to the George Gilbert family for Summerland winning the $50,000 Emerald Downs Stakes.

It was an afternoon for many of us that won’t soon be forgotten

NOTES ON A PROGRAM: Racing resumes Saturday and Sunday with 1:50 pm. starts. The third leg of the Triple Crown will be shown on the giant screen Saturday from Belmont between races 4 and 5 of the Hasting card.



Hastings trainer Frank Barroby right with Tom Cosgrove at the 2010 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Iron Horse Photo

When jockey-turned-trainer Frank Barroby recently received news he had been named 2019 recipient of the prestigious Avelino Gomez Award he thought they must have made a mistake.

“Not the case at all,” said chairperson Tom Cosgrove from Toronto.
“Frank once was the leading jockey in four provinces. He’s noted as a
great trainer but he stood out as a rider, as well.”

Which still ranks among his many cherished memories.  “It was in 1965
and I was an apprentice,” Barroby says.  “I never gave it any thought that
at the time I was the leading jockey in Canada.  I had decided to take
some time off to go hunting and lost the national title to Hugo Dittfach.
He finished with five more winners than me. If I had known how close we were
maybe I wouldn’t have taken that time off.”

Barroby says one of the things he has enjoyed most over the years has
been monitoring youngsters who hope to one day become jockeys.

“It was fun watching young kids get started,” he says. “Robin
Graboski-Olquin was the first girl to work at my barn.  She was such a
pleasure to work with. Also Jeff Burningham, Patti Leaney, Dave Myrea and Dave Wilson come to mind.”

Wilson has said on many occasions that if it wasn’t for Frank Barroby
taking him under his wing he never would have made it as a jockey.

As for the Gomez Award, Barroby looks at some of the previous winners and
says: “Riders like Sam Krasner and Mickey Walls here in Vancouver and Robin
Platts, Richard Grubb, Sandy Hawley in Toronto, not to mention Gomez himself, make me feel honoured to join that group.  Avelino was one of the best I ever competed against.”

His new award will look good alongside the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of
Fame and BC Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame honours he also has among his memoirs.

THE VOICE:  Last Wednesday before a sold-out crowd at the Convention
Centre in downtown Vancouver Dan Jukich – the Voice of the Races at Hastings – was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Dan Jukich – the Voice of the Races at Hastings – was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame

“It was pretty humbling,” says Jukich, who’s been in the broadcast booth
for the past 28 years. “I look at some of the names going in with me … Roy
Gerela, Kelly MaCullum, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Ken Holland, Darlene Currie,
Ron Toigo and Tony Waiters … that’s one heck of a class.

“As a youngster I’ve visited the Hall of Fame numerous times never ever
thinking one day I’d be included.  The list of inductees from horse racing
is rather small. Jack Short, jockeys Chis Loseth and Hedley Woodhouse are the only others who’ve been inducted.”

INDIVIDUAL RACES GETTING TIGHTER:  The run for leading jockey is
heating up at Hastings Racecourse with Enrique Gonzalez and Amadeo Perez tied for the lead in the standings each with 12 winners; Denny Velazquez, Scott
Williams and Richard Hamel make up the top five.  Trainer Phil Hall with
three winners last weekend has 10 overall; Glen Todd and Terry Clyde are tied
for second. In the owners standings, NATHC Stables have won $88,718 with George Gilbert Stables at $61,603 in the runner-up slot.

TWO STAKES ON TAP:  This weekend features the $50,000 Emerald Downs
stakes Saturday with four top fillies entered: Summerland, Dancin Shoes,
Warriors Promise and Notice. The $50,000 River Rock Casino stakes goes
Sunday.  Start times both days: 1:50 p.m.

REMEMBERING:  There will be a celebration of life for late owner, trainer and jockey Dennis Terry on Monday at high noon at the family farm:  382 – 224 Street in Langley. The racing world lost Terry to cancer on May 8.



High atop the grandstand at Hastings senior steward Wayne Russel, gets ready for one last look of the horses at the races, before retiring. – South End Photos

After being involved in horse racing literally his entire life, Wayne Russell – senior steward at Hastings Racecourse representing GPEB (Gaming Policy & Entertainment Division of the Ministry of Finance) – announced his retirement last Monday.

Russell worked in many facets of the horse industry over the years and will be missed not only by friends but also those who appeared before him in his role as a steward over the past 20 years.

Racing stewards are in the same role as hockey, football and basketball referees. They are responsible for making sure all the rules are being followed properly and take action when a rule is violated.

“You have to be able to listen and hear people out whether it is a rider, trainer or someone else appearing before you,” Wayne explains.

He goes on to say: “One never disqualifies a horse unless the facts are clear.  Our failure to do our job well is just as serious than the act of a careless jockey.  We watch the race in question from start to finish and judge the incident.  We are not seeking an excuse to disqualify a horse but rather a reason not to do so.  

“In borderline cases we let the results stand and deal with the jockey.  Just because contact occurs in race does not automatically mean there will be a disqualification.  If the rules are followed properly then things will be fine.  We survey an entire race to determine if an incident cost a horse its placing.  And jockeys can be penalized even if their number does not come down.”

Russell will remain close to horses in his retirement from Hastings. He’s looking forward to duties as a barrel judge with the World Professional Chuckwagon Canadian circuit that is already underway on the prairies.

“Wayne always did a good job when it came to adjudicating issues of inquiries and disqualifications,” says trainer Peter Milburn.

Those sentiments are echoed by many.

CONSISTENCY: Although it’s early into this racing season, there are already some interesting individual match-ups going on with Amadeo Perez leading the jockey standings with 11 wins and Enrique Gonzalez with nine.  Both riders have Trapper Barroby as their agent.  “They are hard workers and want to be the leading jockey this year,” says Barroby. “They are also the best of friends … how nice is that?”

Jockey agent Trapper Barroby who books rides for jockeys Amadeo Perez and Enrique Gonzalez goes over there scheduled mounts for the afternoon. Photo Michael Bye.

Newcomer Denny Velazquez has been getting a lot of attention of late following three winners on the holiday weekend to give him a total of seven.  Veteran Jeff Burningham, perhaps the hardest working jockey on the grounds, rode two winners last Monday.

The trainer’s category has Phil Hall with seven wins and Glen Todd with six.  Terry Clyde scored three wins on the weekend to bring her total to five.

Former Horse of the Year Here’s Hanna with jockey Richard Hamel in the saddle, shown winning one of four major stakes in 2018 – Four Footed Fotos

NOTES ON A PROGRAM:  The popular Bulldog races return to Hastings this weekend with heats between the thoroughbred races Saturday and Sunday.  Two major $50,000 stakes are on the weekend agenda.   Former Horse of the Year – BC Stables and Paul Caravetta’s Here’s Hannah – makes her 2019 debut in the Vancouver Sun Handicap Saturday while Sunday’s card features the George Royal Stakes.  Start times both days:  1:50 p.m.



May 17/19

Local owner Peter Redekop has Anothertwistafate racing in Saturdays $1,5million Preakness Stakes

Local owner Peter Redekop’s top three-year-old Anothertwistafate has a good chance at winning the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.  Along with being seen internationally by millions of viewers around the world, it will also be shown live at Hastings Racecourse on the big infield screen and simulcast network throughout the facility. Redekop  himself won’t be watching the race, however.  “I’ll be in Alberta attending a  wedding for one of my granddaughters,” he says.  “Sure, I would enjoy being  there in person but family always comes first and that’s fine with  me.”

As  for the chances of Anothertwistafate, Redekop adds: “In his last two races he  didn’t get the best of rides and was boxed in both times nearing the finish.
That’s the reason we’ve made a rider change.”  Jockey  Jose Ortiz gets the call as Anothertwistafate starts from the number 12 post in  a field of 13 horses. “Our horse has lots of natural speed so we’re either going  to be in front or near the lead,” Redekop says. “It’s as simple as that.”



Dixie & Roy Jacobson’s in the winners with their Coulterberry winner of Sundays feature race at Hastings

Owners Dixie and Roy Jacobson were smiling from ear to ear last Sunday after their homebred Coulterberry easily won the feature race.  It was an extra special victory because Coulterberry’s full sister Sweet Sixteen ran  second in an earlier race and both horses are off-springs to mare Badgetts Star  who several years ago was instrumental in helping raise awareness for Breast  Cancer.

It  was in 2005 when Dixie along with several women pals such as Tracy Bell, Brenda  Kinsella, Mary Martin and Sasha Keeling pooled together $16,000 to purchase a racehorse.  They formed the Pink Ribbon Stable and purchased Badgetts Star who  had been racing in California.

During  her career, Badgetts Star won $122,000 to help Breast Cancer research. TOUGH  JOB:  Cindy and Darcy Barroby are track outriders at Hastings meaning their jobs are to protect horses and jockeys from injury if a horse gets loose before or after a race. They consider themselves troubleshooters.  “When things go wrong with a horse’s equipment or something out of the ordinary happens, our job is to try to prevent an accident on the track,” says Darcy.

Long considered among the most dangerous jobs in horse racing, outrider Cindy Barroby catches a loose horse prior to a race at Hastings

This  past couple of weeks you may have seen Cindy making near impossible moves when horses got loose in separate incidents.  One that caught the eye happened on opening weekend when owner George Gilbert’s Flight Data bolted in the post parade from a pony person and the jockey, taking off in full flight down the stretch.

“When  I saw her (Flight Data) running away I immediately took off after her and was able to catch her before anything serious happened,” Cindy said.It
was a save good enough that Flight Data returned safely to her barn and returned to the races last Saturday and this time made it the winner’s circle for Gilbert.

STRONG  COMPETITION:  While this season is still young it could become one of the closest jockey races seen at Hastings in years.  Enrique Gonzalez already has seven wins; Amadeo Perez has six while newcomer Denny Velazquez and veteran Richard Hamel follow with four.  Trainers Phil Hall and Glen Todd are off to fast starts with five wins each.

WORTH NOTING:  A Celebration of Life will be held for long-time horseman Arnie Turner at The Derby Bar and Grill in Surrey on Tuesday, May 21 at 3 p.m.

ON A PROGRAM:  Live racing resumes Saturday and the Holiday Monday at Hastings  with the regular 1:50 p.m. starts.  There will not be any races on Sunday.