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HorseRacingBC Serving the British Columbia horseracing community

The First Stakes Winners Of The Year!

Issue # 28

The George Royal

Jim Reynolds photo 2010 Washington Horse of the Year NOOSA BEACH wins the $50,000 George Royal. with Gallyn Mitchell aboard.Bred and owned by Jeff Harwood and trained by Doris Harwood the big gelding finished the six and one-half furlongs in a time of 1:16. Noosa Beach is by Harbor the Gold - Julia Rose by Basket Weave.

The Brighouse Belles

Courtesy of Four Footed Fotos CLASSIC ALLEY KAT, owned by Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella ran the 6 1/2 furlong Brighouse Belles in 1:16. Trained by Elizabeth Stolzenberg and ridden by Keveh Nicholls Classic Alley Kat, a half sister to last year’s two-year-old filly champion Victory With Class, is by Katahaula County -Classadala by Regal Classic.

Issue # 28

Pandycapping by Bob Pandolfo… Hastings Racecourse is a five eighths mile track. Any track that is five eighths of a mile in circumference or smaller is generally called a “Bullring.” On these types of tracks, horses that perform well around tight turns have an advantage. When a horse ships in, if the horse has no past history at the track, it’s a guessing game. You don’t know if the horse will handle the turns. You’ll find that ‘horses for courses’ will do well at Hastings. This means, horses that have done well at the track in the past. If a horse ships in and is a tempting longshot, look at the connections for some clue. If the horse gets one of the top riders, chances are the connections think it will handle the turns. Also look to see how the horse raced at other tracks. Horses that have had success over Bullrings, or even seven eighth size tracks, like Charlestown, have proven that they can handle tight turns. Tactical speed is usually important, but even


more so on a Bullring. With the tight turns and short stretch, horses that try to rally wide from off the pace will often lose ground on the turn and not have enough time to catch up. The only time I’ll bet a deep closer on a Bullring track is if the horse is a fit longshot that has proven it races well around turns, and I expect the pace to be hotly contested. Be careful about betting closers that are heavily bet, it’s not worth it. Not all the races are going to be won by front runners, however. Horses that can handle turns well and have tactical speed can win off stalking trips, which is the best trip in racing. If you are watching the races, and a horse ships in that has never raced over the track, look at the horse’s size. Big horses with long strides tend to have trouble on Bullrings. Horses that look like sprinters, shorter and stocky, are generally quicker and built better to handle tight turns. Many horses that win a high percentage of their starts on Bullring tracks are horses that have a sprinter’s action, short, quick, jackrabbit-like strides, similar to a quarter horse. Horses with long, loping strides are generally more suited to a bigger track and less turns. When the meet opens, check out the trainer stats. Many of the horses will be coming off layoffs. If a trainer has a high percentage (15% or over) with horses coming off layoffs, that’s a good sign. But in the early stages of the meet, horses shipping in may have an advantage, as long as they’ve proven that they can handle a Bullring track, or have done well over the track in the past. Even though speed does well, I’ve always found that many front runners are terribly over bet on Bullring tracks. Everyone thinks the track is speed favoring, so they look for front runners. But the jockeys will often use the front runners up and stalkers will win. Circle the one or two most obvious front runners in


      

Handicapping A Five Eighths

 

the race. Then, cross out the deep closers that come from far back unless one of them is a proven multiple winner over the track. The remaining horses should be the stalkers. Out of the stalkers, eliminate the ones that appear too slow or out of form. This should leave you with one or two stalkers. Look for value. For instance, say you are left with two stalkers and one is 2-1 and the other is 8-1, the 8-1 stalker may be the best value. Stalkers, which are horses that have tactical speed to sit right behind the front runners, are often the best bets because the closers are at a disadvantage and the front runners are over bet.

To learn more about Bob Pandolfo’s systems and handicapping methodology, including the Harness Diamond System, go to or write to: Pandymonium Publications, 3386 Creek Rd, Northampton, PA. 18067

Horse Whispers

…Horses to watch at Hastings this month …by The Barn Rat BR remark—California races should give him a fitness edge Goody Four Feet—23 flat blowout on 13/04 should set him up nicely Arkhill—38.6 three eighths should get him there Seminole Brave—prepping nicely with a good 3/4 move on 13/04 Three Wood—5/8 in 1:00.8,followed by a 1:13.6 3/4 should have him ready Rocket Roan—training forwardly Super Steve-had a good 3/4 work on 10/04 BE M Tee—blowout in 34.6 could make the winners circle Boone’s Shadow—prepping nicely Tami’s Stormtrooper—5/8 in 1:00.8 could get the job done’ Silver City Sam—nice 61/2 furlong work on 09/04

Doc Nick’s Vet Talk When I first started practice in 1978 the main parasite that we considered in the horse was the bloodworm. The worming programs consisted of stomach tubing the horse with a worming medication several times year. The most popular time for worming was the late fall after the first frost in order to control bots a stomach worm. The medicines themselves, carbon disulfide, or organophosphates, were quite toxic so it wasn’t unusual to have the horses get sick after worming. Paste wormers soon came on the market and eliminated the need to stomach tube horses. Newer and safer drugs also arrived such as ivermectin which eliminated the majority of the worms that everyone was concerned with - for a while! The bloodworm, a large strongyle was a major cause of colic. Since ivermectin controlled large strongyles, it was hoped that parasite related colic would no longer be an issue. At the time of ivermectin’s introduction, in the early 80s, resistance was unheard of and worms seemed to be disappearing off the face of the earth. In fact, in the late seventies I had discovered a skin worm, Onchocerca cervicalis, which caused extreme skin irritation around the horse’s head and upper neck regions. I had even investigated a specific drug for its control but when ivermectin was introduced the parasite was conveniently eliminated with few realizing its existence. With everyone merrily worming their horses with little logic toward frequency or type it wasn’t long until the worms started to adapt. Resistance became an issue. Worms previously thought to be innocuous were vying to become dominant in the parasite hierarchy as disease causative agents. By the turn-of-the-century, the dream of giving your horse an injection and getting rid of all worms forever was gone. The injectable form of ivermectin had been associated with several deaths. These deaths were not from the drug but from bacterial (Clostridial) infections that were introduced with the needle through contaminated skin. Regardless, the company avoided law suits by withdrawing the injectable from the market. Wormers belonging to the benzimidazole family were still useful at suppressing or killing off the large Strongyles such as the bloodworm, but small Strongyles (Cyathostomes) were taking their place and many seemed to have developed a benzimidazole resistance. Once small Strongyles become resistant to one benzimidazole then they are also resistant to all other benzimidazoles (even though many drug companies

Issue # 28

… Parasites and Worming – a historical perspective

by Dr. Nick Kleider DVM argued otherwise). prevent rain related egg dispersal starts to lay eggs. Then, label claims were found to throughout the pasture. It takes eggs At 12 weeks the fecal sample will be misleading. One farm I attended nearly a week to transform into an still be negative for roundworms but was worming their foals monthly infective larval stage that can infect by 8 weeks they are growing in the with ivermectin. The foals were your horse. You can see that daily foals intestines and can rupture a getting sufficient groceries but were paddock and pasture cleaning can foal’s intestines, before any eggs are potbellied, had rough hair coats, have a tremendous impact on apparent in a fecal sample! and were “ribby”. We wormed preventing infection. them with pyrantel pamoate and the round worms tumbled out with the manure confirming failure of ivermectin efficacy in these foals. Many parasitologists felt that rotating wormers was similar to switching antibiotics daily with the result of developing resistant strains. Since the life cycle of Strongylus edentatus (a large strongyle) is 11 months it would be logical to allow yearly rotation of wormers, thereby allowing the horse owning consumer to buy one product in bulk. Many of the wormers were specific and did not Tapeworms found in manure one day post worming kill all types of worms which resulted What about stalls? Certain worms So, now that you are totally confused in new infections. Did killing off one such as roundworms can produce with what to do I think it’s time to put type of worm allow others to move tremendous numbers of eggs that are a plug in for your veterinarian. Until in? A farm in Delta had had several extremely adhesive and stick to stall now you could get away with just cases of fatal colic in some of their walls, water buckets and feed tubs. using the wormers you got from the yearling thoroughbreds. The owner Besides daily manure disposal, a pharmacy or feed store and go upon phoned me with another colic case simple and environmentally friendly their advice or the internet. Now I and asked to bring it into the clinic. solution is hot steam cleaning think consultation with someone up Upon arrival, the yearling presented according to infection rates—no to date and trained in parasitology is normally with no more evidence of chemicals needed! in order. There is a need to discuss colic. I told the owner he could take What about fecal counts? This is your particular worming program the horse home but he insisted on a way to assess how frequently one with a veterinarian with extensive leaving it until we figured out exactly needs to worm and which horses training in parasitology. what was causing the problem since need worming. In the past it was Factors to consider include the age of the horse exhibited similar symptoms considered heresy to only worm one your horses, are they stabled, pastured to the others that had died on the horse in the barn since it was assumed or both? What parasites are prevalent farm. I told him I had a suspicion of that if one horse was infected then in your area? What wormers to use either ulcers or tapeworms and since they all would be. If we look at and with what frequency? How often ulcers did not usually cause death, worming as a control mechanism to to analyse fecal samples and for tapeworms was top on my list. We prevent transmission then the only what purpose? How is the manure wormed the horse with praziquantel horse that needs worming is the one disposed and how frequently? You and the following morning the stall that’s passing infected eggs. Where may be surprised that with your vet was loaded with dead tapes and their this falls short is when dealing with involved in your program, worming segments. So, we’ve learned that not non-strongyle type parasites. For cost and frequency may actually all wormers kill all worms and that example, the roundworm migrates decrease and so will your farm or rotation of wormers is therefore a inside a foal for 12 weeks before it stable infection rate. necessary fact of life. We also know that overuse of wormers can lead to parasite resistance. Time is running out and the anti-parasitic drugs we now take for granted may not be useful in the near future. What is the solution? Infection prevention! When horses are given enough room they rarely graze infected areas. Manure should be picked up or vacuumed up on a daily basis to



Boarding - Foal/Mare Care - Sales Prep - Equine Holistic Wellness

Joel and Karen Mena 250-378-5865 • 3789 Petit Creek Road, Merritt, B.C. V1K 1N8

Standardbred News In Memory…

2011 Election Results Harness Racing BC is pleased to announce the results of the 2011 breeder sector representatives. The ballot results are as follows: Heather Davies (40 votes), John Zahara (32 votes) and Sue Allan (23 votes). Congratulations to Heather Davies and John Zahara, HRBC would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the board of directors.

Standardbred Stakes Payments Stake payments are near so if you have sold, renamed, traded or purchased any horses since the last payment date, (May 2010) ages 1 through 4, please look over the payment forms which you will receive and either inform us of any changes or pass these forms onto the new owner. Deadline for the 2011 stake payments have a due date of May 30th, 2011. When you receive your forms, please bring them to the office when making your payments – the wrong entry may make you ineligible. BC Bred Bonus — April 1, 2010 To December 31, 2010 The Broodmare and BC Bonus awards will soon be ready for distribution. Please note that changes for the BC Bonus Program beginning April 1, 2010 through December 31st is as follows: ☛ BC bonus to be paid to 2, 3, 4, and 5-year-olds only ☛ BC bonus to be paid on $5,000 claiming and up ☛ BC bonus paid on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position only ☛ Maiden through invitation ( including all stakes) of $5,000 maximum ☛ BC broodmare bonus to be paid on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position only, except on $4,000 claimers. Effective January 2011 Please be advised that beginning January 1, 2011 the following changes to the BC Bonus Program shall be applied: ☛ BC bonus to be paid to 2, 3, and 4-year-olds only ☛ BC bonus to be paid on $5,000 claiming and up ☛ BC bonus paid on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position only ☛ Maiden through invitation (including all stakes) of $5,000 maximum ☛ BC broodmare bonus to be paid on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position only, except on $4,000 claimers.

Two-Year-Old Bonus Membership This is to inform you that the current bonus for BC 2-year-olds have come to a close. In October of 2010, the board of directors motioned to have a bonus paid to all 2-year-old BC bred horses to receive 100% money earned in all overnight races, excluding stake races or legs/eliminations, and to be paid to the top five finishers for a maximum budget of $100,000 We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the horses/owners that participated in this bonus. The HRBC board of directors have worked very diligently trying to turn the racing industry around and although the bonus has come to a close for the 2-year-olds of 2010, it takes great pleasure to announce that HRBC will be continuing the bonus for the 2-year-olds of 2011. Foal Incentive Membership: In 2010 a foal incentive program was designed by HRBC to assist breeders with the cost that is incurred with the onset of breeding. This award was designed to give the owner of a mare foaling a BC Bred foal in BC, (BC Bred foal as currently defined as a horse that has been foaled in British Columbia out of a mare owned or leased by a British Columbia resident at the time of foaling), a cash payment of $500 per foal. At the board of director’s meeting, April 12, 2011, HRBC directors voted to increase the Foal Incentive Payment from $500 to $1,000 to be awarded to the foals of 2012 under the eligibility as governed under the definition of ‘BC Bred Foal’ as stated above. If you should have any further need of clarification on any of these matters please contact the HRBC office at 604-574-5558.

Issue # 28

Marian Young Passes Longtime BC harness horse owner Marian Young passed away April 18 in Langley, BC after a long battle with cancer. She was in her 81st year. Young raced horses for 50 years with husband and trainer Bill Young, starting at Patterson Park in Ladner and continuing right through to the closing night at Fraser Downs April 15th. In between they also raced at Sandown Park on Vancouver Island, Edmonton, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Some of her top horses included Dusty Counsel, Plucky Dauber, Wilmar Annie, Pace On By, Clever Defence, Ferguson Road, Woodmere Windrop and Dutch Scarlet. She got her last win on Fraser's closing night when KG Mattattack paced to victory. Marian worked tirelessly for the sport with much of her focus on the BC Harness Hall of Fame. Until slowed down by health problems, Marian also conducted backstretch tours at Fraser. The BC harness association this year named a race in honour of Marian and she was on hand for the Marian Young Pace on March 27. In addition to Bill, Marian is survived by daughters Lesley and Janet and five grandchildren. She was predeceased by son Billy. There will be no service by request, but a celebration of life will take place Saturday, October 1 from noon to 3:00 p.m. in the clubhouse at Fraser Downs. Also, donations to fight cancer may be made on behalf of Marian's two granddaughters, Amanda Botic and Kate Mackay, who are participating in the 60 km 'Weekend To End Women's Cancers Walk' on August 13-14. Please join Standardbred Canada and BC horsemen in offering condolences to the family and friends of Marian Young reprinted courtesy Standardbred Canada

BC Stallion Stakes Stepuptotheplate a three-year-old colt owned and bred by Leslie Godlien handily won the 2011 Stallion Stakes for three-year-old colts and geldings at Fraser Downs April 15th. Trained and driven by Godlien’s husband Rick Lancaster (who came out of retirement for the event) the big colt paced the mile in 1:55.3. Stepuptotheplate is by Seven Seas Cruiser out of Maxillas Memory by J JS Somerset.

BC Horsemen Do Their Part‌

to help fund the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society British Columbia horsemen have developed a generous new funding initiative to secure the future of retired Thoroughbred racehorses. The British Columbia Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association (BCTOBA) and Hastings Racecourse have created a program to help fund the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society. The initiative enables Thoroughbred owners to redirect a portion of their winnings towards the care of retired racehorses. Owners can now transfer 0.5% (half of one percent) of their first, second, and third place earnings directly to New Stride and receive a tax receipt for their contributions. Hastings has dedicated their September 5th racing card to the Society. The feature events of the day are a pair of $30,000 stakes races for 2 year-old horses, named after New Stride. Hastings has also granted New Stride with their ‘Community Day at the Track’ program; an initiative that includes a direct donation of $5,000, exclusive use of the Marquee Tent for fundraising purposes, and a food and beverage donation of $1,500. “We’re extremely grateful to BCTOBA and Hastings Racecourse for their very generous support of our cause,� said Marcy Emery, President of New Stride. “These much-needed funds will expand our program two-fold and help us place more retired racehorses into adoptive homes.� “The horsemen are taking responsibility for these majestic animals and are helping to protect the integrity of the racing industry,� said Leif Nordahl, Vice President and Treasurer of the British Columbia Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association. “Hastings is offering $10 million in purse money this year; so 0.5% of earnings has the potential to translate into significant funding for the horses when their careers are over.� New Stride is a registered charity dedicated to finding adoptive homes and alternative careers for Thoroughbreds no longer able to compete. The charity was founded at Hastings in 2002 by a group of concerned owners, breeders and backstretch workers who sought to provide a dignified retirement for as many Thoroughbreds as possible. During its existence New Stride has placed over 90 Thoroughbreds into adoptive homes and assisted many owners and trainers in connecting horses coming off the track with opportunities for new careers and homes. The organization also offers assistance to Thoroughbred owners outside the racing community in the form of information, advice and free advertising of horses for sale on its website. For more information, visit:

Issue # 28

Thoroughbred News

New Wagers at Hastings

Hastings Racetrack is offering some new wagers and the lowering of the takeout which, hopefully, will be the start of increasing the live handle. The live handle is BC racing’s largest source of income by percentage for all parties sharing in the allocation of funds as directed by the BC Horse Racing Committee. Last year the live handle at Hastings was just over $30 million dollars out of just over $180 million dollars bet on all sources in British Columbia and equalling 1/6 of total funding. New Wagers: $2 base WPS: All races $1 base Exacta: All races $1 base Triactor: All races with 5 or more entries $.20 base Superfecta: All races with 6 or more entries $1 base Daily Double: First race and second to last race $1 base Pick 3: Second race and third to last race $.20 base Pick 4: Fourth to last race (eight race card starts race 5, nine race card starts race 6) $1 base Pick 5: Fifth to last race (eight race card starts at race 4, nine race card starts race 5)

The Good Old Days

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Mare Care

Issue # 28

Management of first breeding of the season : Foal heat to 30 day heat (second heat).

Dr. Farshad Maloufi, DVM, Msc ., This article will briefly review some important facts with regards to reproductive physiology and hormonal management of the first breeding of the season in the period from foal heat to 30-day (second heat). As with most mammals, mares have their first ovulation after foaling in about one half the time of their normal heat cycle. Once the mare foals, the ovaries are stimulated to start cycling and the mare starts from a stage similar to that of being one half way through a normal heat cycle. Mares usually first come into heat by six to ten days postpartum. The average interval from foaling to first ovulation is ten days, though mares may ovulate as early as seven to eight days or as late as 14 to 15 days

post foaling. Foal Heat Breeding—the importance of ultrasound examinations: Often owners or breeding managers need to decide whether or not to breed mares on the foal heat. Generally breeding on foal heat has the following advantages: (1) It lowers the odds that mares foaling early in the year will re-enter anestrus after the foal-heat ovulation (often called Lactational anestrus—when mares ovaries return into an inactive stage for an extended period of time after first ovulation post foaling), yet remain unbred, which would increase the parturition-to-conception interval; (2) It avoids a delay of about two weeks in the foaling date the next year if mares are first bred on 30-day heat. Reviews of breeding records indicate that mares initially bred on their foal heat will maintain a foaling interval of approximately 12 months. (3) Cumulative season pregnancy rates for mares first mated on foal heat are often just as good as mares first mated later in the breeding season. Based on reviews of large amounts of data collected from breeding farms over several years for mares bred on



foal heat the age of the mare, and accumulation of intra-uterine fluid at the time of foal heat breeding were the main factors that lowered foalheat pregnancy rates and increased foal-heat pregnancy losses. A longer interval from foaling to first heat often provides more time for the mare’s uterus to return back to normal size and shape, and expel fluid and contamination that remains in the uterus during the process of foaling. Considering an ultrasound exam in foal heat, particularly mares that come into heat later, may help breeding managers and mare owners to make a better decision as to whether to breed mares on the foal heat. Second Heat Breeding: (30-Day Breeding) In general, mare owners are encouraged not to breed mares during the foal heat period if mares experienced foaling or postpartum complications (i.e. dystocia, retained placenta, prolonged discharge, etc.) resulting in a decreased foal heat pregnancy rate or an increased embryonic loss rate. Consequently, it may be advisable to breed such mares on the second postpartum estrus (30 day heat) or a later heat period. When planning to breed on second heat on 30 days mare owners should have their mares examined by ultrasound on day 24 to 25 post foaling. It is not unusual for mares with uterine inflammation due to postpartum complications to naturally shorten their inter-estrus interval (having cycles that are abnormally shorter). Such mares may come into heat and ovulate a few days before day 30, post foaling. It is a common practice to use hormones such as prostaglandins (Lutalyse® , Estrumate®, etc.) to shorten the inter estrus interval

between foal heat and second estrus of 30 days post foaling. When planning to use these hormones it is important to know the date for ‘last day of foal heat’ or the date of ‘ovulation during foal heat’. These hormones are effective if administered four to five days after ovulation. In case mare owners are not able to tease their mares or ultrasound examinations are not performed, one may assume most of the mares ovulate on 10±2 days post foaling, and therefore injection of these hormones on day 16 to 18 should be effective. The majority of mares will start showing signs of estrus in three to four days and ovulate in seven to nine days after administration of these hormones. When these hormones are used, a careful reproductive examination of the mare’s reproductive system is very important. In case there are large size follicles on mare ovaries (>30 mm), there is a possibility of ovulation in two to three days without showing typical signs of heat. This information helps mare owners to send these mares to breeding sheds ASAP to avoid the frustration of missing a cycle. Also during this examination detection of any intra-uterine fluid may indicate the need for collection of uterine samples for culture and cytology. Such samples may help identify possible infectious causes for fluid accumulation and the start of appropriate antibiotic therapies, uterine lavage or other treatments accordingly. Horses and jockeys mature earlier than people—which is why horses are admitted to race tracks at the age of two, and jockeys before they are old enough to shave. – Dick Beddoes

will be held on

Tuesday, September 6 Summer Yearling entries close Monday, May 16 Mixed Sale entries close Tuesday, May 31 For information regarding sales entries, contact Sue at (253) 288-7896 or

253-288-7878 Washington Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association PO Box 1499, Auburn, WA 98071-1499 >ÝÊÓx·Ónn‡Çn™äÊUÊÜÜÜ°Ü>ň˜}̜˜Ì…œÀœÕ}…LÀi`°Vœ“

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                          

‘Cowboy Up’

by Brian Johnson

As in most professional sports, athletes seldom compete on a day to day basis without the complications of pain and injury. Here is a look at horseracing from a jockey’s perspective by former champion jockey Brian Johnson As a kid I broke my right leg in a skiing accident. An incident I would live to regret. When I decided to become a jockey I learned the basics of riding in the show ring which began with heels down and toes in.   It was that damn toes in thing that finally caught up with me! The recovery from the fracture resulted in very poor alignment as I healed quite predominately “toed out” When I started galloping racehorses and ultimately began my career as a jockey the additional pressure from being toed out combined with the posture required to work horses and ride races quickly began to take its toll on my knee. I was at Golden Gate Fields living with trainer Sonny O’Connell and his right hand man, Quint McCabe. My knee was sore every day after training so Quint would do me up in one of Sonny’s secret Irish sweats.  As good as the potion was it just wasn’t enough, so Quint figured we’d better call in the track vet, Doc Davies. The Doc knew what to do. “Yup, he said, “we gotta’ cortisone this.” Come on! He was a Doctor right? I returned home to Vancouver to ride first call for Sonny and got off to a leading rider start. I still recall

the sour look I often saw on Basils face when this 18 year old hot shot apprentice showed up to knock him off his throne. Unfortunately my glory was short lived as I sadly had to hang em’ up after only three weeks to undergo surgery on my right knee. I had a few months off and on my return, found things a little tougher. I still had pain in my knee but pushed on regardless. Ultimately the relentless pain forced me to pull up again. I required another knee surgery. I recall having thoughts that the first doctor hadn’t done such a good job. That was confirmed  when the second surgeon commented on the previous work … “Who the hell did this?” The following spring I was back in action. A few days into training, the track froze up so we had to shed row a few of the babies.  The worst one of the bunch freaked out and body slammed me to the ground. I landed square on my back, on the hardest part of the shed row.  I knew I hurt something as the next day was the first of countless mornings I struggled just to get my socks on. I was still very young but the knee didn’t  bend much anymore so I had to ride a little longer and cock it out when sitting on a horse. After every race day it blew up and often the relentless ache woke me during the night.   The back became a nightmare. Sharp pain, burning, and muscle spasms became my every day enemy. I had countless sessions with renowned physiotherapist Alex McKechnie. He and Greg Moro, our jocks room paramedic/trainer became the two best guys on my team. The prerace program included heat therapy, stretching, massage, a daily dose of Tylenol and some creative taping. Followed up with regular time on the table after the races with ice packs on my back. I rode with the pain for many years. On the backside they could see me coming from a distance, as I had a bit of a bad way of going. The worst days getting on a horse I would hold tight to the saddle to keep myself   rigid. If I moved the resulting muscle spasms were shocking. In hindsight,

Issue # 28

when I think of the day I was stuck on the floor on my hands and knees and couldn’t get up, how ridiculous it was that I would even consider riding that night. In 1997 I finally got a break … leaving the gate my horse stumbled and flipped me over his head. The result landed me in Lions Gate Hospital for back surgery and a fractured clavicle. The ensuing rehab consisted of intensive physiotherapy with my old friend Alex. Six days a week, 3 hours a day for four months.   Ultimately I made it back to the races. I may not have been 100% but I felt fairly certain I was ready to go.  After about a week in… I was in the paddock with trainer Peter Stephens. He threw me up and “something went“  I booked off and laid down in the jocks room. The pain was so intense I swear I could smell it.   I ended up back at Lions Gate Hospital to undergo another back surgery to remove a bone chip. The second recovery was every bit as difficult and was further complicated when I found the insurer would not honour my disability claim as they called it a “recurring injury” My friend Alex knowing this provided me with the use of  8 rinks physiotherapy free of charge. Yes, I returned to ride. And ride well I might add. With just the knee to deal with and much less back pain I was

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as committed as ever to succeed., and once again found myself among the top 5 jockeys. The following 3 years were my most self fulfilling years of riding. Until August 15th, 2001 when riding a horse named Charming Peter. He had good speed, but he also had a bit of a funky way of going. If I let him run he would smooth out and feel much better. We left the gate running but he felt a bit worse this time, I vaguely recall thinking this might not be such a good idea, but again I let him run hoping he would smooth out. WRONG …he snapped it and down we went. Over the years there were many times I hit the ground and luckily bounced right back up. However, as I lay on the track and attempted to sit up I clearly recall thinking …you ain’t getting up this time fella. When I went down, the rest of them went over me and the last horse in the field stepped square on my chest. I was rushed to the hospital with very low expectations of surviving the night. After proving them wrong… I awoke to multiple rib fractures, a collapsed lung, fractured arm and a broken knee. I was fitted with a breathing tube so I couldn’t talk. With my family by my side, I motioned for something to write on. I passed my daughter the note. She chuckled as she read, “You gotta’ be tough if you wanna’ be a cowboy”

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