October 30, 2014

Mother’s Day Breeding Farm Open Houses Successful Again Despite Weather Conditions

For the second consecutive year, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association and Standardbred Canada’s ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club partnered to coordinate the Mother’s Day Open House.

Two Ontario breeding farms, High Stakes Farm in Moffat and Oak Knoll Stables in Campbellcroft, opened their farms to the general public from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12).

Despite inclement weather that included everything from snow, hail and sleet, over 300 people ventured out to the two farms.

The horses were the stars of the event, but in addition to meeting the resident mares, foals, yearlings and stallions at the farms, the guests were able to interact with the breeders, their families and staff to learn about the province’s standardbred breeding and racing industry and a typical day in their lives.

“This is an excellent event that should be done each year,” said Joanne Colville of High Stakes. “From my personal experience yesterday, the event was a stepping stone for me to now take several interested parties to Mohawk to see live racing.”

Caroline Thornton of Oak Knoll stated that the tours were very well received. “Most of the people who came had never seen a breeding environment and were quite fascinated by the facility and the information,” she said. “We had detailed posters up at every paddock describing the mares and foals and yearlings, people seemed to like the fact they knew which horse was which and also had a volunteer there to answer any questions.”

“The SBOA is extremely pleased with the response received at the Mother’s Day Open House promotion,” said Walter Parkinson, president of the SBOA. “From talking to our hosts at the farms, the people who made the trek in less than ideal weather conditions were sincerely interested in learning more about the breeding industry. For many, it was an opportunity to see a mare and foal close up for the first time. We feel that this type of educational opportunity is important as it exposes people to the sport and helps them understand the importance of the breeding industry to the rural economy. Many of the guests said they would be making a trip to the racetrack for the first time in the next few weeks as a follow up.

“A very special thanks goes out to Joanne Colville and her staff and family at High Stakes Farm, and Caroline Thornton, Ken Morden and their staff and volunteers at Oak Knoll Stables for all of their hard work and effort in ensuring the continuance of this successful promotion.”

Colville is actively involved with the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Anyone interested in owning a horse of their own can contact Colville through the OSAS website.

(Standardbred Canada)

Check Out Fan Club’s New Swag LIne

Finally the warmer weather is here and it’s time to pull out the golf clubs and get the BBQ fired up. Whatever you’re doing this spring and summer, you can take the ‘I Love Canadian Horse Racing’ Fan Club with you!

Click here to check out the new Spring/Summer swag line.

First off, the Fan Club is rolling out everything you need for the golf course. Check out the new affordable men’s and women’s performance high-quality polos. Not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too, with the dri-fit fabric. Another great item is the new branded terry golf towels. They’re priced to sell and will make great gifts!

The new unisex windbreakers are perfect for those chilly nights at the track — they’re water resistant and will keep you warm from spring until fall.

There are also many items under five dollars, and the Fan Club is pleased to have added a few more. Check out the bottle and can holders for all of those cold… pops you’ll be drinking this summer by the pool or BBQ. Also, if you’re planning any trips, the new luggage identifier is perfect for any sized bags you’re carrying.

There’s all this and more at the online store.

I Love Canadian Harness Racing swag is a great way to show support for the industry that you love, and all of the items make great gifts for any horse racing enthusiast you know.

Check out the store here, and get shopping!

Mother’s Day Open House at High Stakes, Oak Knoll On May 12

For the second consecutive year, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association and Standardbred Canada’s ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club are partnering to present a special Mother’s Day Open House event.

On Sunday, May 12, High Stakes Farm in Moffat and Oak Knoll Stables in Campbellcroft will open their gates and farms to the general public from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to showcase their mares, foals and facilities.

The Open House will give the general public an opportunity to get up close and personal with the mares and foals, take a behind the scenes tour of the farm, and talk with the owners about a day in the life of a standardbred breeder.

“Although we have fewer farms taking part, we felt it was important to continue the event after such great results and feedback from last year’s program,” commented Walter Parkinson, the recently elected President of the SBOA. “Many of our breeders are trying to cope with challenges as a result of the end of the Slots-at-Racetracks program, which has had a devastating impact on the breeding industry. We want this to continue as an annual event and are hopeful that more farms will take part in future years.”

The goal of the program is to educate the general public on the standardbred breeding and racing industry as well as demonstrate the importance of the industry to the rural community and Ontario’s economy.

This is a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to visit a horse farm to connect with the horses and the people in the standardbred industry.

High Stakes Farm in Moffat, Seelster Farms in Lucan, St. Lads Farm in Ruscom and Twinbrook Farms in Embro took part in the inaugural edition of the Open House last year.  More than 1,000 people visited and toured the four farms.

SBOA and Standardbred Canada Promoting Breeding Farm Open Houses On Mother’s Day, May 13

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association and Standardbred Canada’s I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club are partnering to present a special Mother’s Day Open House Program at five Standardbred breeding establishments in the province.

On Sunday, May 13, these breeding farms will open their gates and farms to the general public from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to showcase their mares, foals and facilities:

Casimir Stables, Hagar
High Stakes Farm, Moffat
Seelster Farms, Lucan
St Lads Farm, Ruscom
Twinbrook Farms, Embro

The Open House will give the general public an opportunity to get up close and personal with the mares and foals, pet a foal, get a behind the scenes tour of the farm, and talk with the owners about a day in the life of a Standardbred breeder.

“Our goal is to give our neighbours, and the residents in our communities a snapshot of Standardbred breeding and demonstrate the importance of our industry to the rural community and Ontario’s economy,” said Anna Meyers, president of the SBOA.

“We’ve designed an event that’s both fun and educational,” said Meyers. “This is a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to visit a horse farm to connect with the horses and the people in our industry.”

All guests who visit the farms will be given an I Love Canadian Harness Racing package which will include a brochure on the Ontario Standardbred Breeding Industry, some swag items and coupons / discounts for the local racetrack.

The mission of the SBOA is to continue to encourage and support the growth of a financially viable and sustainable breeding industry while representing and clearly defining the breeders’ position on major issues to  industry partners, government and regulators.  It also aims to provide breeders with improved communications and education resources.

RACE DAY Documentary Hits the Big Screen

 

Be sure to mark Wednesday, Feb. 8th on your calendar for Launch Party for the RACE DAY documentary at the Galaxy Cineplex Theatre in Milton from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club and Iron Horse Photo are putting together an event not to be missed. Tickets are definitely limited and must be purchased ahead. There’ll be no sales at the door.

It’ll be a fun-filled evening with photos on the red carpet with some of the cast members, fantastic prize draws, and the RACE DAY documentary, an exclusive screening of the Race Day Bloopers Reel and a Q & A with some of the cast including Jody Jamieson, Anthony MacDonald, Randy Waples, Doug McNair, Rick Zeron and Phil Hudon.

RACE DAY was created with user generated content. All of the footage used in the film was shot on one day, Saturday, August 6, 2011, by the people who love, live and breathe harness racing. RACE DAY tells a story filled with colour, emotion, and characters of the greatest game in the world.

Tickets are available for purchase online for just $12. Tickets are also available from Standardbred Canada’s Industry Marketing Department (905-858-3060) or Kelly Spencer at Iron Horse Photo at kelly@racedaydoc.com or (519-886-7041).

The RACE DAY documentary is being previewed at the O’Brien Awards on Saturday, January 28.

For more information on the RACE DAY Launch Party, contact Iron Horse Photo or Standardbred Canada’s Industry Marketing Department at the numbers listed above.

 

Complimentary Heart of Harness Racing Calendars to Standardbred Canada Members and “Fans”

 

Standardbred Canada’s Heart of Harness Racing 2012 Calendar is hot off the press and ready to be given out.

This calendar will be given out as a Fan Appreciation gift, free to members of the ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club and SC Members, and will be available effective December 19 from Standardbred Canada’s field representatives at tracks currently racing.

The calendar features unique images which capture the heart and soul of harness racing. The Fan Club received over 255 submissions from amateur and professional photographers and fans from across the country. It was a difficult task to select only 12 images which captured the spirit of harness racing!

Standardbred Canada and the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club Team wish to extend their appreciation to everyone that took the time to submit photos. SC also wishes to thank the following photographers that donated their images to be featured in the calendar:

• Brian Acton from Woodstock, ON
• Clive Cohen from Thornhill, ON
• Gene Denischuk, Yorkton, SK
• Trish Dooling, Paradise, NL
• Patty Hardy, Ellerslie, PEI
• Frances Lund, Charlottetown, PEI
• Ann MacNeill from Charlottetown, PE (cover shot)
• Lori Martin from Hanover, ON
• Pierre Rochette, La Malbaie, QC
• Kelly Spencer from Kitchener, ON

(Standardbred Canada)

Photo Submissions Welcomed for “Heart of Harness Racing” Calendar, Deadline: Friday, October 21

 

Standardbred Canada’s ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club Team is publishing a 2012 calendar on the ‘Heart of Harness Racing’ and it wants you to contribute.

Do you enjoy taking photos of horses and people in harness racing? Are you an amateur or professional photographer or just someone who loves to take photos? Think you have a shot that captures the spirit of Canadian harness racing? If so, the Fan Club Team wants to see it.

The Fan Club Team is looking for unique and interesting images which capture the heart and soul of harness racing. The team is not looking for shots of any specific horse or person, but a shot of any person, horse or scene that illustrates emotion in harness racing.  The photos can be action shots or still shots and they should convey an impactful message and a unique perspective.

The calendar will be given out as a free fan appreciation gift to members of the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club, and will also be sent out to all SC members along with the December issue of Trot Magazine.

Please email your submission no later than Friday, October 21 to abertucci@standardbredcanada.ca or kwvlaar@standardbredcanada.ca.

Standardbred Canada Partners with Canadian Country Music Association

 

 

Terri Clark

Terri Clark will be one of the country music stars performing at FanFest, Sept. 10 in Hamilton.

In a move that will delight the legions of horsepeople who love country music, Standardbred Canada has formed a promotional partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association.

This year’s Canadian Country Music Awards will take place in Hamilton, ON on Monday, September 12, right on the heels of the Canadian Yearling Sale at Flamboro Downs on Sept 10-11th. Standardbred Canada will be offering CCMA Awards Night ticket giveaways to attendees at the Yearling Sale and in other promotions in the preceding weeks.

The ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ Fan Club Team will take part in the CCMA’s FanFest event on Saturday, September 10 from 11:00 a. m. to 3:00 p. m. on the roof of the Jackson Square mall in downtown Hamilton. The team will provide information, giveaways and conduct a meet and greet with a standardbred star.

This free event will feature performances from some of Canada’s top country artists, as well as autographs and photo opportunities with the stars themselves. Those scheduled for rooftop performances are: Gord Bamford, Victoria Banks, Jason Blaine, Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee, George Canyon, Terri Clark, Doc Walker, High Valley, Charlie Major, One More Girl, Tara Oram, Aaron Pritchett, Deric Ruttan and Michelle Wright.

“Country music and horses are a natural fit and we feel there’s a lot of crossover between fans of country music and fans of horse racing,” said John Gallinger, president and chief executive officer of SC. “We’re excited about taking part in FanFest and exposing a new audience to the excitement of harness racing. This is a win-win arrangement for both groups and we look forward to a long term relationship with the CCMA as they host their signature event in different locations across the country. ”

“We are definitely looking forward to adding another family-friendly aspect to our Country Music Week events,” said Don Green, executive director of the Canadian Country Music Association. “Country music is all about bringing people together and this partnership has created a unique opportunity for us to do just that. ”

The Canadian Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from Copps Coliseum on Monday, September 12 and is the highlight of Country Music Week. This annual celebration brings together industry and fans alike for four days of educational seminars, valuable networking opportunities and most importantly non-stop music.

For information on the CCMA, click here. For more information on the Canadian Yearling Sale, click here. And if you aren’t already a member of the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club, click here and you could win tickets to the star-studded CCMA Awards Night.

San Pail Makes the Plan Come Together For The “I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club”

 

San Pail literally rocked the house in capturing a historic third Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday night.

The plan came together nicely for the team of hard-working trainer and co-owner Rod Hughes, along with father Jerry, breeder and co-owner Glenn Van Camp and driver Randy Waples.

The plan came together as well for the team behind the recently-launched “I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club”. They’d been touting San Pail all week and urging everyone to be there to cheer him on.

WEG’s publicity efforts had assembled an extraordinary crowd of all ages and the purple-clad Fan Club crew simply added to the highly-charged atmosphere. Even 500 San Pail promotional buttons weren’t nearly enough. And Fan Club team members kept the crowd pumped by tossing promotional shirts and hats into anxious hands on the tarmac all night long.

Purple Rules

Kathy Wade Vlaar, Standardbred Canada’s Industry Marketing Manager, says  the idea of asking fans to wear the colour Purple to match the San Pail’s number Nine saddlepad sprung from Sue Hughes (Rod’s mother), who last year suggested supporters  wear Green when San Pail had the Four hole.

Vlaar is an industry veteran who has been trackside for many big events, but even she was struck by the intensity of the Mohawk spectators that night.

“It was so awesome to hear the crowd roar when San Pail stepped onto the track in the post parade,” she said. “A collective cheer went up during the race when Randy took him to the front…and it just didn’t stop.

“And then there was the applause when he came back to the winner’s circle.

“Horses like San Pail have amazing star power. And the energy and atmosphere at the track was super exciting because of it.”

Making Connections

Part of the mandate of the Harness Racing Fan Club is to make a connection between racegoers and the horses and the people involved.  San Pail was the first horse to be added to the Faces of Racing stable on the Club’s website.

“We wanted a horse primarily racing in Canada, with Canadian connections, of course, so that we could build an event and a following around a horse,” Vlaar said.

“San Pail already had an established following, and it seemed to make perfect sense, with him going for three Maple Leaf Trots. Add to that the fact that all his connections are super enthusiastic about him, and you’ve got a great combination.”

Membership is Free

The free Fan Club membership offers sign-ups a weekly e-newsletter, monthly handicapping contests and draws for such packages as a Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame package, an O’Brien Awards package, a VIP night, A Day with a Trainer, a Breeding Farm tour, etc.

Coming up quickly is the Fan Club-organized bus tour to New Jersey August 4-7 to back Jody Jamieson in the final two legs of the World Driving Championship at the Meadowlands and Yonkers. It includes as well a visit to the Hambletonian on August 6th. Other tours and events are in the works.

Vlaar says there’s been a huge response from racetracks in helping to promote the Club. “And the people we’ve asked to be Faces of Racing are all very willing and excited.”

The Fan Club will also be showcased at non-racing events and festivals, including a day at the Canadian National Exhibition.

And just in case you thought the Fan Club was only for those on the other side of the fence. Think again. It’s for everybody who loves racing. And it’s snowballing as an ideal means of celebrating and growing the sport.

How can you help?

Just get everyone you know to sign up here: www.ilovecanadianharnessracing.com