I hope you are all well. We as a country are going through something that most of us have never experienced in our lifetime. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus with no vaccine or anti-viral medication to help us combat it. I hope everyone is listening to health professionals and ‘self distancing’. Remember, even if your immune system is strong enough that you won’t be seriously affected by this virus, other family members and people that you come in contact with may not be so the more we adhere to their guidelines, the quicker we can get back to normal.
Now, let’s get back to talking about our horses and horse-people!
Shepherd Joins 1000 Win Club
Trainer Patrick Shepherd notched his 1000 training victory during recent racing action at Woodbine at Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ontario. The young Prince Edward Island native sent out Real Wicked in a $10,000 claiming event with Doug McNair in the bike and they scored a narrow victory in 1:56.2. Shepherd has enjoyed great success over the past few years with 2019 being his best year to date in terms of purse earnings. He banked over $1.2 million in 2019 which surpassed his previous career best earnings of $1,083,493 in 2018. He sent out 194 winners in 2019 which was 14 wins shy of his career best of 208 wins that he accumulated in 2018. I spoke to him recently about his game plan for 2020, ‘’I’ve been trying to focus more on quality stock instead of quantity. I enjoy racing at the B tracks but I want to race at Mohawk where the purses are bigger and you can get more bang for your buck.’’ Shepherd said.
Shepherd has also created a satellite stable in Buffalo, New York. He sent out 129 starters South of the border in 2019 and took 29 trips to the winner’s circle. He currently has 7 horses there and has been racing at Buffalo Raceway and Northfield Park in Ohio.
2020 PEI Horse Breeder’s Conference
The 2020 PEI Horse Breeders Conference took place two weeks ago at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park which was presented by the newly formed Prince Edward Island Standardbred Breeders Association. Members of the committee are Bruce Wood (Chair), Scott Roloson (Vice-Chair), Paul Walker, Nick Oakes, Wendell Williams, Blaine Thibault, Jamie Whelan, Garth Cole, Cam MacPhee, Haley Shepherd and Dr. Martha Mellish.
Dr. Ian Moore was the guest speaker during the Friday session and he spoke about Yearling Selection. There was a panel of local trainers which included Earl Smith, Kenny Arsenault and Kevin MacLean.
Saturday’s session consisted of a breeder’s panel involving Bobby Gordon (Elm Grove Farms), Donnie MacNeill (Dusty Lane Farms) and Doug MacPhee (Haven Hills Standardbreds). Guest speaker’s included Dr. Ben Stoughton, AVC who presented Deworming Principles for Breeding Farm Management. Dr. Mary McNiven, AVC who presented Nutrition on Your Breeding Farm and Dr. Martha Mellish, AVC who presented Strategies for Getting Your Mare Pregnant on the First Try and Preparing for Foaling and the First 24 Hours of your Foal's Life.
I wasn’t able to be in person at the conference but I was able to watch via Facebook live thanks to Cam MacPhee who streamed it on Facebook. It was extremely informative and it was great to have such knowledgeable speakers. I would like to thank Prince Edward Island Standardbred Breeders Association for organizing it. Kudos to all involved in making it happen.