News Archives

Archives for July '04

Youth Camp another great success
July 9, 2004
By Gary Foerster

Mississauga, ON — The Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) Summer Camp drew to a rousing conclusion at Toronto's Woodbine Raceway on Thursday night, July 8.

The twelve young people participating in the Camp competed in a trio of four-horse dashes which were raced at a half-mile distance. The amateur drivers used two-seated jog carts and were assisted in their races by horsemen Luc Ouellette, Keith Oliver, Mike Saftic, Bill Sharp and Rheal Bourgeois.

Burlington's Steve Katunas, 10, won the first dash with Keith Oliver at his side. The pair guided the trotting-bred pony The Wanderer to victory. The second dash was won by 12-year-old Lyndsay Piper of Guelph driving Just Away with the help of Luc Ouellette. The final dash was taken by Gail Garceau, 12, of Caledon East aboard Coup De Ville. Ouellette also assisted Gail in her victory.

Other participants in the Camp, which began on July 4, were Michael Black, 13, of Fergus; Leah Brown, 11, of Nestleson; Allison Chandler, 12, of Richmond Hill; Faith Cuffy, 11, of Etobicoke; Jason Hachey, 10, of Aurora; Allison Halligan, 11, of Caesarea; Jessica Kane, 13, of Bellwood; Carley Thomas, 12, of Acton and Emily Leach, 12, of Georgetown.

During the Camp, participants performed daily chores, fed and jogged horses and worked closely with local trainers, drivers, veterinarians and farriers. They also toured breeding and training operations and spent a night at the races at Grand River Raceway.

At the conclusion of the Camp, Emily Leach was chosen as the Camp's outstanding participant by HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor and will represent Canada at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey on July 30 and 31. She will receive a special helmet and racing silks complete with a maple leaf motif.

Taylor also received a surprise gift during the winner's circle ceremonies at Woodbine. Rheal Bourgeois and a group consisting of Mike Saftic, Rick Zeron, John Burns, Rene Laarman, Luc Ouellette, Ron and Liz Waples, Dr. John Hennessey, Blair Burgess and Robert Grand donated the funds for a two-seated jog cart, to be purchased from Jerald Sulky, to the HHYF for use in its upcoming camps. Taylor, who began operating the Youth Camps in 1999, was overwhelmed by the generous gesture of the Ontario horsemen.

This was the third consecutive HHYF Camp held in the province. It was organized by the Woodbine Entertainment Group, the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) and 4-H Ontario.

“Congratulations to all of the participants and organizers for another successful year”, said Wendy Rinella, Executive Director for the Ontario Horse racing Industry Association (OHRIA). “The generosity of the sponsors and volunteers has again contributed to a memorable week for the youth and their families.”

Special thanks for making this such a special event go to the Ontario Harness Horse Association, The Canadian Sportsman, Rodoc Sales & Leasing, Glengate Farms, Bahr Saddlery, Mulligan Marketing, Grand River Raceway, Argyle Farm, Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, Ontario Sires Stakes and Staats Custom Awards.