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Tripp: Harness Racing & Me

Published: December 26, 2015 8:44 am ET

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Behind every harness racing equine athlete, there is a team of dedicated and hardworking people, to ensure that the horses perform to the best of their ability.

From owners, to trainers, to drivers, to grooms and beyond, everyone plays an import role in getting the standardbred out on the track to do what they love, and that is to race. As I was introduced to harness racing over two years ago, I have had the opportunity to own two standardbreds, obtain my grooms’ license, and make life long friendships and memories to last a lifetime. This story outlines my adventure I have had through harness racing and what I hope the future brings.

Throughout my life, I have overcome many obstacles and challenges that have made me the person I am today. The impact harness racing has had on my life as a whole has been truly inspiring. I have learned a lot about myself and the business, have became stronger mentally, and realize that everything happens for a reason and some things you simply cannot change.

As I have had a passion for horses ever since I was a young girl, and have been riding these gracious animals since I was since eight, it is safe to say horses are in my blood. I have been a fan of harness racing for many years and was able to purchase my first racehorse, Erin Hall through a friend at the time in the summer of 2014. Erin Hall and I have many memories together, I loved going to the barn and taking care of her, and of course, would always cheer her on at the races. Some of our greatest memories include coming third in the 2013 Dream of Glory and capturing my first win as an owner at Western Fair Raceway. As all good things come to an end, in April 2015, our partnership had come to an end due to unfortunate circumstances, however it was for the better. I will always look back on our time together with a smile on my face.

Through Erin Hall, I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people who have stood by me to this day. Shawna Henderson who worked for Travis Umphrey at the time was stabled in the same barn as Erin Hall. She taught me the basics of harness racing including how to care for a standardbred, and everything about harnessing a horse. I thank her for everything she has taught me as it meant a lot. She currently works for trainer Ted MacDonnell, and I always go out to the track to support, help out, and cheer them on. Benbar Stables (Ben Paniccia & Barry Lynch) were one of the co-owners with me when I owned Erin Hall. They are great co-owners, and cannot say enough positive things about them. They were always there to support my opinions and offered my advice that I will take with me wherever I go. A few months after our time with Erin Hall was over, they offered me the privilege of becoming co-owners of their four-year-old pacing mare Frosty Delight, who is under the training duties of Travis Henry. Frosty Delight and I have a bond like no other. When I call her in the field she comes running to the fence, and when I stand at her stall door she is always rubbing her muzzle against me. Our time together as been a journey, and I am looking forward to what the New Year will bring us as a team.

When I was paddocking a horse at Woodbine on a night in July, I was fortunate to meet parade marshal Joanne Colville, as she made a positive comment about a drawing she saw on social media of a set of harness racing colors that I drew. A week later, I surprised driver Jack Moiseyev with a framed picture of his colors, which he was very thankful for. I have the utmost respect for this team, as they are very successful in this business and always have a positive outlook. I support them through everything they do, and they do the same for me. I love doing anything I can to make someone smile and help them, as they give a lot back to this industry.

Like I said before, everything happens for a reason, and people cross your path not by chance, but by a purpose. I thank harness racing for all that it has given me, as I would never regret a single second of it. The tough times make me stronger, and the happy times make me thankful to be surrounded my great people. I am forever blessed, and it is all thanks to great people.

Karly Tripp


The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.


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