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Fan Club Promotions

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Contests & Winners!

  

Zoom Returns With 'Step Into Spring'

Your I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club is pleased to announce the return of the Zoom Photography Challenge for the SIXTH consecutive year! If you have an eye for photography that captures the heart of harness racing, the Fan Club wants to see your photos.

Zoom Challenges will run from April through September. There will be a different, fun and exciting theme for each monthly challenge and we invite amateur photographers to take and submit photos that reflect the theme.

The theme, ‘Step Into Spring’ will kick things off for April Zoom. We are looking for photos that showcase horses in spring and the many wonderful things that go along with it. Some examples include horses playing in the pasture, rolling in the mud or having fun in the spring sun!

So what are you waiting for? Get those smart phones and cameras out to get snappin!

Each month a committee will select a handful of the best entries, which will be included in a poll on SC’s website and Facebook page. Readers will then have the chance to vote for the photo they like the best.

The monthly winner will receive a great Fan Club Swag Prize package ($50 value) and the six monthly winners will be eligible to win a Grand Prize, which will include a $50 gift card to the racetrack of their choice and an enlargement of their winning photo framed or plaque mounted.

The deadline for this month’s photo submissions is Wednesday, April 25 at 5:00pm (EST).

Here are the timelines for the first month’s contest:

  • April 11 – Contest opens

  • April 25 – Photo Entry deadline

  • April 27 – Announce contest finalists; voting opens

  • April 29 – Voting closes

  • May 2 – Reveal April winner

MacLellan Named 2017 Harness Racing Ambassador

Each year the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club reaches out to the industry in search of that special someone, that one person who goes above and beyond, represents the industry behind the scenes, and works tirelessly to promote and ensure the success of our sport. There is no question that our industry has many of those ‘special’ people who do this!

The Fan Club is pleased to announce that Damian MacLellan of Inverness, Nova Scotia has been selected as the 2017 Ambassador of the Year.

The 15-year-old is thrilled to have been chosen, and his mom, Priscilla, along with his older brother, Donald, couldn’t be more proud of him.

“I was really surprised to hear that I was nominated and selected as the 2017 Ambassador,” said Damian. “I am honoured to accept the award.”

Like many others from the Maritimes, Damian lives and breathes harness racing. With a family connection to the racing industry, he couldn’t resist his craving for the horses and has been wrapped up in the sport for as long as he can remember.

He started in the industry washing saddle pads on race days at Inverness Raceway. Since then he has thrown himself into the game full tilt and has owned, groomed, jogged and helped train several horses. In addition to being deeply involved in the care of the horses, Damian has also helped with fundraisers and special events at Inverness, along with overseeing stall assignments.

“I help out in the annual ‘Clean Our Racetrack Day,’ where all horsemen clean up and get the track ready for the upcoming season. On race days, I help horsemen that ship in with their stake horses find their stalls. I help with any fundraiser happening and help keep the track and grounds clean and maintained.”

Damian also has a knack for announcing and has been given the opportunity to announce the qualifiers at Inverness on many occasions. On August 21, 2016, he was asked to fill in and announce the day’s races.

In the fall of 2017, Damian joined Atlantic Post Calls, to write a monthly article that reflects the activities and harness racing events that are taking place at Inverness Raceway and the surrounding area.

“I love writing for the Atlantic Post Calls. I am always looking at results from other racetracks. I love following local horsemen when they race at different locations,” Damian explained.

Despite this unique position at such a young age, Damian is honoured to write for the column and enjoys promoting the sport to the local community and throughout the Maritimes.

The highlight of Damian’s 2017 season was winning a race of the fifth and final leg of the World Driving Championship at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park with his horse Kennairn Fame and driver Dexter Dunn. The minute he heard a leg of the WDC was set for Red Shores he entered his horse.


Kennairn Fame, pictured victorious with Dexter Dunn (Photo courtesy Kyle Burton)

“My brother Donald was there to share the memory. The crowd that came out for the win picture was amazing and it couldn’t have been more special. I don’t think me or my brother will ever forget that win.”

Damian thanks his older brother Donald, and many others for teaching him about the industry and believing in him to succeed.

“I would like to thank my brother Donald MacLellan, Joey Poirier, Madison Poirier, Erland Campbell, Johnny Gillis, Shelby Miller, Andrew MacLean, Ambrose Gillis, Kenny Passerini, and anyone else who has helped or taught me throughout my career so far. Also, my dad John ‘Piper’ MacLellan and Donnie MacDonald were a big part. Without these people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

In considering his future path, Damian hopes to pursue a career in the industry, and looks forward to getting his driver and trainer’s license – he is eagerly awaiting his 16th birthday so he can do so.

Damian’s commitment to the industry should be an inspiration to others. His work ethic and efforts to represent and promote the harness racing industry is why he has been selected as the Fan Club’s 2017 Ambassador of the Year.

For winning, Damian was offered the choice of a $100 gift certificate to the Canadian harness racetrack of his choice or a $100 donation to a registered charity. Damian has chosen to donate to a registered charity and has selected the Canadian Cancer Society. He will also receive an ILCHR Fan Club prize package and a special presentation will be made in July at Inverness Raceway.

Thank you to the other Fan Club members that submitted stories about the special people in their lives that make harness racing in Canada the incredible industry and community that it is.

An excerpt from Donald MacLellan’s submission appears below.

Damian always tries to encourage his friends to drop by the barn and to get involved with coming to the track on race day. He has mentioned the idea of wanting to be able someday set up a fractional ownership group in the local area for new people to enter the game and own a horse, including more young people. All in all, I have had the honour of watching Damian grow up loving this sport more than anyone I know. Damian has gained so much life skills and maturity by being involved in this great sport. In return Damian tries to give back to the sport by helping fellow horsemen with their stables, promoting the local raceway, and promoting the sport to his friends and every person he interacts with.

 

Meet Our April Calendar Photographer: Laverne Turnbull

Laverne Turnbull of Kitchener, Ontario is the Heart of Harness Racing’s April photographer. Turnbull, who now lives year-round in Ontario, makes the trip back home to Manitoba each summer to catch the races. While visiting this past year he captured this image at the Manitoba Great Western Fair Circuit in Killarney, Manitoba. The photo was taken during the fifth race on Sunday, August 6, 2017 on the last turn of the half-mile track.

The horse on the inside of the track is Brain Teaser with Garett Isman in the bike. The middle horse is Luvn The Life with Dean Rey driving, and the horse who had the three-wide power move, and was the eventual winner, is Marvtherat and Cory Manning.

Manitoba has 10 weekend fair events for harness racing that take place at small towns throughout the province. As you can see from the photo, they have used pool noodles as markers for the track, something that is common to Manitoba racing, but not something you would usually see at more established racetracks.

Although Turnbull had a career in harness racing for decades, he now works as a pharmacy technician at Grand River Hospital and has been an assistant for several veterinarians, floating teeth throughout the years.


Laverne “floating teeth” (photo by Dr. Julie Ballinger)

“I used to go to the races with my Dad when I was in high school in Manitoba and then I became a groom. I groomed horses for the Ron Waples Stable in the mid to late '80s in Ontario and the eastern states, before returning home to Manitoba, where I got my driver’s license and raced my own stable in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Ontario for 20 years.”

Laverne considers photography a hobby and tries to get the camera out when he has a chance. “My photography experience is purely casual - I love horses and like to pull the camera out when opportunity arises, and I took many photos that day.”

This is the second time that one of Laverne’s photos has been featured in the calendar.

 

 

 

  

 


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