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Outstanding Groom Award Finalists

Published: January 27, 2016 2:27 pm ET

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Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the Outstanding Groom Award, sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Submissions were received and considered for grooms from all across Canada. Selected as the two finalists are Cindy Acton of Woodstock, Ontario and Jennifer Defoy of Cambridge, Ontario.

Each finalist will receive two tickets to the O’Brien Awards and a night’s accommodation at the Hilton Mississauga /Meadowvale Hotel. The winner will be announced at the Gala and presented with an award.

Acton works for the Ben Wallace Stable, where she has been employed since 2010. She took care of horses such as My My Hey Hey, Sports Warning, Whiskey N Pie, American Rock and more. She was also the proud caretaker of Apprentice Hanover from the day he set foot in the barn.

From 2006 through 2009, she worked for Lindy Farms of Connecticut, looking after Grand Circuit two- and three-year-olds.

According to one submission, what makes Cindy unique is “her passion for standardbreds and her loyalty to her employer's stable. She ensures that everything in the barn runs smoothly, from answering the phone to making appointments with the farrier, even reminding Ben when to enter a horse. Cindy always seems to bring the best out of her horses, just by showing the horse the love they deserve, she seems to be able to read their minds at times, judging how each one wants to be handled, which one needs that extra special attention.

"Cindy truly loves to raise young horses, from the time they walk into the barn as fresh yearlings to the point they make their first steps onto the track. No matter what class, pedigree or behavior of a horse, Cindy looks after each one as if they are worth a million. She constantly worries about their well being, sometimes she will drive half way home just to turn back to double check that the gates are indeed locked."

Jennifer Defoy works for Dagfin Henriksen Stable, where she’s been employed since October, 2014. The Quebec native now makes Cambridge, Ontario her home since the stable relocated from the Peterborough area to Baycairn Training Centre in Campbellville three months ago. Lady Ping, Jayport All Muscle and Girl Drama are just a few of the horses that she takes care of.

Here are excerpts from the submissions:

"Jennifer's passion and love for the horses in her care is like nothing I have seen in the 40 years I have been involved in the sport. These horses are her babies, she's there in the evenings, weekends caring for them. She has no regard for how valuable or successful the horse is, they are all treated the same. As groom of Lady Ping she has been instrumental in keeping her racing at top form through sickness, lameness etc.

"She has worked behind the scenes in the racing industry since she was old enough to carry a pitch fork. Racing is her passion and she currently cares for 14 horses and provides amazing care for each and every one of them. Lady Ping, Jayport All Muscle and Girl Drama are just a few of the amazing horses that would not be burning up the racetrack if not for the care she provides. "

SC would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate an outstanding groom.


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