Courtesy of Bonnie Saunders
Linda Walnes and her horse, “True Valor.”
Walneses earn top honors in inaugural Career2 program
Horses and the best laid plans being what they are, Jack and Linda Walnes were unable to take part in the Career2 Championships event at Millbrook last weekend, as Linda’s horse, True Valor, fell in the trailer and was still a bit body sore, although otherwise unhurt, and Jack’s horse, The Country Gentleman (Gentry), has a mild sole bruise from the hard ground.
Nevertheless, based on points earned in the seven qualifying events leading up to Millbrook, Gentry took top honors in the Novice division, and Valor placed second overall at Beginner Novice. In addition to fancy ribbons to hang in the tack room, Jack got a nice check for $700, and Linda one for $300 — not bad in a sport where prize money is rare.
The Career2 program was created and funded by the New York Racing Association and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to promote eventing as a second career opportunity for registered thoroughbreds, many of which start out at the race track.
The Walneses would like to recognize and thank Aaron and Charity Donnan for finding them such nice horses, and Carol Kozlowski as their trainer who has helped them tremendously.
Arrigenna looks ahead with plans for Archangel
Although their trip to the Meadowlands hoping to add the second leg in the Triple Crown of harness racing to their achievements was not a home run, so to speak, it was only one race, with more to come. Arrigenna and Archangel (Archie) returned home in fine shape and are looking ahead to the rest of the season.
Despite the outcome where Archie placed fourth, the race had some heartwarming elements.
The win by Market Share made 57-year-old, Brooklyn-born Linda Toscano the first female trainer to claim the Hambletonian trophy since its inception in 1926. It was also the first Hambletonian victory for driver Tim Tetrick, one of harness racing’s most successful drivers. Quoting from an Associated Press release, “Sooner or later, I thought I would get one,” said Tetrick, who has won more than 7,000 races.
Future plans for our favorite local trotter include racing at Saratoga on Tuesday, August 14, to add a third New York Sire Stakes start in order to qualify for the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway in September. Then there is the reinstatement at Vernon Downs on August 26 of the $400K Zweig Memorial Trot, which used to be held at the New York State Fairgrounds, and the Canadian Classic in September, prior to the Kentucky Futurity in October, the final leg in the trotting Triple Crown.
Winners of the Week
Mackenzie Williams and Leroy won their Novice division at the Millbrook Horse trials in eastern New York. This is the biggest event now in the northeast, running 23 divisions ranging from beginner novice through advanced level, with all of the Who’s Who riders in the country there.
Irish Draught Horse Society of North America (IDHSNA) August 5 Hunter Pace at Batzing Farm results
Adult Optimum Time Division(62:45): 1. Alex Heahn and Brandi Trescott (63:29); 2. Jean Donnan, Caroline Hecht, and April Jefferson (63:30); 3. Gregory Donnan and Lucinda Finley (73:15)
Junior Optimum Time Division (62:45): 1. Cassandra Wolfanger and Erika Wells (69:51); 2. Hannah Berger and Amy Kate (79:30); 3. Max Stwertka and Peter Stwertka (93:31)
Hilltopper Division: 1. Taylor Hillimire and Tarrynn Least; 2. Grace Savoy-Burke and Alice Smith; 3. Sarah O. Miller and Becca Palmer
Congratulations to all the riders who showed up and dodged the rain clouds. In addition to division placings these special awards were given:
Katie Ferguson won a lovely saddle pad with the IDHSNA logo on it for riding the Irish Draught Horse closest to Optimum Time. Alex Heahn and Brandi Trescott won free entry into the Aidan O’Connell Clinic for being the team closest to Optimum Time. Hilltop winners Taylor Hillimire and Tarrynn Least receive vouchers for entry into a future IDHSNA Hunter Pace.
Mark your calendar for the next IDHSNA Hunter Pace on Oct. 28.