Our memories span generations. Our roots run deep.
The racing industry changed my life.
Racehorses have taught me to love in so many ways. As a groom, you're able to spend endless hours bonding with all of the racehorses and become quite attached; they become like family. I've been fortunate enough to have taken multiple horses after their racing careers were over to turn them into wonderful hunter/jumpers.
When I hear people say, "You never know what happened to them at the track", I have to bite my tongue. I have learned that contrary to the stereotype, those horses are so loved. I have spent countless hours bathing, brushing, walking, and snuggling with many of them.
The racetrack will teach you many things, but the horses will teach you more: kindness, patience, love, and definitely how to have a little grit!
There would be a huge hole in my life without those horses in it.
I have found my forever home at Marquis Downs.
I started coming around the track when I was about 12, as soon as I saw the first race I was hooked! I didn’t know anything about horses or horse racing, just that it looked fun and that I love horses. I started slowly coming around more and more, slowly learning and doing little things here and there. I believe I was 14-15 when I officially became a groom. I loved the early mornings, having coffee with some of the MD family, always hearing the stories and how it was “back then”. I also was fascinated by the late nights when the races would run. It was just a whole different atmosphere. The excitement, joy and also the losses. I started out as a groom, pony rider and then I got my Trainer’s license in 2018. It was a huge thing for me, all the people who watched me grow over the years were all so proud, as was I. Working with horses you learn to have (lots and lots) of patience, and you learn all these different values which I’ll forever be thankful for. All the hard work and endless hours we put into our horses, I wouldn’t change it for the world
The thing that everyone pushes you to do is leave MD, I always laughed at them, there was no way I would leave home. But here we are in 2020, forced to leave home and set foot onto a new track. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice here at ASD but it’s not home,
I am hoping to be back and enjoying the track and family at Marquis next year!
Horse racing has been a part of my life since I was born.
In my early childhood, my parents separated and I went to live with my grandparents. My grandpa gave me a yearling, and when it was a 2-year old I used him for a saddle horse, just rode him around. One day, my uncle Tom asked me what kind of horse that was. I said it’s a Thoroughbred, papered and everything, it just needs a tattoo and to learn how to race. So we tried him as a late 3-year-old and he ran well with 2 wins, a second and a third. He ended up being Marquis Downs all-time-winningest horse.
In my teenage years, I could have been a bad kid, and get into lots of trouble. But I knew I had a responsibility at home. On my lonely days, that horse was there for me and I was there for him and a few others as well. I started working on the gates at 15 years old. I loved being in the jocks room around all of the riders and in the gates. Today, I look after the jocks room and get to meet and greet a lot of people.
Racing has helped shape my life. I plan on training here at Marquis Downs if it ever opens again.
Groom | Starting Gate | Valet | Horse Identifier
Horse racing has always been a part of my life. I was introduced to it from a young age, and growing up it’s all I wanted to do. I learned the trade from trainers Ron Fossen, Hubert Pilon, Juan Pablo Silva, my uncle Chester Constant, late uncle Garnet Sanderson, and Jerry Gourneau. I have gained a little bit of knowledge from all of them throughout the years, and one day I hope to pass down what I’ve learned to my children.
My biggest passion in the game is working in the starting gates and as a valet saddling horses in the paddock. Growing up, I used to sit in the grandstand and watch the gate crew do their job, thinking about how I too could do that one day. Now, I’ve been doing it for 20-some years, and I still love it. There’s no greater feeling than giving a horse a great start out of the gates, but it comes with great responsibility. My personal philosophy is to protect the jockeys and horses, and then yourself.
In 2019, I was given the new task of being Horse Identifier at Marquis Downs. I was enjoying it, but due to COVID-19, I was unable to carry on with that roll. Instead, I had to move my family to another track to carry on what I love doing.
Sure, Saskatoon may not be the biggest track, but it was close to home. Us small trainers and racetrack workers could go and enjoy the season without having to leave our own province.
If I could have anything, it would be to keep racing in Saskatchewan so I can continue to do what I love in my own province with my family and see my children could one day continue on in my footsteps.