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Contests & Winners!


Hall Wins O'Brien Handicapping Contest

The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club would like to congratulate Don Hall of Westchester, NS, for winning the 2017 O’Brien Awards Online Handicapping Contest.

Hall, along with three other entrants scored 17 out of a possible 20 points, answering seven of the eight questions correctly. He missed selecting the two-year-old filly pacer category for the horse division with the closest number of voting points. Hall’s name was selected in the blind draw.

Don has been involved in almost every aspect of the sport. During the past 50 years he has tried his hand as a groom, trainer, driver and owner.

Some of his highlights during this time include working with two O’Brien award winners -- Somebeachsomewhere and International Moni, with his most memorable moment being when Somebeachsomewhere set a World Record of 1:46.4 at the Red Mile in Lexington, KY.

Hall won an I Love Canadian Harness Racing prize package and also has the choice of a $50 gift certificate to the Canadian harness racetrack of choice or a $50 donation to a registered Standardbred charity. Don has chosen to donate $50 to Morning Star Acres in Harcourt, N.B.


Meet Our March Calendar Photographer: Orianna Scheck

Orianna Scheck of Calgary, Alberta, captured this great image of Star Of Winter being walked by trainer Kyle Howard at Northlands Park in Edmonton, Alta. After being purchased privately for $400 Star Of Winter has reached stardom in the I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club’s Heart of Harness Racing Calendar for March.

Orianna has had her camera on hand for all of the filly’s first experiences, including this image where she is walking out of the stall for the first time with her bridle and harness on.

“This picture is certainly not one of the flashiest pictures of harness racing but you often don’t see the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of all the work that is put in to them to even get to the races,” explained Scheck, “The picture turned out great with her colours blending into the background which also shows the history of Northlands Park. Just the look on her face made me so proud!”

Scheck currently does contract work for various horse associations and most recently started building a social media blog specializing in horses.

“Although I’m not a professional photographer, I love photography and I’ve had the opportunity to take some great shots in the equine industry,” explained Scheck, who was overjoyed that her photo was chosen to be featured in this year’s calendar.

“Star Of Winter was a 2017 ASHA yearling filly ‘sale entry’ that did not receive a bid due to several reasons. We purchased ‘Winter’ for $400 after the sale. It then took six of us over an hour and a half just to load her into the trailer. We immediately found out that she had a ton of fight in her and she was one tough girl.

"Our original idea was to get her healthy and find her a good home, but that plan changed quickly. After some good nutrients and a lot of TLC she turned into a ‘big beautiful bossy’ two-year-old. She is very smart and I couldn’t be happier with her now. She loves her job on the track and she does nothing wrong out there."

Orianna was thinking of changing the filly's name so she could have a fresh start...until she spoke with her mother.

"When I was born, mom wanted to name me 'Orianna Star’. My grandmother talked her out of it and thank goodness she did. My mother’s maiden name is Zima which in Polish means ‘Winter’. My grandfather, a professional boxer went by the name ‘Winter’ when he boxed. So ‘Star Of Winter’ might have some meaning in my family and maybe it was meant to be."

Harness racing is Scheck’s passion and though she is a smalltime owner she has been fortunate to have owned some special horses, but maybe none as special as ‘Winter’. This marks the first time that one of Orianna’s photos has been featured in the Calendar.

“Sometimes the ‘heart’ of this industry isn’t always about having the big horse and winning the big prize, although that is what we strive for. Sometimes the heart can be about doing the right thing for the horse...and we think we did the right thing by stepping up and saving this filly,” explained Scheck. “This $400 horse that has such a beautiful heart on her face has captured my heart and dreams. I hope her story will one day also capture the heart of harness racing!"





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