Page 82 - The Rankin Family and Harness Racing
ISSUE : Issue 45
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1987/6/1
fence. It was a New Zealand horse we had. I always used to leave with him (that is, go for the lead right away). He had a breathing problem--if you'd take him back, he'd choke off. And I must have been leav? ing out 4 or 5. I figured I'd be parked (caught out without cover), so I took him back to drop him in the hole (an opening along the rail)--and I choked him off. And when they're choked off they have no con? trol, they just weave back and forth. And he staggered across the track and went through the fence. (These are not your proudest moments!) I'm trying to forget! But they were just things that happened. Like when we hit wheels, the other horse was down. And when I told Secretary to go around her, she got around it but the 15'ike didn't. You know, there's not a lot that you can do. I've had good years and bad years. Some years I'd only have 2 horses to drive. Oth? er years I had a stable. I guess I really only had one good year. I finished third-- third leading driver at the track. The first year Callie went away, I had his barn at the track. I had 16 horses at the track and I had 5 home. I looked after them. And then the next year I had 13 at the track, a few home. (What does "look after" mean?) You do eve? rything. I had a girl with me that helped me. But you jog, you put them away, you muck, you water, you feed, you race them. .You stay after the races, putting them a- way. That's what you did. Every day. A horse has to be jogged every day. They get a day off or maybe two, after they race. But they should be jogged 5 or 6 miles eve? ry day. Which varies. (But 13 horses.) You'd jog one and tow the other. You sit on the cart and jog one and take one with you. It was a big job. Time consuming. You'd get there in the morning and you'd be back by 5 or 6 o'clock. I'd spend the day at the track. (This was your business.) That's what I did. The year I had the surgery, I didn't drive. I found it too much. By the time you got them warmed up, (and then) make sure they were put away .right when they came in. You take a horse, you race them, you come in. If you're going out in the next race, you have to have someone that'll strip the horse, wash them, cover them up with cool- ers. There's a lot of work that you have to do. I figured I could do it better than anybody else, to tell the truth. I trusted me more than anyone else. It's easier to send a horse on the track and let someone else drive them. That's when I got into training, the last two years. I'd rather train than drive. (What pays for a stable like that?) If you have boarders, you charge so much per week. Or colts, if you're training a colt for somebody else. And your own horse, you get whatever it earns. (At the races. And this is the income pays for your cost of the stable, feed, other people to race for you, people to help you, equipment, medicine-- am I correct?) Yes, that's right, that's right. Sydney has more hobby horsemen. Somebody with 1 or 2 horses, that'll come in after work and do it, and leave. This sort of thing. That's what Sydney is. You could count on your hand how many stables are there. (We were talking about "heart," determina? tion. Can you train that?) You can--to a certain extent, you can train them that they win. You always train a colt with an older racehorse. You let the colt win, or you let the colt come from the back and win when finishing. This is the way you Marine Atlantic i'p" l/larine Atlantique Serving Atlantic Canada & Malhe For Rates, Schedules Or Ferry Reservations Phone Toll Free 1-800-565-9470 (N.B., N.S., P.E.I.) Racing All Summer Long! Charlottetown Driving Park ''The Maritimes' Most Beautiful Racetrack" OLD HOME WEEK 1987 2 Cards of Racing Daily August 7 to 15 Midway Petting Zoo Featuring the Gold Cup and Saucer 'es'K sh'ow' (82) 1988 - - We Are Celebrating 100 Years ??
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