Page 19 - Allen Gwinn: Horse Racing on the Ice
ISSUE : Issue 19
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/6/1
So the next heat she just gave him a worse beating than any. So he never came back. He never came back to race again. And there was no horse • I heard a man saying that then • that could beat her. They had it going for two or three days that I was going to get beat and it was all around and everybody was looking for that. That'd be in about 1924. I hated to part with her. She was great, great on the farm. She'd work like a real farm horse, if you didn't give her oats. You'd cut out the oats when you went to plow with her • plow as good as any horse you'd want. But when you were feeding her oats • she'd go till she'd come. When you were letting the plow out at the end, she'd go ahead of the other horse, well the length of herself. I remember the one that was quite fast • out here on the ice. I was letting Goldie just go her own gait. And this one • I knew when she got down to travelling she was pretty near as fast as Goldie • so I let them go and they trotted together. Goldie kept about the length of her neck. The other horse's head would be about at her shoulder. Any farther than that she wouldn't let him come. He'd be trying, the fellow'd be trying to speed her up • Goldie would let out that much more speed. There were a lot of people got. fooled this one day. V/e had had a heat a few days be? fore that • I and Campbell...I was out by myself driving Goldie. They were to be here at 1.30 and 2.30 came and I was just ready to leave for home. She wasn't in the spirit of travel that day. She was in heat, see. Every time I notice when she was like that she didn't have the get-to • you'd have to force her to get her to go. When she was herself you had to hold, hold all you were worth on her. So, I had gone for four heats, see if I could get her to come out of it. But no, it was the same thing every evening. So I was all ready for home when I saw them coming. So if I kept on and went home before they got there, they'd say well I was scared of Campbell. I waited till they came so I said, "What was keeping you? Why I've been out here an hour and I've drove the mare four heats. That's about enough" • a half- mile heat. "Well," he said, "we couldn't make it • there was something happened we couldn't come sooner." Well I knew Goldie wasn't travelling any? way, but I figured that she was going fast enough to beat him. So I said, "Alright, I'll race one heat with you." So he got the mare ready and we went down and I beat him about the length of a neck. That was close. And well we went again and it was a little closer • pretty near even. And all the people that was there were pretty wild. What went all over the country was that Campbell was going to beat me • and that's. I guess, what made a big turnout. The crowd was yelling for another race. And I came back down' from where I had Goldie af? ter the end of the heat, and I talked to Campbell, and he said to me, "They want another race Friday." This was on Wednes? day. And I said, "Are you game for it?" Campbell • "Yes, are you?" "Yes," I said, "I'll be out. Do you feel like trying it again?" "Yes," he said, "if you're not fooling." "Well," I said, "you see how it went today. You got as much chance of win? ning by the looks of it today as I have." Well Goldie was a different animal the next time we raced. He must have thought that I was fooling him bad. But I wasn't. She was doing all I could get out of her. We were about half way up when Goldie slipped and lost her step and he got quite a lead. If she had the speed Goldie had he would have easily won that heat. But I beat him just about the same as I did the others. Goldie let out that much more speed. One day we were racing down here. I could see that my mare was as speedy as the oth? er two but she'd run into shelly ice. She'd travel so low that it would throw her off her step and if she did, it would take quite awhile to get back. But I was leading them till she struck this shelly ice • and Phil Morrison took it. All nip and tuck. And Roddy was there that day. I guess they thought Goldie was out of the race any more. But Roddy had got rid of the old horse and bought Morrison's. And Morrison got a young one. So he came down with her and he wanted me to drive with her. He said, "I'd like to get him used to another horse." I said, "Okay." We weren't racing. We were just exercising. I said, "I'll drive with you. What do you want me to do? Stay behind and come and pass you?" I knew about the speed his young one had. "No," he said, "let's start together and you can hold her back. Perhaps if my mare's travelling all right you can let her speed up." So I held Goldie back till my arms began to get a little tired and I slacked, and Goldie took off • so he had no speed at all compared to Goldie. Never never got too much. I laughed at one fellow. We were racing here one day and there were three or four driving. Well, they weren't in Goldie's speed at all • but I wasn't driving with them. My brother had a horse and Donald Cameron down here and, oh yes, John D. MacLeod from over that side of the har? bour. They were pretty well matched • the three of them. There was one fellow from Dingwall had a horse • he shuffled the pac? ing. He was only shuffling back and forth. He wasn't going ahead. He thought, I guess, that he was going to hold the other three. He pulled in for a race with them. Well, they went away from him till he got a- shamed. He only went about i of the way and he pulled off of the track. Well, we were driving from north up the harbour Cape Breton's Magazine/l9
Cape Breton's Magazine