Archive for May 2014

They’re At The Post!

In this case, they are “in” the post. That is, in this blog post. We’re talking about horses. There are some members of the Stacee-Free Team who have special relationships with horses. No, they’re not “Horse Whisperers” but they have some horse stories to tell.

Sunday May 18th, 2014 marked the opening day of the Ajax Downs racing season.  This lovely little track is located at 50 Alexander’s Crossing in Ajax, just off Kingston Road East and is designed for Quarter Horse racing. It’s a great place to bring the whole family for fresh air, sunshine and excitement.  Quarter Horses are similar to the majestic thoroughbred, although a bit blockier in the hips.  Unlike the thoroughbreds, these horses are bred for speed.  Most races are a quarter mile (440 yards) or less. Once you hear the announcer say, “They’re at the post!”, pay attention because they hit the ground running full speed.  The first race of the season was 250 yards and was won in 13.58 seconds by the six horse, Halee Hath No Fury, and was ridden to victory by Daniel Wayne Rose. Number seven, Totally Nuts, ran second and number two, Lexia, came in third.

At least one of our group was able to cash a ticket in that first race. That’s always a good start to a season of racing.

Opening DayThere ‘s enough time between races to check out the program for the next race, have something to eat and tell a couple of colourful horse stories. Mincom Jo (Jo Rucinski) gets nostalgic as soon as she sees the horses in the paddock area.


Mincom Jo watching the horses in the paddock.

Jo spent years working with horses in and around the horse racing industry before joining her Mom, Judy (Judy Stacee-Cleaver), at Mincom New Choice Realty, Ltd. One of her funniest stories, however, comes from having her own horse, Watson. Jo took very good care of Watson, always grooming, washing and feeding him. They had a very good relationship. So much so that she didn’t think twice about bringing him into the house so he could have a drink at the kitchen sink. It had to be pointed out to her that the house may not have been built with floors that could support a 1,000 pound horse … before she led him back outside.

Judy has her own story about Watson. One day as she stood at the kitchen sink doing dishes, she was watching Watson wandering around outside. She noticed that he was blowing bubbles. Not from his mouth but from his bottom. It took a minute before she realized she wasn’t imagining things and that there were indeed rainbow-coloured bubbles coming out of Watson’s bottom.  Now, this didn’t seem like something that should be happening so she hesitantly called Jo to let her know. After Jo stopped laughing she explained that she had given Watson a “treatment” (enema) that included liquid soap and that the bubbles were a good thing.

The newest member of our team, Paul Turney, has a long history with the racing industry. Paul has written about racing and horses for years and has owned and raced many thoroughbreds. He always spoiled his horses with Scotch Mints. Cottonwood Creek (below) would hear the mints rattling in his pocket as he approached and begin to whinny. “Horse racing is the most exciting game in the world,” says Paul. “When your horse thunders across the finish line on top, it’s the biggest thrill you’ll ever have.”

Paul Turney • Not a horse whisperer.

Paul Turney • Not a horse whisperer.

Opening day at Ajax Downs pulled in a great crowd and for the most part the weather held with actual sunshine most of the time. Check out the schedule on line and plan a day for you and your family. We’ll see you at the races!

Quarter Horse Racing