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Atlantic Bursary Winners Announced

Published: July 11, 2013 11:34 am ET

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Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the winners for the 2013 Atlantic Bursary program. Each student will receive a $1,000 bursary towards their post secondary education for the 2013-2014 academic term.

Presentations will be made to the students this Saturday, July 13 at Summerside Raceway following the sixth race of the Governors Plate card.

The winners are:

  • Devan Barrieau of Saint John, NB
  • Kent Beattie of Fredericton, NB
  • Vanessa Cairns of Montague, PE
  • Benjamin Hollingsworth of Truro, NS
  • Beth MacRae of Belfast, PE

Devan Barrieau will be pursuing her Bachelor of Arts at St. Thomas University starting in September. She has strong harness racing roots as a third-generation horseperson. Her father, Gilles, followed his father’s footsteps into the business and is one of Atlantic Canada’s premier trainer-drivers. This has provided Devan an opportunity to be involved in harness racing and she’s immersed herself in it. She has been grooming and paddocking for her family’s stable for the past eight years and was also able to attend the two National Driving Championships that Gilles took part in.

Kent Beattie has been an active member of the harness racing community at his hometown’s Fredericton Raceway for years, having inherited his love of the sport from his father, Gary, and uncle, Rick Beattie, longtime horse owners and trainers in New Brunswick. A groom for several years, Kent recently obtained his trainers licence. He is now preparing for his third year of the Bachelor of Science program at the University of New Brunswick with the goal of becoming a doctor.

Vanessa Cairns’ family has a long standing relationship with harness racing, being intimately involved in breeding and racing in PEI for years. Vanessa worked as a race office and SC representative at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for several years. Vanessa will be entering her final year in the Criminology program at Carleton University in Ottawa and is looking forward to completing her degree.

Benjamin Hollingsworth will be going into his third year of the Animal Science Program at Dalhousie University this fall. A licensed trainer-driver, he has worked around horses for the past 10 years, taking his lessons from Hall of Famer Phil Pinkney. He was also a summer intern with the Harness Horse Racing Youth Foundation for two years. Unlike many in the sport, Ben’s passion for harness racing was not inherited from his family, but developed through his hands on experience with the horses and his involvement in the racing community.

Beth MacRae’s entire family is involved in harness racing. Her father is a fifth generation horseman; her Mom drives horses at Pinette Raceway, her brother announces the races at Pinette and both her and her sister groom. Beth has been grooming horses for five years and now has her own horse, Pictonian Walton. She will be attending the University of Prince Edward Island’s Pre-Vet Program in September.

The bursaries were awarded based on active involvement in the harness racing community, academics and financial need. Applicants were also required to submit an essay addressing how they would use social-media tools to market harness racing.

This program is supported and funded by various organizations from the Atlantic Provinces and Standardbred Canada. Partners from the Atlantic Provinces include the Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association, Saint John Harness Horsemen’s Association, the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association, and the 'Stretch Drive Fund,' a fund created by the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commissions race officials.

Standardbred Canada and all of the partners from the Atlantic Provinces would like to extend their congratulations to the winners and thanks to all of the students who submitted applications for bursaries.

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