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Faces Of Racing: Carol Ann Landry

Published: July 20, 2018 10:09 am ET

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Leading up to the National Caretaker Appreciation Day event this weekend, Standardbred Canada will be profiling caretakers from across the country in our Faces of Racing series.

Harness racing has the ability to make a dreamer out of even the most skeptical, as it’s a sport where luck can often transcend logic. It is a sport where we see champions rise and capture the hearts of racing enthusiasts across the nation and in some extraordinary cases, internationally. Harness racing owners, trainers and drivers strive to have a horse in these ranks, and so do their caretakers.

“I dream of having a champion born here, at the farm,” says Carol Ann Landry. Landry, a 28-year-old caretaker for Écurie Daniel Martin in St-Barnabé Nord, Quebec, understands the importance of having a dream and working towards it. Whether it is her goal is to have a horse race at Woodbine Mohawk Park or have a young horse in her care be victorious on her home track, Carol Ann puts in the time and effort to see her horses succeed. “Seeing the evolution of a colt that I saw come to life, train him and dream of him making it to the races and to see the results when he begins his career -- that is priceless.”

One of Carol Ann’s most memorable moments in the industry came when HP Pandora won her first race. The victory came on May 22, 2016 at Trois Rivières in 1:59.4 with Stephane Brousseau in the bike. Carol Ann provided the day to day care for HP Pandora and was proud of the effort the horse had made in accomplishing this feat for their team. “It's [rewarding] when you work hard seven days a week and you finally have success. To see the horses you take care of every morning win or race well is satisfying.”

For anyone looking to pursue a profession as a caretaker in the industry, Carol Ann has a simple recipe for success. “It’s a lot of time but if you put patience and love together [for the animal], it’s all worth it.” She considers good horsemanship part of the equation too, “to love what you are doing with tenderness and patience that is good horsemanship.”

While having a horse race in Ontario, specifically at Woodbine Mohawk Park is on her bucket list, Carol Ann has her eye on capturing two of the Quebec Jockey Club’s signature events, the Coupe des Éleveurs and the Coupe de l’Avenir. “I think the Coupe des Éleveurs and the Coupe de l’Avenir are races that represent a great challenge here at home in Trois-Rivières.”

As she awaits her moment to care for a horse in the Coupe des Éleveurs and the Coupe de l’Avenir, Carol Ann is dreaming of favorable outcome for Despacito, a yearling Sunshine Beach colt in her care. “We have a colt named Despacito and we hope to get to sing the song often when he wins. It will be my theme song for the next few years,” she laughs.

“I think the National Caretaker Appreciation Day is a very great idea. The caretaker is the one who spends the most time with the horses and often works in the shadows.”

Hippodrome 3R will honour caretakers and celebrate National Caretaker Appreciation Day on Sunday, July 22.

Standardbred Canada along with the horsemen’s associations and tracks across the country will partner on National Caretaker Appreciation Day the weekend of July 20-22 at racetracks across the country.

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