Atlantic Bursary Winners Announced

Published: August 14, 2014 08:32 am EDT

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the winners for the 2014 Atlantic Bursary program. Each student will receive a $1,000 bursary towards their post secondary education for the 2014-2015 academic term.

Presentations will be made at Charlottetown Driving Park on Tuesday, August 26 during the National Driving Championship card.

The winners are:

  • Luke Armstrong from Rothesay, N.B.

  • Shane Baglole from Cornwall, P.E.I.

  • Kent Beattie from Fredericton, N.B.

  • Brendan Curran from Vernon River, P.E.I.

  • Rebecca MacSwain from Morell, P.E.I.

Luke Armstrong will be taking the Mechanical Technician program at the New Brunswick Community College starting in September. Luke is a fourth generation horseman, with involvement in the sport tracing back to his great-grandfather. His father, Richard, has had lifelong involvement with horses in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and passed his enthusiasm for harness racing down to Luke. He’s had the opportunity to travel throughout the Maritimes and the United States with his father thanks to racing, and is looking forward to a continued lifelong participation in the industry.

Shane Baglole has finished up a fifth year at Bluefield High School and will be headed to Holland College in September for Sport and Leisure Management. With strong family involvement in the industry, it’s no surprise Shane has grown up to be as equally passionate about harness racing. Ronota, his mother, is one of the track photographers at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at CDP and his father, Blaine, both trains and drives. Shane owns Panacotta, who has racked up sixteen wins for the father/son partnership. He has spent time working for trainers in both Ontario and Montreal, and now works jogging and paddocking for Mark Bradley.

Kent Beattie is going into his fourth year at the University of New Brunswick, pursuing a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medicinal Chemistry. Kent has the hopes of becoming a Pharmacist upon graduation. With both his father and uncle involved in the sport, Kent has made the racetrack a second home. A fourth generation horseman, he acquired his trainer’s license a year and a half ago, and has since received his qualifying license as well. Kent’s enthusiasm for the sport is infectious and he hopes to remain involved for the rest of his life.

Brendan Curran will be entering his first year at the University of Prince Edward Island in the Sciences program. He hopes to then attend the Atlantic Veterinary College before practicing veterinary medicine in PEI. Brendan is a fourth generation horseman, nephew of Harry Poulton, of Matts Scooter fame. Recently receiving his “A” training license, Brendan has also been involved in the sport as an owner and breeder. His current project is Willow Warrior, a filly he trains for his father, Alby. His prodigy has hit the board in 10 of 13 starts so far this season. According to Brendan, once you’re hooked on this sport, you are really and truly hooked.

Rebecca MacSwain is headed to Dalhousie University for a Bachelor of Sciences in Agricultural Business. She hopes to work with young farmers who are just beginning their careers in agriculture. The avid horse racing fan caught the bug from her family who own horses. She went from there, prepping yearlings for sales through her 4-H “Standardbred Yearling Project” and volunteering at Marc Campbell’s stable. Her efforts through 4-H garnered extensive media coverage for the sport prior to the Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale last fall. Rebecca is well known for bringing new people to the track and passing on her infectious enthusiasm.

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 the issue of how to engage new fans.

This program is supported and funded by various organizations from the Atlantic Provinces and Standardbred Canada. Partners from the Atlantic Provinces include Horse Racing New Brunswick, the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association, Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association, and the 'Stretch Drive Fund,' a fund created by the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission's 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.