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December's Calendar Photographer

Published: December 1, 2019 10:06 am ET

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A regular contributor to the Heart of Harness Racing calendar, Jackie McManus of Komoka, Ont., ends the 2019 calendar with her picturesque photo of DM Johnwick being trained by Gord McKnight at Dorchester Downs Training Centre in Dorchester, Ont.

The photo is very fitting for December, showing the hard work and dedication that goes into training horses throughout Canada during the cold winter months. The photo was taken in February of 2018 and Jackie described it as being "the coldest day of the year." She further explained the photo articulating that "everything frosted over and crystallized immediately including hair and breath which made for a great photo opportunity if you would bear the cold outside."

Jackie works full-time as Vice President of Finance for a property management/real estate development company in London, Ont. When she isn’t busy working her full-time job, you can find her at Dorchester Downs Training Centre working hard in her new volunteer role as the facilitator for the newly-formed fractional ownership group OwnAStandardbred (OAS), the group that is ‘Just A Little Different Than Everyone Else’.

As the facilitator for the OAS group Jackie has many roles which include acting as the main point of contact for members, being the official photographer, developing and maintaining the website, all of the accounting duties and last but not least, she is the social convener for member events and outings.

Jackie’s love for horses and positive experiences with other fractional ownership groups is what inspired her to start a new horse sharing group in Southwestern Ontario.

“I have participated in all of the other fractional ownership/horse sharing groups, including the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Mentor group, Landmark Racing Stable, TheStable.ca and other private ownership groups,” noted Jackie. “I wanted to build a group that was ‘Just A Little Different Than Everyone Else’. The vision was to combine the most appreciated aspects of other horse sharing experiences into OAS, locate [the program] in Southwestern Ontario and work with a trainer who is successful, well-respected, and a good fit for this type of venture.”

And Jackie did just that. She and Scott McNiven, the trainer for OAS, developed their first horse sharing group OAS2020 in October, after promoting the new program at the London Selected Yearling Sale and at their Meet & Greet Farm Visit which took place at the new OAS home, Dorchester Downs Training Centre.

“We had a great turnout and I did not expect that by the end of the morning so many of the attendees would become our future partners. I felt like all the hard work had paid off.”

Since then OAS2020 has secured ten partners from ten different cities throughout Ontario, reaching their target goal for the first year.

“It is a manageable size for myself as facilitator but also the other partners. Each partner contributed $1,500 and could purchase additional units for $500 each. These funds are budgeted to cover all costs for our horses through to December 2020.”

In addition, McManus explained “the exciting aspect for our group is that we have three yearlings and two racehorses so the fun starts right off the gate. Our yearlings are Ontario-sired and the racehorses are three-year-old fillies who are actively racing.”

These horses give the ten new members of OAS2020, Jackie and Scott all something to look forward to in the new year.

“Without question, I am most looking forward to the experiences and friendships that will come from OAS2020. We have a great group of people and five horses. I am already wondering what OAS2021 will look like. I will look to our partners to help build the next group so we can best meet the needs of the group.”


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