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McCabe Praises Caretakers

Published: July 21, 2019 10:28 am ET

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Caretaker Appreciation Weekend is in the midst of being celebrated across Canada in a variety of different ways. The nation’s Standardbred community is recognizing the diligent, thorough efforts of arguably the hardest working men and women in the harness racing industry – the caretakers.

First Line Training Centre encourages caretaker appreciation to the fullest.

National Caretaker Appreciation Day events kicked off on Friday (July 19) and will be taking place through today (Sunday, July 21). There hasn’t been any shortage of enthusiasm from those coordinating events and offering recognition, including trainers and owners at farms and training centres, along with the racetrack festivities. For complete information, click here, here and here.

Trainer Andrew McCabe would like to share his commitment and encourages others to follow.

“It's important to express our gratitude to the caretakers (that are) operating in an environment where the status quo dictates seven days a week, sun-up to sun-down,” McCabe has said. “There's little validation of the effort aside from the camera flash at the wire. I have no fear of being redundant when it comes to saying ‘thank-you’ because without a solid team beside you, you're nothing.

“My belief has always been (that) it’s important that the team have the perspective of working with you, not for you. A day off for caretaker appreciation is just another way of validating that.”

The team at McCabe Racing will be enjoying a long weekend as a ‘thank you.’ It was mentioned by McCabe that he wanted to let his caretakers know early enough so that they could make plans – and know it is with appreciation – to go and have a great time off.

(Left to Right) ‘KiKi’ Palmese, Andrew McCabe, Bobbie Jo Harris and Bailey Keller.

Without question, the team in Barn 9 at First Line Training Centre can be found smiling, helping one another, and are very happy overall.

“I really enjoy working for Glenview. We have a great team, nice horses and a boss who makes sure we feel appreciated and validated, which isn’t always easy to come by,” said Chiara ‘KiKi’ Palmese.

“Andrew is great to work for. He runs everything very team oriented. There’s no competition within the grooms – we take care of each other. It’s like a little family. We have a great relationship, which makes it so much easier to go to work every day.”

“Lacey and Andrew showed me a completely different side of horses and I absolutely love it,” said Bailey Keller. “In the couple years that I’ve been working for Glenview, I have seen how hard these grooms work for their horses and I think it’s amazing that the industry takes a day to recognize the caretakers.

“We are very thankful that Andrew is going out of his way to recognize how hard we work and I absolutely love it. I’m grateful for them giving me the opportunity to experience the Standardbred industry and all it has to offer.”

(With files from Sarah Lauren Scott)

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