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Thanksgiving In June

The View

Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in October; its American counterpart in November. On those holidays, many of us will think, or even talk out loud about, the things for which we are most thankful.

But there’s no rule that says we can only do that on one day of the year. It seems like many of us, myself included at times, like to complain about, or focus on what’s wrong in the world, or in our life, or in our sport. It’s only human nature I suppose. But then, once in a while, something happens to remind us just how good we have it, compared to many.

For example, if you’re reading this, you probably take it for granted that you’re better off than the 774 million adults on this planet that don’t even know how to read.

If you’re reading this, you’re obviously alive as well, so you’re also better off than the 151,600 people in the world that die every day.

Not to mention that, if you’re reading this, you more than likely are involved in the Standardbred racing industry too, and in my eyes that makes us luckier than most - the people that aren’t involved don’t know what they’re missing.

We do like to complain though, in this industry, and it seems that this day-and-age of social media only makes it worse. One reads it all on there… this driver is awful; that trainer must cheat; this trainer is a beard; the racetracks don’t promote the sport; the casinos hate racing; takeout is too high; the judges are blind; it’s too hot to race; it’s too cold to race; there shouldn’t be trailers in stakes races; there are too many short fields; this sire stinks; that sire should have kept racing longer; yearling prices are too high; yearling prices are too low. UGH.

As I’ve already admitted, I too can find myself complaining about things a bit too often, even though I have it pretty good in this life. And how good I do have it, never became more evident to me than when I was introduced to approximately 25 Yazidi women and children at Richard Moreau’s farm on the morning of June 28th.

Post position ten. A sprung shoe during a busy morning. A car in the shop because the air-conditioning isn’t coming out cold enough. A satellite dish on the fritz. Let’s call these first-world problems, and let’s remember them for what they really are.

Let’s always try to remember, even when our horse makes a break going for $100,000, that we still probably have it better than the majority of the people in the world.

When I heard the story of why governments from around the world, including ours, went into places like Iraq and Syria, and rescued these Yazidi people; when I learned that their fathers and uncles and husbands were slaughtered right in front of them because they were different; when I learned of some of the things those poor women went through in the days that followed; and then when I saw the smiles and pure joy on their faces, just more than a year later, brought on simply by a morning spent with Standardbred racehorses, it really put things into perspective for me. Many of us get to be around these magnificent animals every day, yet we often take it for granted.

I do realize, that we, like every other sport, have issues, and constructive criticism and open dialogue are very important when it comes to making ourselves better. So I’m not saying that we should bury our heads in the sand and just hope things get better. If there are serious issues that need to be addressed, and I believe there are, then we, as an industry, still need to address them. What I’m saying here though, is to please remember, that sometimes the glass can be half full too.

Years ago, I attended a retirement party for my high school football and rugby coach, Graham Hiron. He was a mainstay at the head of the powerful Pickering Trojans for over 30 years, and many of us went back that night to wish him well. A bunch of us were talking about what we were doing for a living, and I said that I was working for myself, training a stable of racehorses. I remember being a bit down at the time, as my stable was in the midst of a dry spell, and also thinking about how I had to get up early the next morning for work (probably hungover from the night’s event). I’ll never forget it when a fella 3 or 4 years older than me, by the name of Kevin Morgan, smiled and yelled out, “Wow, are you serious? You train racehorses for a living? You’re doing something that you love - you’re probably the luckiest guy in the room!”

That moment really opened my eyes, and stuck with me - he was probably right. Sometimes, it seems, we just need a Kevin Morgan, or a group of people far less fortunate, to remind us of that.

Dan Fisher
[email protected]

2 Comments

August 29, 2019 - 12:59 pmThanks Ron :)

Dan Fisher SAID...

Thanks Ron :)

August 29, 2019 - 8:25 amVery nice piece Dan, here I

Very nice piece Dan, here I am down and out because my old car gave out on me and I can't afford another one right now, but I still have my 2 legs which some people do not have, and I still love standardbred racing which employs many of my friends. HAVE A GOOD DAY.


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