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It's YOUR Magazine

The View - Dan Fisher

I've been reading TROT Magazine for most of my life. In the days before the Standardbred Canada website came along, it was really, one of the only places in Canada where you could get news on all of racing's big events. As the years went by and technology advanced, we've used the website to recap the races, and TROT became, and remains, a place where we love to share the wonderful human-interest stories found amongst the amazing people in our sport.

I remember when Chris Roberts and Darryl Kaplan took over the publication and re-formatted it, some 15-20 years ago. I thought, at that time, that they may have "borrowed" a few ideas from Sports Illustrated, but being a big SI fan I didn't mind. In fact, my favourite piece in SI was always Rick Reilly's weekly editorial, found opposite the inside-back-cover of the magazine (The Life of Reilly). In TROT they called it The View, and Chris Roberts was the one to pen-it. And he did a brilliant job each month.

After Chris decided to move along, Darryl wrote this column for many years, and the piece continued to be one of my favourite parts of our publication. Whether re-living a family vacation to Disney, where the shuttle driver turned out to be a harness racing owner from Illinois, or arguing that we never should have stopped charging admission at our racetracks, Darryl has always written from the heart, and given us a lot to think about, in regard to where our industry has been, and where we hope to go. And as Darryl, deservedly so, moves upwards in our association, I'll miss reading his column each month.

I actually wrote this column once, in the January, 2018 issue, when Darryl was unable to. I wrote from the heart as well. I wrote about falling in love with my first horse, and how it's ok for people to get "too attached" to our amazing equine friends, and the feedback I received was incredible. It only reinforced to me how we, the horsepeople of this world, all have so much in common. We're competitive. We're passionate. We're tough. We're hard-working. And we LOVE our animals. And I'm proud that TROT is here, that it tells our amazing stories, and that I can play a role in that. And if you don't know what I mean, just flip to the centrespread of this very issue (page 42/43) and read the story on Musical Rhythm and Sara Baillargeon (A Girl And Her Horse) and try to tell me that it doesn't tug at your heart-strings a little. Go ahead.

TROT is YOUR magazine. It tells YOUR stories. And if we don't know about them, please feel free to reach out to me and share them, so we can possibly share them again with everyone.

There's no doubt that we're a "unique" group. You may have even chuckled a bit just now, reading that line, while thinking about some of the "unique" characters that you know from inside our sport. But it's true - we're unique, and we're awesome, and I wouldn't trade us in for anything.

I've played on a lot of beer league hockey teams over the years, comprised mainly of horsemen. Most of these teams have contained a couple of "regular civilians" as well, and as we sit around in the room talking shop, I always feel a bit bad for those guys, as they never have a clue what the rest of us are talking about. We have our own language, and it's foreign to most. But come the end of the season, even though our non-horsemen players still don't understand our language, they always do realize one thing. They realize that their horsemen-teammates, whether successful in the win-loss column or not, are some of the best teammates they've ever had in life. Because we're loyal, we compete, and at the end of the day, we always have each other's backs.

Like many of you reading this, I'm a standardbred horseperson for life. It's my passion. It's a community that I'm happy to be part of. And I take pride in being able to use TROT, to share our amazing stories with the world.

I may have size 13 feet, and although I believe that Chris Roberts and Darryl Kaplan have smaller feet than I do, they have each left huge shoes for me to try and fill. And I'm humbled, to say the least, to take over the responsibility of writing in this space.

Dan Fisher
[email protected]

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