Thursday, 28 May 2015 17:38

Nellie Pigeau Feature Story

Written by Garry Allison, Rocky Mountain Turf Club
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Right from opening weekend Nellie Pigeau had a horse entered on the Rocky Mountain Turf Club program. No novice to the sport, Nellie goes back to 1994.

"I was rodeoing before that, at least the kids did and I had to drive them," she says with her readily identifiable chuckle.

She used to be involved with gymkhana events in Grande Prairie and she had a horse "who could go faster than I wanted him to.

"I've been around horses all my life . . . they are a habit now."

Nellie won't say her age, but you can figure it out a bit when you realize she grew up in southern Saskatchewan, lived north of Edmonton for a time and moved to her present home in Grande Prairie in 1972,

This year Nellie had 17 horses under her guidance at the RMTC, nine of them her own.

"Old BoxTop King is in my shed row. He's a good one and once they get good like that they are hard to retire."

She had a "decent year" in 2014, and like she says, she's always "knocking at the door. And I've got in a few times when my horses did well."

She says she's a person of little patience, for machines or men.

"I do all the work in my barn," - which is situated next to Pete and Erna Dubois barn. "Sylvia Speaks, who has two horses in my barn, helps me out in the morning. I don't do any of my galloping any more, heavens no."

Nellie used to be a regular among the crew of pony horse riders, but she doesn't pony any more. She lost her good pony horse, Key To Class and hasn't found a good pony horse since.

"He ran here for about 10 years and then I used him as a pony horse. He died on me in November. He was 18, and I sure miss him. I won't pony until I can find one as good as he was."

She says everyone figures there's a big secret to training. The key, she says, is all in just being natural.

"A horse isn't a machine, but try to go against what they want an you've got a big problem on your hands."

Naturally come summer she'll take her horses to Grande Prairie to run, after all that's where she lives.

As well, come July 1 she'll be running at Millarville.

"I definitely will be at Millarville, you bet. I just love it there."

As for this Spring at the RMTC, Nellie feels things are shaping up "pretty fine," and she's hoping for a good year.

"Of course we all hope everything will all go good . . . the track is in pretty nice shape right now. Max (Gibb CEO of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club) does good. He works with what he has."

The RMTC Spring Meet runs each weekend through July 4-5 - with Millarville in there July 1 - and you can bet Nellie Pigeau will have her horses front and centre virtually every weekend.

Read 896 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 May 2015 17:40