Driver Tyler Redwood races for both the love of the sport and to support his growing family of four. But when funding issues ended racing in his home province of Saskatchewan, it meant going months without seeing the people he loved most.
It was a difficult situation, as the 31-year-old driver ventured to Alberta while wife Jennifer stayed behind with their children—twin boys, age 4, and a daughter, age 5. He would spend the summer racing, return for the rest of the year, and do it all again the next summer.
With the return of racing in Alberta, Redwood gets to do what every dedicated father wants to: be with his children.
“Finally, with the stability… it gives me that chance to return home to them every night and be with them, and hug them, and love them like a parent should.” Redwood was reunited with his now wife—then just a good friend—back in 2007, when he returned to race in Yorkton.
He says the two fell in love, married and started a family, and when racing fell apart in the only place they’d ever called home, they moved out west to make a new one in Alberta. His family is now a common sight at the racetrack, as his children pile out excitedly to watch their father race.
But racing isn’t the only thing that fills his days. When he’s not on the racetrack, he shoes horses for clients, having started the business a few years ago. His name has since spread through the community, meaning more orders. He also owns a stable with six Standardbreds to care for, and has to keep an eye on an industry that’s gone through a lot of change in recent years.
“There’s quite a bit going on behind the industry itself that I gotta deal with family-wise,” says Redwood, who also cares for his father. “There’s a lot of things I gotta look after for just one person.” But despite the workload, it’s undeniable that Redwood is far from complaining. He’s been involved in the industry as a first-generation horsemen since he was five, has been driving for seven years, and not even the tumult facing the industry or a grievous track injury back in May could stop him.
What keeps him going, aside from his family, is his sheer love for horses and the thrill of the racetrack—a love that makes it all worth it when he gets to see the look of excitement on the horse’s face each morning. He goes to work with a smile each day, with the belief that if you don’t enjoy what you do, you might as well not do it at all.
“The sky’s the limit now,” he says of where the industry is headed. “This is the only way that we can go and drive forward and look after our industry and our families that we work so hard to have.” And if you ask what horse racing means to him? “Horse racing means the world as opposed to my kids, in that it’s my next set of family that I got. We’re all so tight-knit together [in] that we all get to be here and breathe and do what we want to do every day. So the passion comes very strong in it, that we are fortunate to be where we are.”