Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:13

Catching up With Sugar Doyle

Written by Sugar Doyle
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Sunshine Beach winning in 1:49.2 at Mohawk Raceway Sunshine Beach winning in 1:49.2 at Mohawk Raceway

One Helluva Run!

It's pretty much a given that if not for former managers of Northlands Park, Kevin Behm and Les Butler - who decided to take a shot on me in 2006, I would never have had the opportunity to call any kind of horse racing at any race track. You see... I only had a handful of 'amateur' race calls under my belt at the time and only one single pari-mutuel race call (January, 2006 at Charlottetown, PE) on my resume, but I did, however, have about 25 years experience of being around the horses and hanging out at racetracks.
 
Whether it was skipping school to shovel shit, at the barn, as a youngster or spending my paper boy money betting at the track - I've always just wanted to be around the race horses. I got away from them a little when I reached high school - *I enjoyed following the ladies a little more than following the horses at that point, but the pull was always there...
 
My Dad was three months out of retirement when he passed away, in my arms, back in the Fall of 2002. At that point in time - I knew my life would never be the same again. He had all these hopes and dreams and yet they were never going to happen - he was gone... I said to myself - "That's never ever going to happen to me!"
 
In no time I was back around the horses... It may have been shoveling shit, but I enjoyed it and I was good at it. Soon after I picked up a couple of cheap mares and raced them at amateur events throughout P.E.I. - what a time that was... I even piloted RB's Cash to a 'gate-to-wire' win at a fair close to my hometown in the summer of 2005. That was a dream come true right there!  
 
Making dreams come true... It's something everyone should have the opportunity to do. Why put it off, when it's right there waiting for you? Sometimes you just have to go for it! That's what I went for in Alberta... I had the chance to live out another dream of announcing horse races, but I lucked out in so many more ways as well...

Some of my fondest racing memories will forever be linked to my time in Alberta. From Tajma Hall's 1:50.3 (*That just happened!) track record mile at Northlands, in May, of 2008... to Freedoms Traveller (*Sent by the angels!) winning the Canadian Derby of 2011... to sitting around a BBQ (*Burger Fest!) with friends, after an afternoon of racing, in Grande Prairie... and to hanging out (*Loved this!), with the mic in the paddock, at Alberta Downs... I wouldn't have changed a thing.

It's now beeen a month since I arrived, in London, to call the action at The Raceway at Western Fair District. In many ways it was much like starting out again... Not only new horse names, but the owners, trainers, drivers and grooms - they're all new to me too. But I've been there before... I've had that same exact feeling of being nervous and wondering if people would like me... And I also remember it all worked out just fine... It truly was - one helluva run! 

Thank you so much to everyone, who played a role, in making my time in Alberta such a wonderful experience. All the best to all and I'm sure we'll meet again...

 

Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle

Read 2584 times Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:15