Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the Outstanding Groom Award, sponsored for the third consecutive year by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Submissions were received and considered for grooms from all across Canada.
Selected as the two finalists are Chantel Gillis of Truro, Nova Scotia and Amy Henry of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
Each finalist will receive two tickets to the O’Brien Awards, accommodation at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel, as well as return airfare from their home to Toronto. The winner will be announced at the Gala and presented with an award.
Chantel Gillis, 23, from Truro, N.S., grew up around the horses and started grooming at an early age for her parents’ stable. Over the years, her responsibilities in the barn increased. Currently she attends the University of Dalhousie, studying her Agricultural Business Degree, while working for the Paul Langille Stable. Although a full-time student, Chantel is at the barn every morning and puts in long days looking after nine of the horses. According to her nominator, Chantel’s work ethic and love for the Standardbred are second to none.
Gillis has worked with a wide range of Standardbreds including yearlings in training, racehorses and broodmares. Some of the horses she has cared for over the years include: Winners Arrow, Neigh Monster, Rusty Riley, Preceptor, Maiden Heaven, Chris N Tel Arrow and Western Scot.
Amy Henry, 27, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., works for the Kelly Hoerdt Stable at the Bedrock Training Centre near Edmonton, Alta. “I've been very fortunate to have had some of the best caretakers anywhere work with me, and for the last eight years I've had the good fortune to have Amy Henry on my staff. She has personified the term caretaker to levels I have never witnessed before; from the countless hours spent with the horses, sometimes 14-16 hours a day, tending to their health and wellness, assisting co-workers with their horses, leading the stable to another banner year in 2017, personally looking after eight to 10 horses, and even taking stake horses on the road on her own to B.C. for two to three weeks,” explained Hoerdt.
“Amy never complains about having to be at the barn for long grueling hours and I would trust her with my entire stable for extensive periods of time, and that is the first time I’ve said that about anyone in my 30 years of training horses,” he continued.
Amy's favourite horses that she groomed in 2017 included: Get Thereovernight, Cool Cowboy, Wrangler Cash and Custards Laststand.
Chantel and Amy are two hard-working grooms who are representative of many of the outstanding grooms who work in the Standardbred industry from coast to coast.
Standardbred Canada received many worthy submissions and would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate an outstanding groom.