If you've watched one million races and watch one million more, you'll likely never see anything in harness racing like the magic act pulled off by driver Kelly Hoerdt this past weekend. During Century Downs' ninth race on Sunday, Hoerdt was driving Captain Terminator and following Tiempo Hanover turning for home.
Tiempo Hanover's driver, Brandon Campbell, lost the handle of his whip and it fell behind him. As he tried to recover the whip, Campbell batted it into the air and it happened to be in the view and path of Hoerdt. With an amazing display of hand-eye coordination, Hoerdt deftly tipped the whip in mid-air and knocked it into a position so that it could be grabbed by his right hand while still holding onto his original whip.
The video was captured, slowed down and recompiled by Century Downs' Operations Manager Bill Farrant. When Hoerdt was reached by phone on Tuesday, he had no idea that his handy work had been captured and shared for the world to see. He couldn't tell how the whip came to be in his possession.
"From my perspective, I'm not sure but I think Brandon Campbell just threw me his whip saying 'here, you might as well have it you can't beat me anyway,'" Hoerdt told Trot Insider with a smile. The O'Brien Award winning horseman recalled the event with equal parts incredulity and pleasure despite being 48 hours removed, fully aware of just how rare a catch he made.
"I had both whips. I caught it just perfect, I never missed a stroke," laughed Hoerdt. "It went flying through the air, I don't think it hit the ground. And I had to knock it in the air with my whip first to get it positioned right so that I could catch it in the same hand I had my other whip... so I caught the one whip on top of the other whip. I had my black whip in my hand and I caught the white whip with the same hand I already had the black whip in.
"Kevin Sampson was in the race. He had the best view and he was just astounded, beside himself after the race saying 'I've never seen anything like that before!'"
Did the extra whip provide an advantage? Neigh. His handy work couldn't improve his position, as Hoerdt finished where he was in the race at the time he caught the flying whip -- fourth, without a horse passing him in the stretch or his horse passing any others.
Republished from Standardbred Canada - original link