“You have a tumour”. This phrase from a doctor would strike fear in anyone.
The racing community is coming together to raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada this coming Saturday at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in the annual fund raising initiative started the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society of Alberta called the “C Cup Classic”. Everyone could say they have been affected in some way by a diagnosis of a malignant tumor. The horse racing family in Alberta was directly affected by this in 2019 with the diagnosis of a brain tumor in leading jockey Rico Walcott. Thanks in part to the research of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, Rico is back doing what he loves most, riding race horses.
There are 7 amateur jockeys riding for the cause on October 5th in the 10th race at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino. Let’s meet them and their connections:
Post position 1 - Ryan Bott riding “Jax On” – Trainer Rod Heggie and Owner Tom Auvigne.
Jockey Ryan grew up in Horse Racing and is always ready to get on and ride a horse race. Ryan exercises race horses professionally at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.
Trainer Rod Heggie has entered his horse in support of brain tumour survivor and friend Rico Walcott whom has been a friend since the days of racing at Stampede Park.
Post position 2 - Stephan Heiler riding “Feisty Forester” – Owned and Trained by Glen Scarlett.
Jockey Stephan was a journeyman jockey until 2012 and has been involved in horse racing ever since. Stephan was a big part of the initiative of starting the Canadian Amateur Jockey Association and is the current president. Stephan rides in memory of Uncle Walter.
Post position 3 - Twylla Bensmiller riding “Witt Stamp” – Owner and Trained by Jim Wyness.
Jockey Twylla grew up in a family of horse racing and has been in many roles in the industry including Trainer, Owner, exercise rider, Olds College Instructor, and pony person. She is currently the paddock judge at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino. Twylla has been touched by cancer with her family and friends in the past, and is currently riding 100% for “Uncle Rico” who means the world to her son Rossi. Twylla says “Tell your loved ones you love them every day because we never know what tomorrow is going to bring or what curve ball life will throw at us”.
Post position 4 - Roy Ramirez riding “Run Away Lane” – Trainer Joan Petrowski and Owners Salt River Holdings and Viking Stable
Jockey Roy is a retired jockey and is defending his title of C Cup Champ as the 2018 winner. Roy is currently an exercise rider and employed by Century Downs as a jockey valet.
Trainer Joan Petrowski is an HBPA director and has been affected in so many ways by cancer in her life and says it is “a blessing to get a chance to help fund research for the Brain tumour foundation”.
Post position 5 - Kate Pendergast riding “Respect the Shot” – Owned and Trained by Shelley Brown
Jockey Kate has made horse racing her life, and is helping the next generation as one of the Instructors for the Olds College Racetrack Programs. This is Kate’s second lifetime race and she is thrilled to get the chance to support a great cause while doing what she loves.
Trainer Shelley Brown has “entered my horse in memory of my dad Tom Brown, who I lost in 2018. My dad was my biggest fan and I almost stopped racing when I lost him”. Shelley jumped at the chance to enter her horse when she found the opportunity, as Cancer affects most families as well as her own.
Post position 6 - Gord Smith riding “Never Lose Hope” – Trainer Ron Grieves, Owned by Ron and Chancery Stables
Jockey Gord grew up in horse racing and is riding in support of the C Cup Classic for the second year in a row. Gord exercises Race horses for Bar None Ranches and at the track at Century Downs.
Post position 7 - Oscar Martinez riding “Flash the Cash” – Trainer Craig Smith and Owners David Rowbotham, Tony Boogmans, Rodney Carpenter, and Hugh MacKinnon
Jockey Oscar Martinez is a retired jockey now making his living as an exercise rider.
The C Cup Classic and the CTHS of Alberta are thrilled to be partnering with the Canadian Amateur Jockey Association, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino and the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Alberta (HBPA) as we raise funds for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.
All funds raised by the C Cup Classic will go towards research and all donations will be doubled through the generosity of a private donor! Please come out and support our horsemen as we rally together to support a cause!
There will be a table set up by the winners circle on the day so you can pledge your favorite jockey. If you are unable to make it on race day, you can pledge them online at C Cup Classic 2019. Every donation at $20.00 or more is eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
- Ryan Bott Ryan Bott
- Stephan Heiler Stephan Heiler
- Twylla Bensmiller Twylla Bensmiller
- Roy Ramirez Roy Ramirez
- Kate Pendergast Kate Pendergast
- Gord Smith Gord Smith
- Oscar Martinez Oscar Martinez