Wednesday, 10 June 2015 18:50

Backstretch Foundation Newsletter - May/June

Written by Theresa Sealy
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May/June 2015

The Backstretch Foundation is ready to start another season.  We are looking forward to a great year but are in need of some volunteers.  If you would consider becoming involved in planning and helping with events for your fellow horsemen please see any of your Foundation members:

  • Twylla Bensmiller
  • Amanda Gregory
  • Amber Putz
  • Kyia Moore
  • Misty Macdonald
  • Jim Haggan
  • Jeanette Haggan
  • Theresa Sealy
  • Emma Bott

Reminder of our objective:

  • Advocate for all Backstretch Employees in Alberta
  • Improve quality of life for backstretch workers

Weekly – Groom of the week chosen by an anonymous horseman

Groom of the week:

  • May 2nd – Dennis Sexton
  • May 9th – Raul Sanchez
  • May 16th – Barb Hartum
  • May 23rd – Connie Shaffrick
  • May 30th – Roger Winegardner

Monthly Awards

  • Backstretch Person – Steve Oster
  • Pony Person – Jill Klubi
  • Exercise Rider – Ashlee Edwards
  • Shedrow of the month – Craig Smith Stable

Shedrow of the month – Award goes to the barn with the best appearance and respect for each other and neighbors.

The Learning Center is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 12:00 – 5:00 and Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 – 4:00. Wi-Fi is now available. Computer classes will be available on weekday afternoons – please sign up with Theresa Sealy at the HBPA office.


  • Fundscrip Gift card fundraiser – This program lets us earn cash rebates for the Backstretch based on items you buy and use every day like groceries, gas, and household items. All you have to do is pay your purchases with gift cards bought at face value. Instead of paying with cash or debit card you use your gift card that you purchase through the Backstretch Foundation. Please see Theresa Sealy or Jeanette Haggan for more details.


    • BACKSTRETCH CLASSES OPEN ONLY TO RACETRACK EMPLOYEES - there are no entry fees or office fees – just load up the ponies and come on down.
    • BACKSTRETCH RIDERS – To be judged on rider turnout and skill, horse turnout, gaits and negotiating of some obstacles. PRIZE MONEY and BRAGGING RIGHTS to Top 3.
      Win: $200 Place: $100 Show: $50. Sponsored by HBPA and Killerney Farms
    • BACKSTRETCH on the ground - To be judged on groom turnout, horse turnout and handling skills.
    • PRIZE MONEY and BRAGGING RIGHTS to Top 3. Win: $200 Place: $100 Show: $50.Sponsored by HBPA and Killerney Farms
  • Backstretch BBQ – Thursday June 18th at 12:00 in the backstretch vet clinic. All Backstretch Horsemen are welcome to attend. Courtesy of Dr Steve Smith and the Backstretch Foundation.
  • Trainer’s Test – Anyone who is planning to write their Trainers or Assistant Trainers for 2015, the next test day will be an evening in June or July. Anyone needing more information please see Theresa Sealy at the HBPA office.




  • Welcome to our new Outrider Larry Dagg! Thank you for all the work that you do daily.
  • Congratulations to Olds College Exercise Rider grad Sheena Ryan on her Sovereign award for Leading Apprentice Jockey of 2014!
  • Congratulations to Dylan and Becky Neergaard on the birth of their baby girl August Quinn.
  • The Horse Racing Alberta Calgary licensing office has moved to the new Century Downs track and will no longer be available at the CTHS Alberta office. The on-site licensing office hours will be Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM.
  • Alberta Author Nancy Mackenzie has her new book Nerve Line available at LJ’s Tack shop that is based on life on the backstretch in Alberta.
  • Dental, eye, and hearing subsidies from HBPA are available. You must have held a HRA license for a minimum of 90 days to be eligible. Pick up forms from Theresa Sealy.
  • The instructors and students of Exercise Rider and Groom School programs would like to thank all of the trainers and backstretch workers for their help and patience during our ongoing learning period. Your participation is necessary and much appreciated for the success of these programs. Congratulations to all of the graduates of these programs. Your hard work and dedication is greatly welcomed.
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