Latest News, UPDATES, thrills & spillsFrom ASHA and the World of Harness Racing

"THRILLS & SPILLS" DECEMBER 2014 - CHECK OUT THRILLS & SPILLS NEW PAGE UNDER RACING NEWS. THRILLS DECEMBER EDITION IS HERE Check it out CLICK HERE   

ASHA ByLaws are available for review at the ASHA office during regular business hours - 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.

**Attention Horsemen - Due to the television scheduling, the Brad Gunn eliminations will be moved one day back from August 2nd to August 1st.  Both eliminations for the Ralph Klein and Brad Gunn will now go August 1st.  Both finals will go August 8th.

"HOME STRETCH FRIDAY'S" AT CENTURY DOWNS. Come out and enjoy a great night of racing. VIEW POSTER HERE

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ASHA HAS OFFICE MOVED. OUR NEW ADDRESS IS: 261185 WAGON WHEEL WAY, ROCKY VIEW, AB T4A 0E2. PHONE, FAX AND EMAILS REMAIN THE SAME.

CENTURY DOWNS BOOKKEEPERS HOURS VIEW HERE

CONGRATULATIONS TO SWAY S. FOR WINNING THE "NAME THAT FOAL" CONTEST. THE WINNING NAME IS: "PINKIE PIE". SWAY IS 3 YRS OLD FROM BEAUMONT, AB. PLEASE SEE ATTACHED ALL THE WINNERS CLICK HERE

 

2017 OPEN STAKES - THE LADY LUCK, RALPH KLEIN MEMORIAL, NORTHLANDS FILLY PACE, WESTERN CANADA PACING DERBY - Stakes Guide VIEW HERE 2015 YEARLING NOMINATION FORM CLICK HERE

ASHA held their 2015 Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 18th. Please see attached the "NEW" 2015 Board of Directors and Breeders Committee View HERE

NOTICE TO ALL: Century Downs Racetrack & Casino is enforcing "FULL" membership to all ASHA members in order to provide liability coverage for those involved at any capacity around the race grounds. This means that ALL GROOMS, DRIVERS, TRAINERS, BREEDERS AND OWNERS must have current memberships to ASHA in order to be on Century Downs Racetrack & Casino premises for any race related activity. This policy shall be enforced by Century Downs Racetrack & Casino, not ASHA. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

ASHA PRESS RELEASE - MARCH 6, 2015 (CENTURY DOWNS) VIEW HERE

ASHA STALLION DIRECTORY & STAKES GUIDE IS NOW IN! PLEASE CONTACT ORIANNA AT THE ASHA OFFICE @ 403.263.7765 FOR A COPY OR INFORMATION.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CENTURY DOWNS is currently recruiting for the positions of Track Superintendent.  Email your resume to Careers@CenturyDowns.com.  For a copy of the job description, email paul.ryneveld@cnty.com.  Jobs will continue to be posted  at http://centurydowns.cnty.com/ under careers at the bottom of the home page

AS PROMISED DAY - VIEW POSTER HERE

CONGRATULATIONS!! THE WINNING NAME FOR THE 2014 "NAME THAT FOAL" CONTEST IS "PICKLES ON TOP" submitted by 6yr-old Rachel Ratsoy of Edmonton - VIEW CONTEST WINNERS Click here to VIEW Winning Picture

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Alberta Standardbred Horse Association
(ASHA) was formed to represent and protect the best interests of Standardbred industry participants and bring about a closer, more understanding relationship among members, racetracks, racing associations, governing bodies and the public.

SALUTING THE GREATS... 

The harness racing season is now well underway at Century Downs.  One of the good things that ASHA is trying to do is to salute some of the people who have made a difference in the game and in the business of the sport.  A look at the stakes schedule finds the names of long time owner and breeder, Bev Sears, former Alberta Premier, the late Ralph Klein, the late Brad Gunn, who ran one of the oldest and largest breeding farms in the province, and the late Neal Adler who was a prominent owner and breeder in Alberta.

Add to that list, the name of Gordon Rumpel, another prominent owner/breeder who was lost to us in December of last year at the age of 85.  His name will live on in the form of a stakes series to be run every year in June.  The stake is for 3 year old colts.  That’s appropriate too, because Gordon and his late wife, Illa, owned two of the greatest standardbreds in Canadian harness racing history, and both of them were particularly stellar in their 3 year old seasons.

The first was On The Road Again, which Gordon acquired as a weanling in 1982 for $10,000.  It wasn’t what Rumpel had intended to buy when he went to the mixed sale – but it’s what he finally brought back to Alberta.  It turned out to be a pretty good investment.  By 1985, OTRA, as he was known, had earned $2.8 million at the races – and he went on to be a prolific stallion.  His progeny earned about $71.9 million at the races, adding to a bloodline that can be traced back beyond OTRA’s sire, Happy Motoring, and traced forward to the present.

Harry Poulton was training horses in Calgary at the time and inherited the Gord Rumpel/Gordon Gregory stable when veteran conditioner Jim Mohoric moved back to the west coast.  “He was a good boss,” Poulton told me, from his home near Mohawk Racetrack in southern Ontario.  “He wasn’t shy about asking a question and you’d better have an answer for him.  But for the most part he stayed in the background and let me do my job.”

In the fall of 1984, Poulton moved to Ontario when it became clear that OTRA needed to be based in the east to challenge North America’s fastest pacers.  By the time the colt was retired to stud he’d won virtually every major stakes race offered in Canada and the US.  That included the Stewart Fraser Pace at Northlands Park in Edmonton.  In all, OTRA won 44 of 61 lifetime races at 16 different tracks.  He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  His citation noted that as a stallion, OTRA sired 221 colts with marks of 1:55 or better and 194 winners of $100,000 or more, each.

 To get one horse like that in a lifetime would be a dream come true for any owner.  But Gordon Rumpel wasn’t just any owner.  In 1985, he and Illa, along with Charles Juravinski paid $17,500 for a yearling by Direct Scooter out of the Meadow Skipper mare, Ellen’s Glory.  That colt turned out to be Matt’s Scooter.  All he did was win Harness Horse of the Year honours in 1989.  His resume included a 1:48.2 clocking in a time trial at the Red Mile in Lexington Kentucky.  Oh yes:  he also won 37 races and $2.9 million in purse money.  And like On The Road Again, he was a star in the breeding shed – 1,120 of his offspring raced at least once and generated $108.6 million in earnings.  Matt’s Scooter was also inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  He died in June of 2014.

Those were the two stars in the Rumpel stable – but they were by no means the only horses that did well racing on the Alberta circuit.  One of them, a now nine year old filly named Special Lady, was named in honour of Illa Rumpel.  Their granddaughter now owns part of the broodmare which resides at GiGi Van Ostran’s farm near Dewinton.

 “Gordon & Illa were really close,” says Fred Gillis, executive director of Alberta Standardbred.  “Gordon obviously knew what to look for when it came to horses.  His business background as the owner of Stampede Pontiac served him well in terms of running the stable like a business.  Illa just loved the horses.  They were a great team.”

Racing secretary, Jackson Wittup, tells a story that speaks to Rumpel’s business acumen.  “He was determined to show that his racing stable was a business, not just a hobby,” Wittup told me.  “He wasn’t shy about offering breeding shares to other owners from horses he bought elsewhere and brought back to Alberta.”  Those shares would have been worth a lot of money over the years.  Gordon and Illa Rumpel set a good example for owners and breeders who followed them into the business.  A love of sport and the brains to build a good stable is a wonderful legacy.  So is the Rumpel name on a 3 year old colt stake.  After all, Gord and Illa had two of the very best that have ever raced in that age class:  anywhere!

Briefly noted…… Century Downs continues to encourage racing patrons to wager using their smart phones, iphones, or tablets.  Go to the window and purchase a voucher with a pin code.  By keying in the MBet web site and inserting the PIN, the guest gains access to the wagering interface.  This way, you can wager on the races from anywhere on the grounds, without having to lineup at the last minute at a betting window.  The windows are still available for those who prefer to make their wagers in the traditional way.  But the new technology is seen to be a way of reaching out to a younger generation which lives on its smart phones.

Written by Peter Watts

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