Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cape Breton Calling

This evening I was chatting with my mom on our home phone when someone called my cell from an unrecognized number. I let it ring through to voicemail, and there were two more calls from the same number before I finished talking to my mom. As I was checking said voicemail the phone rang again -- it was Robert A. Blanchard from beautiful Cape Breton Island.

For those unfamiliar with Canadian geography Cape Breton is the northern tip of Nova Scotia -- one of four provinces on the Atlantic coast. It is 6000 km (3700 miles) and four time zones away from Deroche. Earlier today Robert received word that I was looking for information about his Kilkerran Jake and he called to tell me that I had the wrong horse. I'm not sure whether this level of dedication is specific to maritimers, Canadians and/or harness racers, but we ended up talking for 15 minutes. He wanted to know about Tonka, wanted assurance that I'd keep him posted on my progress, and wanted me to call him back if I ever need another retired standardbred -- he'll ship one out. It was fun, and I got a standing invitation to the Cape Breton races.

Earlier today I posted a letter to Patrick Hudon (shown above driving Constant Craving), once-owner of Kellys Mountain. Let's hope that he's equally responsive!

NB: There is a Kelly's Mountain is on Cape Breton Island, so Tonka will connected either way if that's who he turns out to be.


dp said...

The original of this post got somehow corrupted, but I managed to save this comment from horsesandhounds:

I like that this level of dedication comes with many Harness Horse Trainers! Fortunately many are like this and really do care for the horses they train and like to hear that they are in a good home. Like every part of the horse business there are bad apples too, but for the most part they are training harness horses because they love it and they love the horses... BTW, I'm the daughter of a Harness Horse Trainer and train Standardbreds under saddle. I'm loving your blog!!!!

September 18, 2008 6:41 AM

dp said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog, Melissa. I am enjoying learning a little bit about the world of horse racing. Beyond my obsession with the Black Stallion books as a kid I know very little about it. Based on what I've learned and experienced with Tonka I would definitely provide a home for another retired standardbred in future. They are so different from thoroughbreds -- it's really interesting and amazing.