Curtain drops on live “Season of Promise”

ATouchofDash270

by Bob The horse population wasn’t what we had hoped, and as a result we saw shorter fields, but the season still featured some fantastic highlights. On the female side of the ledger Go Go Lolo proved herself to be superior. And how about Balooga Bull! What can you say about the “Bull” that hasn’t already […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The man they call “Hank”

GladiatoreII270

by Bob No one has ridden more winners at Assiniboia Downs than the man they call “Hank”. Ken Hendricks sits atop the Downs’ leader board with 1,666 trips to the Winner’s Circle. A quick scan of those who follow shows that only two of the top 20 riders are still active (Rohan Singh and Jerry Pruitt), […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

“Spud” Murphy and old Joe Geary, a man and his horse, the greatest and purest love

JoeGeary270

by Bob It’s not likely many will remember the name Harold “Spud” Murphy.  Those who do will probably associate it with his horse Brother Leo, who won the Manitoba Derby in 1963, but this week’s trip back in time centers around the first horse Spud ever owned, Joe Geary. A stocky, popular Irishman, Spud was born […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Gone but not forgotten, two promising apprentices from 1967

AngusGlenSayler270

by Bob This week we remember two promising young apprentices who got their start at Assiniboia Downs in the 1960s, Bobbie Dimma and Vernon Sayler. Most of us are familiar with “Bobbie”. Yes, that’s how his name appeared on his birth certificate, Bobbie not Robert, Bobby or Bob! On July 2, 1965, Dimma got his first […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

George Howell, son of a blacksmith, spent two decades training for the “House”

BalaRoman1963

by Bob “He was a real gentleman.” That’s how people who knew the man that trained horses and ran Jack Hardy’s JY Farm in St. Adolphe for the better part of 20 years, described George Victor Howell. The Howell family hailed from Saskatchewan, but made their home in Calgary in the 1920s when George was a […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Irwin Driedger, the Jock with the Golden Locks

AstralMoon270

by Bob Clifford “Shorty” Gray hired 11-year-old Irwin Driedger as an exercise rider. The young blonde schoolboy from Russell, Manitoba tipped the scales at 78 pounds and got his first win on a race track at the Neepawa Fair Grounds on horse named Admiral Zenith. Who knew he would go on to win multiple riding titles […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Pool to Market and Bobby Stewart, magic in the 1967 Gold Cup

AlbertEdwardBlake270

by Bob On August 5, 1967 the stars above Assiniboia Downs aligned perfectly for rider Robert Roy “Bobby” Stewart and his chestnut charge Pool to Market, and the pair put on a fabulous show for the 5,000-plus patrons that filed into the track that evening. The closest thing to a perfect race you’ve ever seen. Pool […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Manitoba Derby history

AssemblyHall270

by Bob The first “Derby” was run in 1930; although from 1930 to 1933 it was known as the Manitoba Stakes. In 1934 the name of the race was officially changed to the Manitoba Derby. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the race was the brainchild of Robert James Speers, the Father of […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Harry Gumprich, Springfield cattle rancher, spent quarter century racing horses

CageyMaxFinalWin270

by Bob The Manitoba Derby is coming up Monday, August 4, so how about a trip down memory lane for our annual Derby tale. Local cattleman, Helmuth “Harry” Gumprich will never be famous for his efforts in our Derby, but I have a soft spot for Manitoba horsemen who enter their local-breds in the Derby and […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Ponies, politicians and a princess — the day the Downs went dark

GobutyswHazelWright

by Bob Talk of ponies and a princess evokes thoughts of a fairytale. Insert politicians and it becomes a nightmare. Thirty-two years have passed since one fateful day in July 1982, but it’s a blemish on track history is difficult to forget. It was supposed to be an exciting time. Michael and Adrienne Gobuty had purchased […]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS