The crowd enjoying the races in the summer sun at the Irish Horsemen’s Club in Port Hood.
-by John Gillis
The Irish Road Horsemen’s Club in Port Hood is one of the perennial highlights of Chestico Days with its Friday night card of harness racing on August 2nd.
This year was no exception as an excellent turnout came out to enjoy the races, mingle with old friends and family, and support the Horsemen’s Club.
Caller Lewis MacDonnell said this year the drivers experimented with whipless races and it will be considered again following the experiment to see if it will continue in Port Hood.
It was hot and dusty and the track was fast.
There was no need of a whip anyway in Race 5 as South Wind Jagger with Madison Poirier in the bike had the fastest mile in the evening of 2:02.0.
Race 1, The John Hughie and Rachel MacIsaac Memorial saw Your Raider Boy with Logan Gillis in the driver’s seat take the mile in 2:10.1.
Race 2 (The Phonsie MacEachern and Family Pace) saw OK Gladiator finish the mile in 2:05.4 with driver Zack Mullins in the bike.
Race 3 was the Cyril MacInnis Memorial and it saw D.W.’s Hidden Star with the win in a time of 2:06.4 with Keith MacDonell driving. It seemed the whole MacInnis clan was there for the victory photo. Cyril passed away in recent years following a battle with cancer and he was fondly remembered by all on Friday evening, especially track announcer Travis MacLean.
Tiger Town took Race 4, The Karen and Bernie MacDonald Memorial in a time of 2:03.2 with Cameron MacEachen in the driver’s seat.
As already mentioned, Race 5 winner was South Wind Jagger with Madison Poirier having the top mile of the night in 2:02.0. That race was the Donald Bernard and Marie Gillis Memorial.
It was a great night for the winner of the 50/50 draw as well as they went home with an additional $1300 in their pocket.
The Dash for Cash pony bounce event saw Jessica MacDonald narrowly beat out her sister Maria MacDonald in the female category. In the male category, Maquez Morris won handily.
Callers Lewis MacDonnell and Travis MacLean teamed up on duties on the mic with MacDonnell showcasing his knowledge of the sport and MacLean, acting as the joker, livening up the crowd with his expressive laughter and commentary.
Neil Campbell was back again as official track photographer and Doug Cameron was there as well providing sound services.
The callers thanked their sponsors: The Horsemen’s Club sent out thank you’s to their sponsors for their generous contributions: Inverness Co. Recreation/Tourism Departments; Ceilidh Fishermen’s Co-op; Inverness Raceway; Port Hood Volunteer Fire Department; D.F. Beaton Service Centre Ltd; Leo and Cassie MacDonald; Ultramar Canada; East Street Farms; Phonsie MacEachern; Ranald MacDonald Bush Hog Services; Coke; Atlantic Co-op (Jack Cox); Port Hood Coop; Snap On Tools; Donald Bernard and Marie Gillis’s family; Breathing Green Solutions, Truro; Country Store, Sydney; Kay MacInnis and family; John Hughie and Rachel MacIsaac’s family; Baddeck Vet Clinic/Strait Vet Clinic; Scott Vac; Ron MacGillivray Chevrolet Buick GMC; Holna Farm Services; Highland Animal Hospital; Charlottetown Vet Clinic; AL MacInnis Sports Centre; Greenhawk Supplies; Seaside Fuels and Convenience Store; North End Building Supplies, Port Hood; Whycocomagh Home Building Centre; Hill Top Electrical; Wayne’s Saddlery, Truro, and Truro Raceway.
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