Labour of love

MacKay look­ing after Gover­nor’s Plate fi­nal­ist Do Over Hanover for Team Al­lard

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIM­MONDS

Jor­dan MacKay qui­etly goes about his job with lit­tle fan­fare.

The 26-year-old MacKay is work­ing with Team Al­lard, and is look­ing after Do Over Hanover in his home com­mu­nity of French River this week. Do Over Hanover won the sec­ond Gover­nor’s Plate elim­i­na­tion in 1:53.1 on Sun­day, and has drawn Post 2 for Satur­day’s $22,000 fi­nal, pre­sented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, at Red Shores at Summerside Race­way.

“I met Rene (Al­lard) through him com­ing for Old Home Week (in Char­lot­te­town),” ex­plained MacKay. “A friend­ship was cre­ated, and one thing led to an­other.”

MacKay is no stranger to the har­ness rac­ing in­dus­try. His late grand­fa­ther Gra­ham Chap­pell was a well-known horse­man, and his fa­ther, Chris MacKay, who is train­ing Do Over Hanover on P.E.I., is past pres­i­dent of the Prince County Horse­men’s Club.

“It’s a great hobby, and what­ever you put into it, you get out,” said MacKay. “It’s very re­ward­ing. It’s hard to find some­thing that is as re­ward­ing as this sport.”

MacKay worked for Al­lard the past two win­ters, and had 2016 Gover­nor’s Plate and Gold Cup and Saucer win­ner Ys Lo­tus un­der his care in French River last sum­mer.

“I was into it quite a bit when I was younger when my grand­fa­ther was around,” said MacKay, who ad­mits he one day would like to have his own sta­ble. “I kind of got out of it for a while, but I just re­ally got back into it the last four years or so.”

MacKay re­ceived praise for his work with Ys Lo­tus after he set track pac­ing records in both Summerside and Char­lot­te­town.

“He never lost on red soil,” beamed MacKay, who praised the ef­forts and con­tri­bu­tions he re­ceives from An­drew John­stone of Long River for his as­sis­tance trans­port­ing the horses and around the barns on P.E.I.

MacKay said he likes to treat horses to an oc­ca­sional swim.

“If you have a horse with any soft tis­sue, or a bit of lame­ness, bad feet from jog­ging and pound­ing the ground as ex­er­cis­ing ev­ery­day seems to take a bit out of them, swim­ming seems to be a weight­less ex­er­cise for them,” ex­plained MacKay. “To me, the big thing is a change of scenery for them, horses like do­ing a dif­fer­ent thing ev­ery day.

“You take a horse that has been sta­bled at the track for five years, he sees his stall, track, stall, track. It’s got to be nice for them to get out to do dif­fer­ent things.”

Do Over Hanover is one of two en­tries in the Gover­nor’s Plate fi­nal owned by Al­lard Rac­ing. Crom­bie A drew Post 8 after a sec­ond-place fin­ish in the first elim­i­na­tion, and is be­ing trained on P.E.I. by Earl Watts.

“I have to thank Rene for putting trust in my fa­ther and I to look after these fine an­i­mals,” said MacKay, who de­scribes work­ing with horses as a labour of love. “You get to know and like your horses. Some peo­ple say they get tired of it, but I haven’t.

“It doesn’t mat­ter if I spend two hours in the barn or 14 hours. I don’t mind time in the barn.”

JA­SON SIM­MONDS/JOUR­NAL PIONEER

Jor­dan MacKay, left, is look­ing after Do Over Hanover for Al­lard Rac­ing this week. Do Over Hanover is one of the eight en­tries in the 49th run­ning of the Gover­nor’s Plate at Red Shores at Summerside Race­way on Satur­day night. MacKay’s fa­ther, Chris, right, is look­ing after the train­ing du­ties while the four-year-old bay geld­ing is on P.E.I.

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