Labour of love
MacKay looking after Governor’s Plate finalist Do Over Hanover for Team Allard
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.”
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.