By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD: When last Monday’s holiday racing card concluded and the final results were filed, it was nice to see the name Deirdre Bell at the head of the pack on not one, but two occasions.

The lady who owns and trains a small number of horses at Hastings won with El Diamante in the 7th and Brother Brian in the 2nd, each by the slimmest of margins.

Having won only four times all of last season, you might think Bell would be doing cartwheels in the backstretch after her victorious double on Victoria Day.

Not so. Instead, she was bemoaning the fact she’d had two horses claimed within two weeks: Hippie on May 6 and Brother Brian last Monday.

“I’m down to a stable of three now,” she says. “And if El Diamante hadn’t run well Monday he was going to be sold as a show horse. His racing career got a reprieve with the win.”

Born and raised in Agassiz, Deirdre was introduced to riding at the age of three by a sister who was into dressage. It was her interest in show horses that originally resulted in Bell getting involved in the racing scene at Hastings.

“I bought horses from the track and sold them as show horses,” Bell says. “It was once a thriving business but not so much now. The supply just isn’t there anymore.”

Selling remains a big part of her life, however. Deirdre is the Canadian wholesaler for a product introduced in Northern Ireland called Comfort Gut (, described as a premium equine supplement in powder form made from 100% steam activated carbon.

“It’s relatively new to Canada,” Bell says, “but a huge success in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.”

In the meantime, her attentions this weekend will be on Sunday’s sixth race for maidens 3-years-old & up when Deirdre tries to keep her modest winning streak going with Bowchickawowwow. With a name like that, maybe the little victory dance in the backstretch missing last Monday could be in order Sunday.