By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport

Lease Extension with City of Vancouver
Has Hastings Horsemen in Holiday Spirit

Vancouver, B.C. (Dec. 5/19) – With confirmation of a lease extension for

Hastings Racecourse with the City of Vancouver, the 2019 Thoroughbred Awards Dinner & Hall of Fame Inductions drew a spirited, sold-out gathering of horsemen Thursday night to Newlands Golf and Country Club.

“The term of the extension is for five years with a five-year option to renew thereafter,” Raj Mutti, Executive Vice President Operations for Great Canadian Gaming had announced earlier.  “The thoroughbred industry has a long and storied history in B.C. and Great Canadian, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the industry’s breed associations, feels the lease extension is an important stepping stone to ensuring sustainability of the industry long term.”

With the immediate future of horse racing at Hastings Racecourse secure, the annual salute to outstanding performances in 2019 took on an added burst of enthusiasm as emcees Dan Jukich and Mike Heads handed out the silverware. The categories included the year’s leading jockeys, trainer and owner, top equine champions, new inductees into the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame and acknowledgements for special achievements in various areas.

For the first time in Hastings modern history, the Leading Jockey standings wound up in a tie with Enrique Gonzalez and Antonio Reyes each visiting the winner’s circle 57 times.

They literally went down to the wire in their quest for the riding title with Reyes winning two races and Gonzalez winning three on the final day of the 2019 meet.

Leading Apprentice Jockey for a second consecutive year was Lenny Seecharan with a total of 20 wins, 18 of those as an apprentice. Lenny and identical twin brother Learie have become two of the most popular riders at Hastings over the past two seasons.

Phil Hall claimed Leading Trainer status for a third consecutive year, this time with a personal high of 53 wins including 11 in stakes competition.  Glen Todd also made it three in a row in the Leading Owner standings with his North American Thoroughbred Horse Company (NATHC) scoring 25 wins, seven of those in stake races.

B.C.-bred Dancing Allstar, Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top two-year-old filly of 2007, joins Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. as latest members of the BC Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  Dancing Allstar was purchased at the CTHS sale by local owner Bob Cheema and went on to fame and fortune for trainer Terry Jordan before retiring after two starts in 2010.

Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., formed as a partnership with Horatio & Jaqueline Kemeny and Mark & Naudia Mache, won leading owner awards at Hastings in 2013, 2014 and 2016.  They purchased their first horse in 2000 and today their stable ranks second in earnings and stakes victories at Hastings with long-time trainer Dino Condilenios.



Owners Bill DeCoursey and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (R.N.H. Stable) along with trainer Barbara Heads were acknowledged from the podium on five different occasions with Infinite Patience being named B.C. Bred Horse of the Year, Open Horse of the Year, Champion Sprinter, Champion 2-Year-Old Filly B.C. Bred Division and Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Open Division.

B C Stables Here’s Hannah, trained by John Morrison, was a multiple winner as Champion Older Filly in both the B.C. Bred and Open Divisions.

Others included: Champion Older Male Open Division – He’s the Reason  owned by NATHC, trained by Glen Todd; Champion Older Male B.C. Division – Slew’s Da Boss owned by Mel Snow, Doug Corsan and Len Houweling, trained by Mel Snow; Champion 3-Year-Old Male Open Division – Five Star General, owned by NATHC, trained by Glen Todd; Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Open Division – Amazonian owned by NATHC, trained by Glen Todd; Champion 3-Year-Old Filly B.C. Division – Sunburst, owned by Russ and Lois Bennett, trained by Barbara Heads; Champion 2-Year-Old Male B.C. and Open Divisions – Capilano Canyon owned by Dr. Karl Chan, Forster Stable and Cameron Hill Mortgages Ltd., trained by Dave Forster; Upper Level Claimer – Coulterberry owned by Roy and Dixie Jacobson, trained by Mark Cloutier; Lower Level Claimer – Bear owned by Praven Sorensen, Phil Hall, Mort Hall, trained by Phil Hall.

Winners of the 2019 Richard Yates Award (formerly HBPA Backstretch Award) – Tyler Walker and Robbie Henson. CTHS Award for BC-bred Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred – Luna Loca, owner Alexandra Reimer, rider Vanessa Waugh, breeder Vai Sam-Pat; Leading Breeders for 2019: -Mr. & Mrs. R.J. Bennett; Champion Broodmare for 2019: Champion Broodmare for 2019: Montero – Champion Sire, ;  Sungold; Marsh and McLennan Trophy for breeder of the Jack Diamond Futurity winner – Synergy bred by Mr. & Mrs. R.J. Bennett; Equine Insurance Trophy for breeder of the Sadie Diamond Futurity winner – Infinite Patience bred by Bill DeCoursey; CTHS Breeders Ambassador Award – Helen Kimes; 50-year consecutive membership to CTHS – Gay & Henry Forstbauer and Peter Redekop BC Ltd.; 25-year consecutive membership to CTHS – James Redekop,

The 2020 Hastings Racecourse season begins Sunday, April 26 with the 51-day meet concluding on Sunday, October 18.


For further information:

Darren MacDonald

Regional Director, BC Racing


Michael Zerebeski

General Manager, Hastings Racecourse


Greg Douglas

Media Relations