Horse racing trainer Nancy Betts is happy with the company she keeps
If you ask trainer Nancy Betts what she prefers: being in the company of horses or people? She’s stuck for an answer.
“I love them both,” the effervescent Betts says. “Getting involved with all of the new owners of Hastings Racing Club 2 has been so much fun. And my affection for training and being around horses speaks for itself. It’s a seven-day-a-week job, and I love it.”
Born in Vancouver to parents from England, the family moved back to Britain where she was involved with show horses as a youngster before returning to Vancouver at the age of 16. Today Nancy has 11 thoroughbreds in her barn and gallops each and every one of them.
“I was fortunate enough to work for legendary trainer Lorne Richards for 13 years at Hastings Racecourse before he moved to Woodbine,” she says. “He wanted me to join him, but I chose to stay put and now I’m in my 24th year training here. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Betts somehow finds time to remain as a long-standing director of The Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of B.C. (HBPA) and continues to contribute to the New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society that she played a significant role in creating 15 years ago.
Nancy is the proud mother of 26-year-old son Justin (J.R.) Robinson and 16-year-old daughter Jessica. Justin is a former member of Canada’s national baseball team and while now retired from the game, he was drafted as a teenaged left-handed pitching prospect by the major league Tampa Bay Rays.
Hastings Racing Club 2 co-owners joined Nancy in the winner’s circle on June 5th after Shooting Jacket ran in the 3rd race. Making sure this bubbly veteran trainer was among the two things she loves most in life: horses and people.
By Greg Douglas / Dr. Sport