By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD: After having tutored workers in the stable areas at Hastings for almost five decades, like the man in those Farmers Insurance TV commercials, Jeannie Spence knows a thing or two because she’s seen a thing or two.

Jeannie was quick to pick up on the fact that Jeffery Burningham wasn’t the only jockey seriously injured on Sunday’s July 14 card. Apprentice Leo Espinoza was riding four-year-old Exorbitant when the B.C.-bred filly fell pulling up after the 6th race, resulting in Espinoza breaking his collarbone. “Since he had only ridden 18 horses prior to the spill, he didn’t have a lot of money and was living in a tack room,” Spence points out. “I gave him $500 from the riders’ fund and I thought the poor guy was going to cry. He will be out for some time and will probably go home to Mexico. He is such a nice young man. We’re hoping he will come back to Hastings next year. He says he will.”

Spence, a former jockey in the mid-1960’s, co-founded the Hastings Park Learning Centre and manages the Hastings Jockey Benefit Fund on behalf of the B.C. Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

Tutoring workers who stay at Hastings Racecourse led to Jeannie receiving a 2011 Dr. Alan Middleton Workplace Literacy & Learning Award for dedicated service. She is also the proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal.

On another note, there weren’t any medals awarded but certainly bragging rights were at stake during last Monday’s annual Hastings/Emerald Downs Ryder Cup golf challenge across the U.S. border.

For the sixth year in a row the 16-member Team Hastings won the showdown, led by Randy Goulding’s low net 70. The long-time Hastings- based Daily Racing Form correspondent will be looking to repeat that performance on his 66th birthday next Monday, July 29 in the annual Hastings BC Cup golf tournament at Newlands. Don’t think shooting his age hasn’t entered his mind.

It’s the official kick-off to BC Cup Day at Hastings on the civic holiday Monday August 5 when the card featuring seven stake races worth purses totaling

$320,000 begins with an early 12:50 p.m. start time.

The original BC Cup Day established in 1995 at Hastings was adjusted last year. Stake race, formerly restricted to B.C.-breds, are now open stakes with a $25,000 incentive bonus to those winning horses bred in British Columbia.