By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport


SCENE & HEARD: Two very special ladies who have dedicated countless hours over decades to the well-being of horsemen and horsewomen in the backstretch at Hastings are going to be singled out during tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Holiday Monday card.

Jeannie Spence, co-founder of the Hastings Park Learning Centre and Manager of the Hastings Jockeys Benefit Fund along with her long-time pal Linda Sentes of the Thoroughbred Ladies Club of BC will be guest decorators following Monday’s 43rd running of the $100,000 Ballerina Stakes.

Jeannie has been tutoring workers in the stable areas for over four decades and is a proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal and Dr. Alan Middleton Workplace Literacy & Learning Award for her dedicated service.

“Not bad for a little girl from South Porcupine, Ontario,” Spence jokes, admitting to posing as a boy named Jim when she was an aspiring jockey at what were then known as ‘bush tracks’ in small Prairie towns.

There is no end to Jeannie’s passion. “I love the horses and I love the people,” she says. “They are my second family.”

Linda Sentes, Chair of the Thoroughbred Ladies Club of BC, worked as a server in the Hastings clubhouse dining area and later operated the first onsite gift shop back in the days of track owner Jack Diamond.

Born in Edmonton, Linda moved to Vancouver and married her husband of 39 years, the late Jim Sentes. Together they bred, owned and trained horses. For years when the annual horsemen’s golf tournament was staged at Newlands Golf Club in Langley, Jim and Linda served hot dogs and beer on the outdoor patio as the players passed by their palatial backyard.

Linda and Barbara Williams spend endless hours with the ‘TLC of BC’ helping those in need on the backstretch.