By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Nick and Pauline Felicella had completed their homework two days before this year’s CTHS Yearling & Mixed Sale and pretty well knew what horses they would be purchasing if all went according to plan.
What they didn’t prepare for was Nick being taken away by ambulance to Langley Memorial Hospital with an apparent heart attack prior to the Sale getting underway on September 12. Pauline followed the ambulance in the family car with trainer Anita Bolton at her side.
“Nick was heading for the washroom between the buildings and, as always, I was keeping an eye on him,” Pauline remembers. “I could see he was struggling a bit. He missed a step and fell over. It scared the heck out of me … and him, too.”
As it turned out Nick, 85, did not suffer a heart attack but ended up having to have his medication changed for an ongoing problem he’d been experiencing with heart palpitations. After convincing Pauline to return to the Sale and carry on with their original intention of adding to their stable, Nick was released from hospital later that night.
Pauline, with owner/trainer Terry Jordan in a supporting role, wound up the leading buyer of the day with five purchases totaling $169,000.
“Obviously we’re not pulling out of the horse racing business,” Pauline says.
She then adds, referring to the restaurant (Nick’s Spaghetti House) they opened on Commercial Drive 60 years ago:
“It’s not that he has to be there all the time but the increased traffic on the drive from our home in Langley to the restaurant in Vancouver has become very stressful for Nick. We’ve got to slow things down.”
With their latest five purchases at the Yearling Sale where they paid an average of $33,800 based on a high of $55,000 to a low of $19,000, Nick and Pauline feel comfortable now with their stable of nine horses.
“It isn’t as though we have to be at Hastings all the time,” Pauline says. “We can pick and choose our visits. The horses keep our juices going. That’s our life.”