Columbus, OH --- Tuesday afternoon at The Raceway at Western Fair District in London, Ontario, Horsewhispererusa Stable debuts two 3-year-old fillies racing to raise funds for military charities and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
“This is a great way to contribute to the humanity and generosity of the people in harness racing,” said Horsewhispererusa Stable’s Roy Steele, who is partners with Mark McGuinness and trainer Stephen Roberts in the stable.
|Sgt Neilgreenberet was named for Staff Sgt. William R. Neil from New Jersey.|
Sgt Neilgreenberet, with top driver Doug McNair in the bike, drew post position two in Race 2 for fillies and mares that are non-winners of C$5,000 lifetime. The Whosurboy-Scotian Salem filly will race in memory of Staff Sgt. William R. Neil from New Jersey who was killed in action on March 22, 2008, while serving with the 3rd Special Forces Group in Afghanistan.
A percentage of Sgt Neilgreenberet’s earnings will be donated on behalf of Sgt. Neil’s family to military service charities.
“It’s a great story, but a sad one,” explained Steele on why he named the filly after Sgt. Neil. “My son was serving in the British army and Billy (Sgt. Neil) e-mailed me from Afghanistan to tell me that he was going to check on my son and wrote that ‘he’s in my sector, so don’t worry.’ I’ve still got the e-mail.
“Sometime later he got killed by an IED,” added Steele. “I was devastated. I never met him, it’s his sister that I know, but I did talk to him.
“These guys are putting their lives on the line and we can help them and help racing at the same time; it’s a simple concept, it really is,” concluded Steele.
According to Steele, Neil’s platoon in Afghanistan has requested the link to watch the horse race this afternoon.
Since naming the horse, he has heard from some well-known entertainers with military affiliations.
“Gary Sinise, who has his own charity, contacted us,” said Steele. “Kris Kristofferson wanted me to bring the horse down to Columbus, Ohio, and put him on stage. We also heard from Chuck Norris, who got in touch to tell us he loves what we are doing and to let him know if he could help.”
Photos courtesy of Horsewhispererusa Stable
|HRRN was named for the Horse Racing Radio Network.|
In the next race on the card at Western Fair District (Race 3), Horsewhispererusa Stable’s HRRN, named for the Horse Racing Radio Network, the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, Ky., will make her debut from the trailing post eight with driver Mark Williams in the sulky in the contest for fillies and mares that are non-winners of C$5,000 lifetime.
The 3-year-old daughter of 1999 Little Brown Jug winner Blissfull Hall out of the Apaches Fame mare Exultante, will have a portion of her winnings donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, which provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries.
Steele, an Eclipse Award winning broadcaster who has his own handicapping website at www.HorseWhispererusa.com, has made frequent appearances on HRRN.
These two fillies join another Horsewhisperusa fundraiser Oldfriendskentucky, who is named for and has a percentage of his earnings donated to that Georgetown, Ky., horse retirement farm operated by Michael Blowen.