(PHOTOS - CLASSIC COURAGE training and playing in the paddock at GFR Racing in Pontypool Ontario)
It has been an exciting 2016 for Amélie Aubut who raced her first Quarter Horse this summer, achieving a goal she has had since she was a child.
Amélie, who is from the southern Quebec area called Pont-Rouge, has owned Quarter Horses for 20 years, competing in barrel racing for fun.
"I used to own a lot of horses to do barrel racing, a lot from off the track, said Aubut. "But to own a racing Quarter Horse was a dream since I was young."
Many of the horses that Amélie has owned have special meaning in her life but it is Classic Courage, her first racing Quarter Horse who has recently changed her life in horses.
Classic Courage was purchased two years ago from a sale at Heritage Place in Oklahoma by Jason Pascoe and his GFR Racing Stable. Amélie acquired the Texas bred bay filly from Pascoe who was then hired to be the 2-year-old's trainer in 2016. Pascoe sent the daughter of Captain Courage to race at Ajax four times in 2016 and the filly had a third-place finish in her second race before a troubled season finale on Oct. 10 when she broke slowly from the gate.
The promise the filly showed in her first few races have the new owner excited for the new year.
"I did many years of barrel racing and I was ready to do something else," said Aubut. "Now I am a racing addict."
Amélie owns four broodmares and a old racing stallion named Down Home Native. She also purchased another yearling at the 2016 Heritage Place fall yearling sale, Silky Senator, who is currently in training with Bobby and Stacey Capps at their training centre in Okalahoma.
"She will be back at spring to race in Ontario and will be trained by Jason Pascoe,". "I am so excited about this filly also."
Amélie, who works for the Quebec government, has caught the horse racing bug thanks to Classic Courage, who should win her maiden early in 2017 at Ajax Downs,
There is plenty of other racing excitement in her household too; in the winter she and her husband André Longchamps race a successful dog sled team throughout North America.
"I have 14 horses now, this is my life, horses and dogs!"
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