Upper Canada Turf Club Cup awarded

From the left, Jen Byvelds, Don Cook, Bayjack– ridden by Lea, Bayjack’s owner Mrs. Bellamy, and Bob Runciman, chair of the SLPC, are shown shortly after Runciman presented Mrs. Bellamy with the Upper Canada Turf Club Cup on Aug. 31. Thompson Goddard photo

And they’re off!
Four horses competed in the Upper Canada Turf Club Horse Race. It was a tight competition with the leader changing multiple times.
Thompson Goddard photo

MORRISBURG – A Labour Day tradition continued over the weekend at Upper Canada Village with the 2019 Horse Lovers’ Weekend.

Several hundred people attended the event that included the much- loved Parade of Horses throughout Upper Canada Village, horse powered demonstrations such as threshing, plowing and disking as well as horsemanship presentations, the Capital Cowgirls Drill Team and the Upper Canada Village Turf Club Horse Race.

The race was held on a specially prepared track in the fairgrounds of UCV, featuring four horses and jockeys. Customer service and communications manager for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, Susan LeClair, mentioned that the jockeys in the race were wearing racing silks from Woodbine Racetrack, home of the Queen’s Plate that dates from the 1860s.

Bruce Henbest, coordinator of interpretation at UCV, explained that the jockeys were riders from the Capital City Cowgirls Drill Team, with the names of the race horses based on winners at Woodbine during the 1860s. Henbest added that horse races were part of the fabric of life in the mid-1860s in many local communities such as Dickinson’s Landing and Morrisburg.

It was twice around the track for the four horses competing in the race with the lead changing a few times before Bayjack, owned by Mrs. Bellamy (a character portrayed by Lauren Casselman for the event) and ridden by Lea, emerged the winner of the Saturday afternoon race.