Canada’s horse racing industry is preparing for another exciting edition of the Outstanding Groom Award, and this week, Standardbred Canada has unveiled the finalists. The two finalists are Nelly Boileau of Campbellville, Ontario, and Kayla Chappell of Millet, Alberta. And for the seventh year in a row, the award is sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
First held in 2015, the Outstanding Groom Award acknowledges grooms who prioritize the health of their horses first, and treat them with respect and care, regardless of the horse or its ability. Also, the perfect candidate must show an impeccable work ethic and be a good sportsman. Submissions were submitted from all around the country but only two finalists remain.
The Two Candidates
In its press release, SC announced and congratulated Nelly Boileau of Campbellville, Ontario, and Kayla Chappell of Millet, Alberta for being the two finalists in this year’s edition. The two will be honoured and the winner will be revealed at the 2022 O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala, which will be hosted on February 4, 2023, at the Hilton Mississauga/ Meadowvale.
Ms. Boileau who originates from Quebec City moved to Ontario in 2018 and since then she has been involved in The Stable. She has never taken a day off work and even work on Sundays to take care of the horses. She is under the wing of trainer Harry Poulton, and her nominator states that she often takes extra work, helps administration, and more.
Meanwhile, Ms. Chappell has been involved in the industry her entire life, and every day she makes sure that horses are in good health. Besides that, she also has trainer’s and driver’s licenses and she even took part in the 2022 International Women’s Day Race at Woodbine Mohawk Park, which was held by the track on March 7, 2022.
Some of the past winners of the award, include Susie McNair, Brady Jackson, Rachael Dupuis, Chantel Gillis and others. Lastly, SC shared that it has been overwhelmed by the many worthy submissions this year. Both the Standardbred organization and the OLG thanked everyone who has taken the time to nominate a candidate for the Outstanding Groom Award.
Record-Setting Standardbred Season
Last year, Woodbine Mohawk Park enjoyed a more than impressive 2022 Standardbred season, as reports by its operator, Woodbine Entertainment, confirmed a record-breaking year. The facilitiy generated a record-setting all-sources handle amounting to CA$444 million, which was accumulated over the course of 218 racing cards at the Campbellville track. This was the first season with no delays or cancellations in a while.
For 2022 the track contested a total of 218 racing cards and a total of 2,293 races and saw an average handle of CA$193,707.73 per race. This was an improvement over the 2021 average of CA$191,398.92 and 1,693 races. Also, its handle was massively boosted by a CA$329 foreign handle, while the Home Market Area accounted for CA$81 million of the total tally.
Source: “Outstanding Groom Finalists Announced” Standardbred Canada, January 22, 2023