Day At The Track

She’ll pass any hockey game to race horses!

06:30 AM 02 Apr 2020 NZDT
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Cassidy Schneider
Cassidy Schneider

“We’re still quite busy, with a stable of 15 horses,” says young harness racing owner Cassidy Schneider. “The only thing, that’s really changed, is the fact that we don’t race now… We still jog and train them… We’re still doing our thing week in and week out.”

Schneider, at just 18 years of age, can almost remember becoming a racehorse owner back in 2007… “I do know it was Arizona Gem,” she says. “He was the first horse in my name, because (at that time) I wasn’t allowed in the paddock - so my dad bought him and put him in my name… From that point on I could go into any paddock - because I was an owner. I still have a win photo, of that horse, with my dad driving and I was sitting on the race bike in the winner’s circle… So that is what I remember about him.”

A midget hockey league player, with the Grand River Mustangs, Schneider has always enjoyed the competition on the ice, but it’s safe to say, now, she’ll pass on any hockey game to race her horses. “I remember when I first signed up for hockey and went to my first practice… My Dad had to race that same night at Grand River and our horse, Count Strike, would end up getting claimed that night… Another time, I missed the races, was when I went to play hockey in Guelph and ended up breaking my arm during the game. Well my Dad raced and came straight to the hospital, to see me, on his way home, but I knew then - after those two experiences - that I’d not be missing any more races for a hockey game.” 

Cassidy Schneider

At least a fourth-generation harness racer from Arthur, Ontario - Schneider gets her love for the sport honestly… “My Dad (Colonel Schneider Jr.) had a stable long before I came along,” she says. “He was also born and raised into the business. His Dad and my Grandpa (Colonel Schneider) had horses and before that his Dad and my Great Grandpa raced horses too. I can remember jogging my first horse at the age of 8 - it was PL Dangerous and I’ve had this love for the horses ever since.”

Looking back to her earliest memory of a race night, at The Raceway, Schneider recalls paddocking Emerald Rihanna with her Dad. “I didn’t know it, at the time, but my Dad had made a deal with Ricky Moffat on a grey horse named Hudd,” she explains. “We stopped on our way home from the races and picked up Hudd… I was asleep, in the passenger seat, so I wasn’t even aware we had stopped and put him on the trailer. When we got home - I helped unload and it was only then that I discovered we had another horse - this big grey horse and we still have him to this day.”

Reb The Raider, Maddys Credit, Kinmundys Stryker and their most recent addition, Foxton Road, are just some of the horses that have campaigned, in London, for the Schneider’s in recent years. Cassidy mentions that she does get attached to the horses that come and go from their barn, but when it comes to a favourite she’s very quick to admit that it’s Reb The Raider. “He’s my all-time fave!” she says proudly. “We bought ‘Reb’ almost six years ago. We raced him for a while and then he got claimed, but we claimed him right back for the same price of $5,000 (March of 2015)… It was then that he won 4 in a row - from London to Woodbine to Flamboro to Mohawk - there was even a Preferred win in there too and we’ve had him ever since.”

Cassidy Schneider

‘Reb’ would also provide Schneider with a few more memorable victories during his racing career and her favourite driver, for this particular horse, would be aboard for those wins.… “The first time Natasha Day drove, for us, was at Hanover in 2017 and she won - she won with Reb! It had been almost 2 years since he’d won a race - so that was very special for me - Nat would be his driver from then on… She was on ‘Reb’ for my all-time favorite win, at The Raceway, too - a Preferred 3 win (January 29, 2018) - the last time we made it to the winner’s circle with him. He’s just been an all-around nice horse on and off the track - we’re happy to still have him with us!”

We saw last week, through horse owner Kelley McNiven, that the standardbreds are pretty keen to go on under saddle and the same deal goes for Schneider… “I have - pretty much - the majority of my race horses broke to ride, but ‘Reb’ has been my favourite for that as well. I wasn’t surprised that he took to it so quickly and enjoyed it - again he’s just an all-around nice horse.” 

And Schneider - on this current downtime away from the racing action… “I’ve missed being able to socialize and see my friends at the races. Hopefully we can all get back to doing what we love sooner - rather than later.”

Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle

Announcer – The Raceway  

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