TheStable.ca founders receive award for
extreme recent meritorious service during O’Brien Awards
February 1, 2020
MISSISSAUGA, ON — Anthony MacDonald and Amy MacDonald, co-founders of TheStable.ca were awarded the Cam Fella Award during the 31st annual O’Brien Awards in Mississauga, ON on February 31.
Named in honour of world-class Standardbred horse Cam Fella, the award recognizes extreme recent meritorious service to the Canadian harness racing industry.
Anthony MacDonald, who has been training and driving horses since 1997, received the award for the tireless and innovative work he has done in promoting harness racing and attracting new horse owners with the launch and growth of TheStable.ca.
TheStable.ca provides an opportunity for anyone to purchase a 1 percent share (or more) in a racehorse, while enjoying 100 percent of the horse ownership experience in their fractional ownership groups. TheStable.ca has removed many barriers to entry for newcomers to racehorse ownership and employs a comprehensive communications strategy to provide the owners with information and updates on their horses in a timely fashion in person and via social media and the web.
TheStable.ca promises a unique, ongoing entertainment experience which includes: bi-weekly professionally produced broadcasts of the horses in training, delivered via livestream; weekly commentary videos about all horses; weekly email communications; special events, including Open Houses and track outings; and an open invitation to visit the horses at TheStable.ca base at Tomiko Training Centre, in Campbellville, Ontario.
TheStable.ca makes racehorse ownership accessible, fun and affordable for new and long-time owners alike.
Anthony and his wife, Amy, who launched TheStable.ca in 2015, have fulfilled and exceeded their goal, attracting 760 people from 12 countries to horse ownership. In 2019 alone, TheStable.ca horses started 1,400 times in races in eight jurisdictions.
In addition to launching and growing TheStable.ca, during the past four years, MacDonald has spoken and made presentations about the future growth of harness racing in every major jurisdiction in North America plus Australia and New Zealand. This trip resulted in the launch of TheStable.ca in Australia with Australian and Canadian owners.
The growth of TheStable.ca is one of the most positive ventures in Canadian harness racing and its development has also inspired other fractional groups to emerge across the country. In Prince Edward Island, for example, at least six new fractional ownership groups have been formed bringing new owners into the game.
While growing the ownership base in Canada, TheStable.ca employs over 40 staff, and complements their racing efforts with Open House events, fundraisers, and trips to major races. Last summer they initiated and hosted Summer School Workshops – Barn Basics for Beginners, and Barn and Track for people who had basic experience with horses but wanted more hands on experience.
“This was a truly a special night for TheStable.ca,” said MacDonald.
“It was a night of reflection for myself, and a night of celebration for our clients — those in attendance on Saturday night, and the ones that couldn’t be there. We thanks them so very much for allowing us to be part of their lives.
“What we have built together is not supposed to be possible by past industry standards. What you have done is allowed us to reshape horse racing’s landscape and shine a light on what “could be” for every horseman and horsewoman.
“I’m so very grateful for their support and confidence in the direction we are heading.
“To our trainers Harry Poulton, Kevin McMaster , Mario Baillargeon, Danny O’Brian, James MacDonald and Jason McGinnis, thank you so much for your hard work and professionalism. Your role has been pivotal and your leadership exceptional. This award is as much yours as it is mine. I’m so excited for the coming year and the possibilities that surround it. Thank you so very much for all you do.
“As an industry, we are coming to the realization that the way of the past is not the way of the future. The path we have forged and paved here with fractional ownership is only one of the ways forward for our industry.”
MacDonald was recognized for his efforts in promoting fractional ownership when he was selected as The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club’s Ambassador of the Year for 2016 and in early 2017, he was honoured by the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association with its 2016 Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award, recognizing a member of the harness racing community for their ongoing meritorious service.
Standardbred Canada established the Cam Fella Award in 1997, and fittingly its namesake was the first recipient acknowledging Cam’s unparalleled contributions to the sport of harness racing. The most recent winner of the award was Bill Andrew in 2016. To look at a complete list of winners, click here.
A national committee of 16 individuals representing the Standardbred community vote by secret ballot to determine the Cam Fella Award winner. A winner must receive 75 percent of the Yes votes to win.
Canadian-owned, trained and driven, Cam Fella was an outstanding racehorse in the early 1980s, winning 56 races, over $2 million in purse money and two consecutive Horse of the Year titles in North America. As a stallion, ‘Cam’ sired numerous world champions and horses with earnings in excess of $107 million. In early 1997, Cam Fella was diagnosed with testicular cancer and was retired from breeding. He died in May of 2001 at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he had lived for several years and served as an outstanding ambassador of the standardbred breed.
The creation of the Cam Fella Award was the harness racing industry’s way of ensuring that Cam’s contribution to the sport is never forgotten.
– With files from Standardbred Canada
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