Page 14 - November 2019 Thoroughbred Highlight
P. 14

A Sound Decision to Retire Sniper
Sniper’s retirement was announced in the paddock before the start of the Bob Summers Memorial Cup at Fort Erie on August 13, 2019. Win or lose that day, trainer Preston Ferris and owner Colleen Beaumier had decided that the beloved 10 year-old didn’t need to keep racing and deserved to retire.
Sniper won that day and walked from the winner’s circle to the barn for a  nal time in the best form of his life. He was happy. He was sound. And for Preston and Colleen,
retirement in his prime was a gift and what he so deserved.
Sniper didn’t need to prove to anyone that he was special. He just was.
Born on the farm
of Trainer Barbara Minshall, Sniper, a son of Trajectory out of the Silver Charm mare Hot Toy, began his racing career at age three winning four of his nine starts that year along with one second and a third in sprint Allowance company.
Despite only having
one win and three
thirds over the next
two years Sniper had
endeared himself as a
barn favourite. “He was
always a good feeling
horse and everyone in
the barn loved him,” Mentioned Barbara Minshall who onwed him in partnership with Avelino Gomez Jr., “Regardless of what level he ran at he would never back out of a race. He was always going forward at the end of a race and was always a real hard trying horse.”
By age six, Sniper had hit his stride once again with one win, two seconds and three thirds including a third in the Overskate Stakes in 2015. Unfortunately late that season Sniper sustained an avulsion fracture and was given a year off to recover. Sniper spent
his recovery time with Travis Durr at his usual winter home at Webb Carroll Training Centre in South Carolina.
A full eighteen months since his last start, Sniper
returned to the races in June 2017 competing in upper level Allowance company mainly because Barbara wanted to ensure that he was de nitively sound before dropping him to run at a level where he could win.
Sniper’s  rst win back after his injury was on August 25 in a $15,000 claiming race at Woodbine. However he would not return to the Minshall barn after his photo had been taken. He had caught the eye of
Trainer Preston Ferris who was successful in claiming him out of the race for owner Colleen Beaumier that day.
The son of jockey Alex Ferris (rider of 1999 Canadian Derby winner Native Brass) and trainer Frances Simpson (nee Adams) Preston Ferris was born into a horse racing family. His grandfather, the late William E. (Smiley) Adams, a trainer for 39 years, was most noted for training talented winners Run Dusty Run, Master Derby and Spruce Needles.
Born in Ontario but raised in Kentucky, Preston moved back to Canada when he was 21 to work as an assistant trainer for
Greg Tracy in Vancouver. He then became a public trainer himself at Woodbine in late 2011 and won his  rst race as a trainer the following year with Chante Dan for owner Tricia Greer.
Throughout the years Preston has gained a good reputation for his ability to get unfathomable horses into the winner’s circle which was precisely why
he was introduced to owner Colleen Beaumier in 2015. Colleen had four horses already at the track and needed help with a horse that was deemed “unridable”. She was advised to approach Preston for his help.
It wasn’t long before Colleen moved all of her horses to Preston’s barn and their trainer/owner relationship “became like family” and enjoyed ....
Saying goodbye to Sniper last August at Woodbine, Jockey Jeffrey Alderson, Trainer Preston Ferris & Sniper’s breeder & former trainer/owner Barbara Minshall
Thoroughbred Highlight - Page 14 - November 2019

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