While it’s usually her husband making the headlines, Cheryl Moreau is stepping up to take a prominent role in trying to get horse racing in Ontario back on track as soon as possible.
Cheryl and her good friend Shannon Henry have been trying to help as many horsepeople get vaccinated as soon as possible so Standardbred racing can safely re-open. Moreau told Trot Insider that she’s willing to help anyone who might find the process challenging or is lacking a dedicated and reliable Internet connection.
“Frankly, depending on where people live, they might not have access to the Internet regularly. So I just wanted to assist anyone that has any kind of issue getting booked in for an appointment.”
Different regions have different vaccination registration processes. The Halton system is a little different from those in neighbouring regions like Wellington and Waterloo, and Moreau is looking to bridge that technology barrier.
“I also reached out to the head of the Hamilton Medical Officer of Health, Elizabeth Richardson, asking if there’s any way that public health would be open to having a pop-up clinic like they did with Cargill Meats [in Alberta]. There are sectors that are getting pop-up clinics.”
“As I was talking to Shannon [Henry], I said, ‘anytime you’re talking to an Ontario-based trainer, ask them how many of their employees have been vaccinated and if they need help because if they need help I’m more than happy to do it.'”
Even before the call from Standardbred Canada to take action and contact elected officials, Moreau was sending daily letters to Ontario’s decision makers asking for racetracks in the province to resume racing.
“We’re just trying to make a push to show that we’re getting ready to race, that we can do it safely and we want to do it safely. Any sitting member of parliament that would listen to me, I’ve been in their ear and mailbox.”
Other provinces in Canada are set to commence live horse racing in a safe, spectator-free environment under strict protocols. On the thoroughbred side, Hastings Racecourse is set to kick off its 2021 season on Monday (May 3) while Hippodrome 3R brings live harness racing back to Quebec on Friday (May 7). One day later, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park starts its spring meet in Prince Edward Island.
“What I will say about Woodbine Mohawk Park is that when we were racing, we didn’t have any community spread in the paddock. So what we’ve set in place, we’ve proven by our past history that it works. We need to really remind [government and health officials] of that and say, ‘listen, we’ve done it.'”
“In my emails, I’ve tried to really make government understand that [unlike the Woodbine backstretch] we’re not stabled there, we ship in with our horses, we don’t touch anyone else’s equipment, we don’t have to be in contact with anyone. We can go in, race our horses, put them back on the trailer and head home.”
Cheryl can be reached at 519-803-4867 or emailed at email@example.com. She wishes she could do more but due to the province’s stay-at-home order her hands are tied in terms of in-person assistance.
“You can’t go visit other people so I can’t just bring my laptop to somebody’s house and go through it with them, and I just think there are probably lots of people that want to be vaccinated and they don’t even know how. And they might not even know that agriculture was part of Phase 2, which puts us in the mix.
“Also, anyone under 30 can still be vaccinated. They just have to go to a clinic, and they have to bring a proof of employment letter that they work in agriculture, signed by the person that they work for.”
Please contact Cheryl if you need help booking your vaccine appointment, or are willing to help organize appointments for others.