Photo finish win for Terry Wagner and Carl Capone
Seconds after they crossed the finish line, jockey Terry Wagner raises his arms in victory while his trusty bovine, Carl Capone quietly receives the accolades. Wagner’s victory secured a $300 donation from the Legion for the Carefor NorDun Seniors’ Centre in addition to any individual donations to the organization made by individuals.  Thompson Goddard photo

WINCHESTER – With a nod to Canada’s official winter sport, the third annual Great Canadian Cow Race supporting six local charitable organizations was held at an undisclosed North Dundas location on Sat., Aug. 8.

Sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 108 in Winchester, the Great Canadian Cow Race is usually held during Dairyfest which was cancelled this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Organizers decided to go ahead with the event which is not only fun to watch but raises money and awareness for local charitable organizations.

When planners learned that physical distancing requirements was six feet (or the length of a hockey stick) between competitors, there was agreement on a hockey theme for the 2020 race. What quickly evolved was a salute to the original six teams in the National Hockey League, while incorporating many aspects of hockey into the event.

Dale Myers raced on ORR-dalee in support of the WDMH Foundation while wearing a Boston Bruins hockey jersey; the entry from Dundas County Hospice was Lone Ranger ridden by North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser representing the New York Rangers.  

Racing cow Cujo, participated in the Great Canadian Cow Race on behalf of the Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit with jockey Cindy MacIsaac sporting a Toronto Maple Leaf uniform and jockey Bruce Morris, honouring the Montreal Canadians, riding Mrs. Robinson in support of Naomi’s Family Resource Centre. 

Hungry Howe, the entry from Community Food Share, was ridden by jockey Blake Fawcett wearing the hockey shirt of the Chicago Red Wings while Terry Wagner rode Carl Capone for Carefor NorDun Seniors’ Centre while sporting the Chicago Blackhawks hockey jersey.

After the playing of our national anthem and a moving rendition of “I Am Cow Hear Me Moo” performed by a guest bovine vocalist, players were individually announced onto the field and picked a puck out of a bag which identified which lane they would race in, either lane “H”, “O”, “C”, “K”, “E” or “Y”.  

Legion member Dale Myers explained there were twenty spots in each lane marked by an “x”, with the brown mats being a cow pattie and a penalty was issued. Race referee  Shannon Sell would have the jockey roll a die, with the number rolled being how many spots moved back in the race. Moves forward were determined Linesmen Janine Fawcett and Tina Asselin each hitting a die, one with numbers and the other the letters in the word Hockey on it, with a hockey stick into a hockey net.

Despite the heat there was a lot of fun and camaraderie during the race with a lot of good natured back and forth. The winner of the 2020 Great Canadian Cow Race was Terry Wagner and Carl Capone who were racing for Carefor NorDun Seniors’ Centre winning a $300 donation from the Winchester Legion, in addition to any donations made by individuals. Fawcett explained donations can still be made to the participating charity of your choice through Canadahelps.ca.  

The fun and fundraising continued after the race finished, when Dale Myer’s hair and beard were cut by Blake Fawcett which raised $675 for the Legion Building Fund according to Fawcett. She thanked “all the jockeys, spouses and volunteers for all their great work! Thank you to Hugh and Diane Fawcett for emceeing the race. Thank you to Nelson from Nation Valley News for filming, editing, and posting the race.”

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