Grande Prairie’s Nellie Pigeau was the busiest trainer at The Horses At Evergreen Park at JDA Raceway this summer.
She was also the winningest.
Fifty-one times Pigeau watched horses she trains leave the gates and 13 times they won; 12 times they finished second; and 10 times they ended up third. That means 69% of the time they were a win, place or show and 25% of her starts were victories. CLICK HER FOR COMPLETE STORY
Evergreen Park Casino is offering a free slot tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
There is no entry fee and prizes will be awarded. Phone 780-532-3265 for more information.
A modified version of the Peace Draft Horse Club Northern Spirit Light Show will be held at Evergreen Park in November and December.
Changes have been made to comply with Alberta Health Services regulations.
There will be no wagon rides, hot chocolate booths and no bonfires.
The public can view the displays from their vehicle as they drive through between 6-10 p.m. Cost is $15 per vehicle no matter how many are in it.
The show opens November 19 and will turn Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through to December 10 when it begins a daily run until New Year’s Eve, except for Christmas Day.
The annual Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Festival of Trees in the TARA Centre at Evergreen Park will have a different look this year.
This year’s show will run for eight days instead of three – November 21st to the 29th.
Guests who wish to attend the festival in person will have to buy their tickets for a designated day and time online. There will be no tickets at the door. A virtual tour is available online for those who can’t make it to the Tara Centre.
The Festival gala on Saturday, Nov. 21 will be an away-from-the-park event where you can host guests, enjoy a great meal, listen to entertainment and bid on auction items. Join them for a Virtual “Mask”arade Gala full of entertainment and surprises that will have you and your guests on the edge of their seats. This event sells out every year! Buying your tickets this year grants you first access to ticket sales next year.
Presented by the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, the Business Luncheon goes Wednesday, Nov. 25. This luncheon is a great way to get your office together for a motivational experience. Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt shares her memorable story perseverance & a positive attitude as motivation for all of us overcoming our own obstacles.
Having traveled the world as a past aspiring Paralympian and Humanitarian, Tracy brings her award-winning perspective and life experiences into each of her talks. She is a decorated athlete in para-skiing, world cup sailing, deep sea diving and mountain climbing.
Purchase your corporate tickets from the Foundation website, get your team together, order some food and enjoy a motivational lunch you won’t soon forget.
Presented by Pomeroy Lodging, get in the holiday spirit the online Mistletoe Mixer! Get together in groups of 4, 8, 12 or more and join the Foundation for an evening of fun with comedian and emcee Jebb Fink and the dueling piano duo Brittany & Serge who are back by popular demand. Our favorite chefs and mixologists will be Mixing Up their famous recipes and drinks and teaching the secret to their success.
Purchase your tickets from the Foundation website. Sold in groups of four to facilitate gift bags that come with your purchase.
This year the Foundation will be replacing the Christmas Pajama Party with “Gaming for Good”. The Foundation has partnered with the Alberta Esports Association (AESA) to create a fun online gaming event – Gaming for Good!
Participants will have the opportunity to play the popular Nintendo Esports’ titles Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 DX and Super Smash Bros Melee all while supporting local healthcare and our Region’s hospitals.
Check the Foundation website for more information.
Presented by KMSC Law LLP, join the Foundation for a fun pancake breakfast in your own home on Sunday, November 29! Butterfly the Clown will host the show and welcome special guests that will have your little ones captivated for a whole hour!
Performances by Le Petit Cirque and a special Singing Santa will amaze your whole family! Please don’t forget to drop-off a special teddy bear at a location to be announced to donate for children at the hospital (Please make sure all bears are new and have tags on them).
Visit the Foundation website for drop off location, tickets and more information.
Call Dawn Miller at 780-538-7583 to review your gala options, to purchase tickets or with any questions. The foundation encourages you to follow AHS social distancing protocols when hosting a group.
Visit the Foundation website at https://gphospitalfoundation.ca to order tickets or for more information.
There were lots of happy people at JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend, but likely none more delighted than Don Danard, Don Knight and Chuck Stojan.
Those three were the winners of the biggest races on Days 11 and 12 of the 14-day season of The Horses At Evergreen Park. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
The Horses At Evergreen Park returned to JDA Raceway at Evergreen Park on the weekend
It opened with six races on Saturday and continued Sunday with seven races.
All of the races are live-streamed and betting is available online through Expressbet and HPI Bet. Click on the logo to choose the link to the betting service you prefer.
The race meet continues until Sunday, August 23.
A limited number of spectators are allowed as the race meet opens. Click on the banner above to order your free tickets online for the weekend races.
Race days are Saturdays and Sundays between July 11 with one Friday on the schedule – July 31. All of the Saturday-Sunday races will have a 1:15 p.m. first post time while the July 31 post will be 5:15 p.m.
Also, with AHS Phase 2 protocols now in place Evergreen Park will be able to offer its facilities for weddings - both outdoor and inside. The Park has a variety of buildings able to support with ease the maximum attendance allowed by AHS.
Meeting rooms, again with a large-capacity availability, are also available for companies and others.
The Evergreen Park TARA Centre Kitchen, as restaurants around the city have opened, is now back to its normal outside and inside catering program. Anyone interested in having their event catered, whether it is at their building or the TARA Centre, can phone 780-532-3279 or email email@example.com to order or go online here to place an order.
Other parts of the Park are also open including the archery range and horse club venues – all following AHS guidelines.
The Grande Sunset Theatre is offering weekend outdoor movies from the TARA Centre Parking Lot A all summer long. A permanent 40-foot screen was erected in the lot and up to 700 vehicles can be accommodated.
The slot machines, VLTs and off track betting kiosks are all open at the Evergreen Park Casino.
And the Casino Restaurant as well as the Pines Family Restaurant are welcoming customers as well at JDA Raceway.
There are eight screens showing races from across North America, two betting kiosks and race track programs for those who like to play the ponies
Temperature checks are in effect and face masks will be mandatory for all Casino slot/VLT customers. Hand sanitizers are available at the entrance/exit. All Alberta Health Services safety protocols are in place in both the Casino and restaurants. Social distancing is in effect in the Casino and restaurants (masks not mandatory) so all guests can feel safe when they play the slots or sit in the restaurants and enjoy a meal.
Check out the new Casino restaurant menu here.
The Horses At Evergreen Park has a new race secretary.
Jason Teague is now responsible for putting together the entries for the 15-day summer season of pari-mutuel horse racing at JDA Raceway.
Teague was born and raised in Edmonton, where he still resides. He and his wife, Christian, have two children – Braden and Jaleigh.
The sport has been part of his life for decades.
“I was introduced to horse racing over 40 years ago when my parents, Ruth and Chester, owned and raced horses,” he says. “I bought my first horse in 1993.”
He raced and bred horses until taking a racing officials’ position at Northlands Park in Edmonton in 1999.
“I started out as the clerk of scales and patrol judge until 2001 when I took on the position of paddock judge and assistant race secretary,” he says.
His first race secretary role was in 2009 at Northlands.
“I became the race secretary at Northlands park for the thoroughbreds and in 2011 I also became the race secretary for the Standardbreds,” he says. “I worked at Northlands Park until December of 2018 when racing ended after a lengthy history at Northlands.
In 2016, he was elected into the Jockey Club of Canada, “which I consider a great honor”.
He loves the work.
“Horse racing is my passion and I enjoy the people involved. The long hours of work that comes along with the job is not for everyone, but when it is your passion its worth it. Even after these many years I continue to learn something new every day.”
The job, in some ways, is like being a referee. Tough decisions have to be made and you aren’t going to please everyone.
“If I have learned one thing in this industry, as much as you want to you cannot make everyone happy.”
Teague says he would like to thank Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman and Racing Manager Pat Hill for the opportunity to come to Evergreen Park and to do “something I love”.
Racing fans have an opportunity to check out Teague’s work on entries when The Horses At Evergreen Park continue this Saturday and Sunday at JDA Raceway with 1:15 p.m. posts each day. Racing continues until Sunday, August 23 every Saturday and Sunday with the exception of a Friday, July 31 race card at 5:15 p.m.
Admission is free (visit www.evergreenpark.ca to get tickets, but there will be some walk-up available) and masks are mandatory.
If you are unable to attend there is a Lifestream of the racing available through the Park website and you can also sign up to bet online through Xpressbet.com and HPIbet.com.
All of the races will also be shown on the screens in the Evergreen Park Casino. There are betting kiosks in the Casino.
Horse racing fans in the Peace Country, again in 2020, will be able to watch some of Canada’s best quarter horses compete on JDA Raceway during The Horses At Evergreen Park in July and August.
The Bank of America Challenge Championships has returned with five Canadian championship events again this year. Evergreen Park is the only race track in Canada taking part in the program. Other regionals are in the United States, Mexico and Brazil.
With $140,000 in purse money from the five races on JDA Raceway and a chance to compete in the championship finals in Albuquerque, New Mexico – and hundreds of thousands of dollars in purse money – Evergreen Park will be hosting some high-quality quarter horses.
Since the Bank of America Challenge Championship began in 1993, the program has distributed more than $65 million to quarter horse breeders and owners.
The program's primary focus is on horses three years old and older. When the Challenge began in 1993, it was founded with the intention to help owners, trainers and horses reap the rewards of longer racing careers. Only a small percentage of quarter horses are still stakes-calibre beyond the age of four, but those that have not been retired or transferred to the breeding sheds have become some of the biggest superstars in racing.
Once a horse enrolls into the Racing Challenge program, it is eligible to participate in any Challenge Championship race offered.
The five divisions of the B of A Challenge Championship program cover a wide spectrum of competition:
In 2019 Grande Prairie’s Chuck Stojan won three of them – Geitithot (Adequan), True Copy (Distaff) and Stripsteak (B of A Challenge)– win Canadian titles and advance to the championship in New Mexico. Stojan was also selected as the Owner Of The Year at the finale.
Painted Wagon, owned by Bucky Stockwell, won the John Deere Challenge in Grande Prairie and Gone To Be Bright, owned by Gonetothebrightside Syndicate, took the Distance Challenge.
This program is not only a boost for the local race program, but for quarter horses across Alberta and Western Canada.
“The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association is trying to do everything they can to work with all tracks to get the best quarter horse racing here and staying in Alberta,” said Evergreen Park Racing Manager Pat Hill. “These races help and support quarter horse associations in both the U.S. and Canada.”
The JDA Raceway track has one of the highest percentages of quarter horse races in Canada where both quarter horses and thoroughbreds race on the same track.
“We usually like to do a third of our purse structure to run quarter horses racing … and this includes the Challenge races,” said Hill. “Our great track is one of the reasons these important quarter horse races are featured here. Having these races helps enhance the barn population.”
The Downs At Albuquerque is hosting the champion finals Oct. 24 for the second year in a row this fall.
“We commend the people behind The Downs at Albuquerque on their deep commitment to the sport of quarter horse racing,” said American Quarter Horse Racing Association Chief Racing Officer Janet VanBebber. “They have undertaken a significant task in renovating this historic racetrack, supporting integrity measures and making the Challenge Championships a truly special event.
“If you've not been to Albuquerque, it is a wonderful holiday destination, and The Downs is a great racetrack to enjoy, as it showcases one of the greatest nights in sport,” she added.
Two of the regional championships at JDA Raceway will be in July and three will be in August.
To view the Challenge complete schedule click here.
The racing season begins on JDA Raceway on July 11 and continues weekend until the final day of racing August 30. Here is the schedule.
In between there’s a lot of stuff going on at the 35th annual Foster’s Peace Country Classic Agri-Show March 12-14 at Evergreen Park. And it’s all free admission!
Click on the Show logo to the right for a complete list of days and times for all events.
The pancake breakfast, free to the public, starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday in the foyer of the TARA Centre.
And at 10 a.m. the big Show gets underway. It goes 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Concessions will be open in the TARA Centre and Drysdale Centre all three days. City of Grande Prairie is the Thursday Day Sponsor; ATB is the Friday Day Sponsor; and William Joseph Communications is the Saturday Day Sponsor.
It is the largest agricultural show of its kind in northwestern Alberta and one of the largest in western Canada. Click on Events Schedule, Horse Program Schedule or Speaker Schedule for detailed information on those events.
Hundreds of exhibitors will be on site both inside and outside the TARA Centre- which is also being used for speaking seminars all three day and exhibitors filling Evaskevich Hall, NuVista Energy and Salons C & D and the hallway in the MD of Greenview North Wing. The MD of Greenview North Wing is also where the annual Peace Crafts & Creations Show & Sale will be held all three days of the Show.
The foyer of the TARA Centre is the location of the Michener Allen Bids From Kids Auction starting on Saturday at 1 p.m. On the same day, at 11 a.m. in the IPAC Room, there will be an auctioneer class put on by Michener Allen. Children can get “cash” to bid on auction items by taking a Food Bank item to the ATB booth in Evaskevich Hall on Saturday before the auction.
The GP Safe Communities Kidz Zone will be set up outside and inside Keddie’s Korner in the TARA Centre foyer all three days of the show. There will be farm safety demonstrations for the youngsters.
Also, in the Kidz Zone, will be Trinity Body Art doing face painting all three days of the Show – for a minimal fee.
While the TARA Centre is the focal point of the show, it is one of several venues at Evergreen Park used during the Agri-Show.
Both the Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion will be hosting major events including the Northern Classic Bull Sale on Friday at 1 p.m. and the Keddie's Horse Program and Petting Zoo all three days and the Country Junction Feeds Youth Livestock events on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Clarkson Hall, newly-renovated thanks in part to a Canada 150 grant, will be where the County of Grande Prairie Farm Family of the Year is celebrated on Friday with a banquet for about 500. The County Farm Family Luncheon will be taking place in the Kin Club Room in the TARA Centre on the same day.
The Wanham Plowing Match Thunder In The Park II Skijoring winds things up. Skijoring features skiers and snowboards being pulled behind horses, over jumps and around a race circuit. It starts at 6:30 p.m. under the lights at JDA Raceway and there is no admission charge.
Adults who would like a bite, beer and a bet can visit the Evergreen Park Casino during the Show. It is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. The Pines Family Restaurant will also be open during Show hours. It is located in the Gordon Badger Stadium, beside the casino.
“Tradition, community spirit, and the opportunity to keep abreast of new technology – these are at the heart of the appeal agricultural exhibitions have long held for Alberta’s rural communities.
“This show presents a tremendous variety of displays and exhibits, and provides information on all aspects of farming and rural life. There truly is something for everyone at the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show.”
Those words were spoken by Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture LeRoy Fjordbotten just before the first Agri-Show in 1986. They still apply today as we are about to celebrate the 35th Agri-Show at Evergreen Park.
Whether you are a farmer looking to talk to manufacturers and distributors; want to sit in on a seminar to learn more about some aspect of the agricultural industry; or are an urban family looking to experience a taste of rural life the Agri-Show is the place to be.