Cheryl Moreau is stepping up to take a leading role in seeking to get horse racing in Ontario back on track as soon as possible, despite the fact that it is usually her husband who makes the headlines.

Cheryl and her good friend Shannon Henry have been working hard to ensure that as many horsepeople as possible are vaccinated so that Standardbred racing can reopen safely. Moreau told Trot Insider that she is happy to assist anyone who is having trouble with the process or does not have a dedicated and secure Internet connection.

Moreau said that “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.”

Vaccination registration procedures vary from region to region. The Halton system differs from those in nearby regions such as Wellington and Waterloo, and Moreau is looking to bridge that technology barrier.

Moreau added that “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.'”

Moreau was writing regular letters to Ontario’s decision makers, requesting that racetracks in the province resume racing, even before Standardbred Canada to take action and contacted elected officials.

She said that “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 planning to start live horse racing under strict protocols in a safe, spectator-free environment. Hastings Racecourse will open for the 2021 season on Monday (May 3), while Hippodrome 3R will bring live harness racing back to Quebec on Friday (May 7). The spring meet at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park in Prince Edward Island begins one day later.

Moreau also added that “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 Moreau can be contacted at 519-803-4867 or cherylmoreau1@gmail.com. She wishes she could do more, but her hands are tied in terms of in-person assistance due to the province’s stay-at-home order.

Moreau added that “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.”

If you need assistance scheduling a vaccine appointment or are willing to assist in the scheduling of others, please contact Cheryl.

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