Life is good for owner/caretaker Amber Guse...

Posted Date: 
Sunday, May 3, 2020

Born and raised into the business, horse owner Amber Guse began her work in harness racing some 25 years ago… “Both my parents, Patti McGillivary and Bill Windsor, owned and trained,” she says. “I began working alongside Mom at the age of 7… I can still remember, back in the day, carrying the pails and blankets down the long path to the old paddock at Western Fair. It was around that time that I just fell in love with the horses.”

On her first career win as a horse owner… “That came about 10 years ago, at Flamboro, with Hope Tobea Star and she was parked out most of the mile… She was far from a star, for me, but on that day she was the biggest star. There’s nothing better than meeting your own horse back in the winner circle!” 

A top notch caretaker, for trainer Steve Bossence, Amber has worked for the Bossence barn over the last decade… “It all started when I moved my mare over to the training center where Steve was stabled. I then began helping out with his horses and the rest is history…” she says. “I’m very thankful for all the nice horses I’ve looked after, over the years, for Steve and his owner Stephen Palermo… They’ve certainly helped in making some of my dreams come true!” 

Speaking of dreams - a top performer for Amber, at The Raceway, comes to mind… “My fave girl to race was always Distinctiv Dreamer,” she states. “She won me quite a few races there in London… My most favourite win, ever, was our first together… I bought her for just $1,500 (February 2013) and I really wasn’t expecting much, from her, in her first start - to be honest I was only hoping for a cheque… Well she had other plans and drew off, on the field, to win by 17 lengths and at that moment I knew we had something special. That girl was always game and just loved to win… She was the horse that made all my dreams come true!”

Amber has also owned and raced (at The Raceway in recent years) Total Knockout, Stonebridge Loyal and her newest acquisition Golden Leader.

Some special moments and memories from horses, that Amber has looked after, over the years… “I had the pleasure of looking after Ms Goliath while working for Jason Libby (2008). She got me my first O.S.S. Gold win and raced against some classy fillies that year - she was a special one! Strike a Light is also an extremely special guy. I have driven across the country to bring this boy home multiple times. We had many wins together and also took home awards in back-to-back seasons. He’s a super special guy - now enjoying his retirement life. And Nebraska Jack - he’s my heart horse… He’s the classiest, sassiest horse I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking after… I just love him!”

Favourite wins, this past season, as a caretaker… “I would have to say our Preferred wins with Nebraska Jack (Aged Trotter of the Year at The Raceway 2019)… After claiming him for $12,000 and then watching him turn into this solid top class trotter - it’s been simply amazing! And Raising Royalty (3YO Trotting Colt of the Year at The Raceway 2019) winning the City of London Final was a pretty special moment for the whole team as well.” 

On being the runner-up for an O’Brien Award for Caretaker of the Year 2019… “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that phone call… I just burst into tears… All I know is horses and I’ve worked so hard to get to where I’m at now. It was such an overwhelming feeling and at the same time - a feeling of accomplishment… There are so many amazing caretakers, in this business, that it was honestly just an honour to be noticed!” 

A few weeks following the O’Brien Awards - the Annual Raceway Awards Banquet took place and Amber was recognized as a Caretaker of the Year nominee… “Being my second time to be recognized, for this award, was truly an honour… I was up against some wonderful caretakers that also put so much time and work into their horses… It was a great feeling to be a nominee!” 

The Bossence barn happenings right now… “We have two babies in training currently. Publicity Seeker is going amazing - he has a great attitude and is loving his work thus far - we’re really excited to see what he grows into… We also have a gorgeous red filly - Royal Gossip - that has had a little time off due to being a big growthy filly. She’s just starting back again and so far is looking pretty good out there… And finally - our racehorses are pretty much good to go. We just need some races for them…”

On this current downtime from racing… “There’s no such thing as downtime in my world,” she laughs. “I have 3 children - Emma (13), Brody (10) and Adelynn (4) - life can sometimes get crazy busy between working, racing and then raising a family… Thus far I think I’ve done a pretty great job juggling it all. I have some pretty talented, smart and caring kids - along with some happy horses - life is good!”

 

Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle

The Raceway at Western Fair District

sdoyle@westernfairdistrict.com