The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association was proud honor veterans that have served their country during a special event held on Saturday, May 26.
At 6:30PM, prior to the first race of the evening (6:55 post), horsemen walked in unity from the paddock to the winners circle for the National Anthem, led by a parade marshal and a ceremonial riderless horse.
The fifth race of the evening was then dedicated as the “Ruffner/Yoder Memorial” race.
Pennsylvania horseman Grant Boudreau, who is currently serving in Afghanistan as part of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, helped to coordinate the event with the MSOA’s Heather Wilder. “We recently lost two members of our unit, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mathew Ruffner and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarret Yoder, in a helicopter crash,” said Boudreau.
As a horseman and longtime racing fan, Boudreau wanted to find a way to honor the memories of his fallen friends, and since he still follows the races as often as he can, enlisted the help of the MSOA.
The unit’s motto was “One Heart on Three”, and on Saturday night, that message appeared on a blanket presented in the winners circle after the fifth race to the winner, Sam Hill.
Boudreau and others in his unit watched the event live via The Meadows’ website. “We still follow racing when we can,” said Boudreau. “Our Internet is very slow but we enjoy and miss the Meadows. God bless everyone back home.”