Photo of Jockey Fuentes Wins National Prize For Single Mom
VANCOUVER, April 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Red carpets, champagne receptions and
$250-a-plate dinners have never been part of Patti Tubbs' lifestyle.
She's a 48-year-old single mother surviving on a monthly $900
disability pension who tries to make ends meet by delivering pizza at
night and occasionally selling one of her racing-related photos at
Her story is one of tragedy, personal health issues and broken dreams.
It is also one of unimaginable courage and perseverance, peaked by her
2013 Jockey Club of Canada Sovereign Award in the photography media
category presented April 11 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto.
Her winning entry was a candid shot of muddy-faced veteran jockey Frank
Fuentes heading back to the winner's circle after a victory at Hastings
"I was absolutely shocked when I heard my name announced," Patti says.
"It's something I never expected. The first call I took was from my dad
from his home at 100 Mile House (South Cariboo region of central
B.C.). He'd been watching online. I think we were both crying. I
Her 20-year-old daughter Amanda had made the 3,000-mile trip from
Vancouver to Toronto with Patti, only the second time the two had been
on an airplane. "It wouldn't have happened without so many of my
friends at Hastings helping out with the funding," Patti says.
One horse owner of note, who doesn't want to be identified, donated the
airfare for the Tubbs ladies while other contributions from Hastings
horsemen helped cover hotel and food costs.
"I can't wait to get home to share my Sovereign trophy with everyone,"
Patti said from Toronto. "I've got so many people to thank."
She didn't know at the time that moves were in the works to designate a
race in her name on opening day at Hastings Racecourse on Sunday, April
27. "We all want Patti to know how proud we are of her accomplishment,"
says general manager Darren MacDonald. "Patti is the first photographer
from Western Canada to win a Sovereign Award and the first female
winner since 1985."
Despite being born without a hip socket, Patti managed to work as a
youngster in the barns at Hastings for her mother Maureen, a respected
trainer in a small stable. Patti's father Gerry and brother Chris were
It was in 1999 when things turned upside down in the Tubbs family.
Maureen was driving her minivan to work from their farm in Aldergrove
when a speeding car ran a red light at Cassiar and Hastings Streets,
just minutes away from the racetrack. Maureen died at the scene.
"It was really a tough time," Patti says. "I was struggling both
emotionally and physically. I'd had 37 surgeries, 34 of them on my
legs. I simply couldn't continue doing physical work at the racetrack
anymore but there was no way I was going to give up the life I loved,
being around horses and the people in the industry. That's when I
came up with the idea of becoming a track photographer.
"I bought a camera, started snapping shots during morning workouts and
eventually trainers, owners, jockeys, grooms and hot walkers began
supporting me by purchasing them." Her 2013 Sovereign Award winning
photo will obviously be in demand once the thoroughbred season at
Hastings gets underway.
While Patti does night time deliveries for Pizza Hut in Abbotsford,
Amanda is a server for rival Boston Pizza in Aldergrove. "We're not
complaining," mom says. "We've got each other and at this stage of my
life, that's all that really matters."
The Sovereign Award, she might have added, is simply the ideal topping.
Image with caption: "The winning photo of jockey Frank Fuentes was taken by Patti Tubbs at Hastings Racecourse. (CNW Group/Hastings Racecourse)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140416_C9998_PHOTO_EN_39325.jpg
SOURCE: Hastings Racecourse
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