About Holly Jacks & Bruce Smither
Eventing & Jumper Trainer
Holly Jacks-Smither is a BC native who moved to Ontario and has worked with many top international riders, competing and training horses before starting her own riding and training business in 2006. Since that time, Holly has been to 2 nations cups (Aachen and Great Meadows) to represent Canada. In 2015 she was long listed for the Pan am games in Toronto, Canada. She was short listed for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Holly completed her first 5* at the Kentucky 3-day event in 2017 and competed for a second time in 2018. As of 2019, Holly currently has two horses which she has produced herself declared for the Pan Am games in Lima, Peru.
With all of her accomplishments, Holly still takes great pride in bringing young riders up through the levels. Holly has successfully coached children in pony jumpers at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, as well as had two junior riders on the bronze winning team in 2017 at NAYRC at Rebecca Farm.
Holly’s working student program has given many riders the skills they need to ride at the top levels of competition. These students also gain skills in equine related business practices, and learn the in and outs of the industry. Many of Holly’s working students are now successfully running their own riding and training businesses across the country.
Holly’s specialty is retraining racehorses for competitive riding careers when their racing days are over. She works with TB’s of all levels, from fresh off the track up through all levels of competition to FEI. Holly has many years of experience working with thoroughbreds, from galloping them and now being married to Bruce Smither an owner and trainer at Woodbine Racetrack. She acquired her now 5* horse ‘More Inspiration’ as a 4-year-old off the track and has produced him herself through up to the 5* level.
With her longtime partner More Inspiration aka ‘Morris’ proving himself to be a competitive 5* horse. Along with a string of impressive young horses coming up through the ranks, Holly has her eyes set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Breaking & Thoroughbred Trainer
Bruce Smitther was born in the UK and developed a passion for horses in his mid-teens. At 17, he became an apprentice jockey in Newmarket, England and spent two seasons racing there before he was received an Athlete's Visa which allowed him to move to Canada and expand his career.
His first job in Canada was galloping horses for John Morehan. On the weekends he would travel to Ajax Downs and race quarter horses. Bruce freelanced for many prominant trainers at Woodbine Racetrack... galloping, breezing and breaking horses. Eventually he got his assistant trainer license while working with the late Pat Collins who trained for Knobhill Farms. Soon after, Bruce galloped and became the assistant trainer for Conrad Cohan. It was here that he was encouraged to go out on his own and get his Trainer's License.
The first horse Bruce trained as a fully licensed trainer was "Sinful Hush". This lovely filly went out to her first start and won. She then went on to win four more races and was stakes placed. As a result of the quick and impressive outcome with this first horse, Bruce's reputation began to build and he soon started training horses for a variety of clients. His most memorable moment was winning the Dance Smartly Stake with "Except for Wanda", ridden by Jim McAleney and owned by the late George Richtec. This owner/trainer combination went on to win many races.
In 2008, Bruce met his soulmate, Holly Jacks (see bio above). Together they have built a reputable business that combines her passion for 3-day eventing and his passion for race horses. Running this business with Holly is what he does away from the racetrack. They both take great pride in breaking and developing some of the most successful horses for clients in both the race horse and show horse industries.
Specializing in bringing along young & problem horses
Teaching young horses how to accept a saddle and rider is not enough... you have to teach him how to respond to your requests; handle unknown circumstances; and be comfortable in his environment.
Holly & Bruce have a knack for taking a young, inexperienced horse and turning it into a safe and confident mount no matter which discipline it will eventually end up in.
"Holly is amazing! I have tried several coaches over the last few years and each have taught me a bit here and there but I was still not feeling confident in my riding. Since riding with Holly, I have become much more confident and so has my horse. She is a great teacher and also makes each lesson or schooling session so much fun. Thanks Holly!"
Megan & Buddy