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Two of a Kind

They dressed for the wedding in the jockeys’ room, and then piled in the back of a pickup truck for the trip to the Turf Paradise garden where the ceremony was held.

The men were duded up in western hats and jackets, the perfect ensemble for the place and setting. The bride stayed more traditional with a white dress, although she did wear her western boots.

Twenty minutes later, Patricia Trimble and Rusty Shaw were man and wife, although the ceremony was delayed.

Trimble, it seems, had a late mount that day, and it does take the bride a bit longer to prepare – under any circumstances. “Patricia was about an hour late,” Shaw said. “But there was no way we were going to start without her.”

The date is a simple matter to recall. The wedding took place on 11-11-11.

Trimble raced at Canterbury Park last summer for the first time. She had been to Shakopee once before with a mount in the 2010 Claiming Crown. “But my horse was scratched,” she said. When Shaw made plans for Shakopee along with trainer Valorie Lund last summer, Trimble decided to try Minnesota too.

She and Shaw had met maybe 10 years prior in Florida at a two-year-old sale. Shaw introduced her to a friend of his who became her partner for several years. When that relationship ended, Shaw and Trimble began theirs.

Now the union has taken on an entirely new dimension. Shaw lost the entire summer in the saddle after an incident on May 2 with a two-year-old left him with a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder and torn rotator cuff muscle. “It’s still real sore. I’m going to have surgery in a week or two,” he said Friday.

In the meantime, it made no sense for Trimble to pay agent fees when her husband was not working. Shaw took over as his wife’s agent and will continue in that capacity for the remainder of the meet.

“I plan to go back to riding but it will be another three to four months,” he said.

Trimble took advantage of the moment. “I just wish he’d get me some livelier mounts,” she said.

So, how is the new job?

“I totally don’t like it,” Shaw said. “But it does help the family situation. And it does get me talking to people a bit more. I was never an outspoken guy, but I’m learning.”

Meanwhile, Patricia carries the family load, and is having what she calls a “decent meet.” She started Friday’s card with 11 wins, nine seconds and nine thirds from 88 mounts for total earnings of $122,631

Trimble is a Vancouver, British Columbia native and began riding in 1998 at Woodbine. She got her first winner at Hastings and then rode at Fort Erie, Mountaineer, Great Lakes and Tampa Bay Downs..

She and Shaw plan to return to Turf Paradise for at least another meet since they have a home in Phoenix.

With the Mystic Lake agreement dramatically improving the financial picture for the state horse industry, Trimble and Shaw expect to return to Shakopee for the foreseeable future.

Shaw is enthralled with the agreement. “It’s awesome,” he said. “I think it’s going to help this track a lot. It will be booming in a couple of years. I can’t wait to come back here and ride next year.”

His partner has similar plans, of course.

“I’ll come back for sure,” Trimble said. “I just wish the meet were longer, but I love Minnesota.”

Last 11-11-11 was a day to love, too, although it took place about 1,600 miles from Canterbury Park. It was the first marriage for the bride and the groom. Trimble designated her sister, Tara, her best friend from Vancouver, trainer Terry Clyde, and her riding colleague, Lori Keith, as her maids of honor.

Shaw was accompanied by his brother, Aaron, rider Jake Barton and Brian Brock, a groom for Lund. The wedding went off a bit late but just as planned. Dinner and dancing followed at the track.

“The whole thing was fantastic,” Keith recalled. The champagne flowed and before the night was over everybody was on the dance floor.”

Well, they better have been.

“Yeah, that whole thing was a bit tough on the pocket book,” Shaw said.

This blog was written by Canterbury Staff Writer Jim Wells. Wells was a longtime sportswriter at the Pioneer Press and is a member of the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame.

Photo Credit: Coady Photography