A sport or a lifestyle
Senior Will Dubois participates in the unique hobby of harness-racing passed on through many of his family's generations.
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Participating in a hobby is one thing, but living a passion is another, and senior William DuBois fortunately lives, and expects to live, his passion for a lifetime, finding more than just enjoyment in something that not many people know about.
It’s different, unquestionably, as “following harness racing much like you would a football team” is uncommon, but that doesn’t stop him from loving what he does.
“It’s made me really want to spread the word and attract more people to the sport,” DuBois said.
And that might be because the generations above him were just as passionate about harness racing as he is, in fact, he is the third generation harness racer, following in the legacy of both his mother and father’s family.
“I was born into it,” said DuBois. “I’m going to drive and train horses for the rest of my life.”
Despite the demanding nature of this sport, DuBois has stuck with it for years.
“The horses have to be taken care of every day so it is very demanding of your time…there isn’t a day where you spend less than a few hours at the barn even when they have time or are resting,” said Dubois. “Most days we put in 8-12 hours of work a day.”
Owning 15 horses, his family not only puts in the time to prepare them for competition, but they spend a lot of time and money to compete.
“You always have to try and work harder because there are other horsemen working just as hard with outstanding horses,” said Dubois. “Last but not least it’s extremely demanding of money…the bigger the stable the more money you must spend.”
Through all of this hard work, Dubois still finds time to race himself.
“I drive at the fairs in the summer,” said DuBois. “My father trains them and used to drive when he was younger.”
His family, he explained, inspired him to get involved in this initially, but he accredits most of that inspiration to his father.
“He has taught me everything I know about the business,” said DuBois. “I have always noticed that he has a great bond with animals, especially horses, so I try to take after him.”
But his dad isn’t the only one that loves harness racing, as his mom is heavily involved in the sport as well, although in a different way than DuBois.
“She is also very interested in the business and has created a group of ladies that go around and try to publicize and benefit the business and the horsemen,” DuBois said.
Because of this, him and his family “are extremely close,” the sport changing him permanently.
“It’s affected me in so many ways…it’s given me a strong work ethic, and…a strong love for animals,” said Dubois. “All I can say is I love the fact I was born into it, I can’t imagine it any other way.”
And he assures that anyone who truly knows him, would know about his passion, too, as he makes “it pretty clear,” that harness racing is his life.
Chuckling as he says “once you’ve caught the race fever you can’t get rid of it,” he shows his peers that anyone can find passion, enjoyment, and unity in absolutely anything.