As an article by the Hamilton Spectator explains, Burns, 68, is now based out of Beechwood Acres, located just north of Burlington on Appleby Line. He and a few of his partners purchased a pair of yearlings last fall. While two horses wouldn’t be enough to keep a big stable busy, the duo is keeping the veteran horseman busy enough, seeing as though he is doing all the work himself.
Burns took a step back from the business in 2016. It’s safe to say that it may have been a bit of a premature move for the lifetime horseman.
"I took the year off and I guess got a little bored,” said Burns, who decided to pluck Village Jack from Standardbred Canada’s 2016 Canadian Yearling Sale. Co-owners John Fielding and Peter Berry are also on board with the colt that was picked up for $60,000. A couple of months later, Burns and Berry acquired Tripleton Hanover from the Harrisburg sale in Pennsylvania for $16,000.
Both of Burns’ new students are Ontario Sired. The latter is out of the solid producer Triplet Hanover, whom Burns successfully campaigned in the late 1990s. “I've watched all of her foals sell, but never bought any because it was never my game to pay big money for yearlings,” Burns said. “So when the yearling videos came online, I took a look at this one and liked her right off the bat.”
So ‘Burnsie’ is back, training a Shadow Play filly and a Sportswriter colt. His paddock presence is surely missed by many. If best laid plans go according to script, Burns will be back in a paddock or two giving a piece of his mind to anyone within earshot. He is optimistic with what the future holds for his juveniles, but this isn’t his first rodeo.
"I've been around too long to get too excited (with young horses) in mid-March,” Burns said. “Both are doing what they are supposed to be doing and want to do it, which is all you can ask at this stage. The colt maybe looks a little better, but looks don't win money."