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Canadians Win 2020 AQHA Racing Challenge Titles

Charles Stojan (center) pictured in 2019 being awarded the same John Deere Owner of the Year Award, which he also claimed in 2020.

The owner / trainer team of Charles Stojan and William Leech had a number of achievements to celebrate in 2020.

With Free Thought extending his AQHA world record winning streak to eighteen, and impressive horses that dominated the racetracks in Alberta during the season, such as Stripstreak, Flight Club, and Light Footed, all qualifying for the AQHA’s  Bank of America Challenge Championships held October 24, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In doing so, Stojan was crowned the  John Deere Champion Owner of the year and Leech was named the Wrangler Champion Trainer of  the year, both very coveted honours in the world of Quarter Horse Racing internationally.

Winning these awards which are part of the AQHA Bank of America Challenge program takes dedication and results earned over a series of races held throughout the year in several different countries.

The horses who help their breeders, owners trainers and jockeys win these awards are enrolled in the lifetime program and earn points and winnings at races held worldwide, which contribute to the annual tally of points which see individuals named to these prestigious awards.

Stojan is a repeat winner of the owner award, he hails from Grande Prairie Alberta. Racing four horses in 2020 in multiple age categories, and collecting points and earnings in Canada and the United States he was awarded a custom belt buckle and John Deere Gator thanks to the AQHA sponsor for his achievements.

2020 Wrangle Champion Trainer of the year, William Leech from Sterling, Alberta faced a whole new set of challenges on the road to achieving this award, due to the Covid-19 world pandemic; for instance there was very limited racing here in Canada, and health and safety protocols at the racetracks meant there were significantly few on track training days. With boarder restrictions put in place by the Canadian government, the trip to New Mexico in October for the Bank of America Championship races was limited to just him and jockey Ricardo Moreno, leaving owner Charles Stojan and his family back at home cheering them on with the rest of Canada.

Congratulations to Charles and William, to their dedicated support team, and the incredible equine athletes who all assisted them in achieving these coveted awards.

 

Free Thought and Jockey Ricardo Moreno celebrating their 18th straight win, an AQHA would record!
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Eyesa Timber Named AQHA’s 2020 Canadian Racing Champion

Thursday night (January 14, 2021) the AQHA hosted its annual Racing Champion Awards night. The ceremony was held at Heritage Place and livestreamed through AQHA’s website.

 

Canadian Champion when to freshman EYESA TIMBER. This two-year-old gelding was bred in Alberta and is by First Timber and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare: Eyesa Perry. He raced for owner/breeder Wesley Oulton. His racing career started at Remington Park, Oklahoma where he had two running up performances. He then shipped to Canterbury Park, Minnesota. He broke is maiden in a trial to the MQHRA Stallion Auction Futurity and qualified to the finals. The final was his only start off the board. While competing in the United States he was trained by Durk Perry and ridden by Jose Vega. The gelding then shipped to Alberta, Canada to finish off the season with three consecutive wins: a trial to the Alberta Bred Futurity, the Alberta Bred (RG3) Futurity and the Canada QH Cup (RG3) Futurity. In Alberta he was trained by his owner Wesley Oulton and riding duties were split between Jose Rocha and J.B. Botello. Eyesa Timber’s 2020 season finished with a record of 7 starts: 4(2)-2-0 and earnings of $56,491, racing at distances from 250 yards to 400 yards.

Congratulations to all the connections!!

 

A summary of the all the 2020 AQHA Racing Champions can be found at 2020 Racing Champions – AQHA

 

For more information about Quarter Horse Racing in Canada please reach out to AQHA Provincial Racing Affiliates:

            Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association: www.aqhra.ca

            Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc: https://qrooi.com 

Image: from @Q-Racing

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September Q Horse Hero Honourees

Congratulations to Our September Q Horse Heroes, Christine St-Jean, Todd Bailey, Cheryl Norris, and Laura Siebenthal-Baxter
Christine St-Jean

Christine’s devotion to riding quarter horses began as a 15 year old girl when her mother
purchased a quarter horse for her. Christine showed local shows for a few years, until she got
the bug to attend the Ontario Quarter Horse Circuit.

Christine’s remote northern Ontario location does not stop her from trailering her show horse
12 hours one way to exhibit in western pleasure, showmanship and trail. Christine is proud of
her horses, and the foals that she has raised, breeding to top Quarter Horse Stallions in North
America. Christine is a Director with Ontario Quarter Horse Amateur Association (OAQHA)
maintaining the Facebook page, and engaging in various fund raising efforts.

Christine travels 50 minutes one way to Timmins and District Hospital, where for the past 30
years she is employed as a Laboratory Technician. Her job is covers emergency department,
microbiology department, and the main laboratory. Timmins and District Hospital is a full
service hospital for Northern Ontario residences, partnering with Lakehead University,
Laurentian Medicine.Over and above Christine’s position as a Laboratory Technician and position with OAQHA,

Christine was the founder of “Horses for Hoof”. This initiative raised 10,000.00 dollars through
clinics, and various other horse activities for the emergency department at Timmins and District
Hospital and Northern College.

CQHA honours Christine St-Jean as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.

Cheryl Norris

Cheryl Norris is one of those dedicated equestrian volunteers. She is no stranger to the Quarter
Horse show circuit operation and exhibition. Her specialty on the Quarter Horse Circuit was
Hunter Under Saddle and Pleasure Driving.Cheryl has assumed the position of President of Eastern Ontario Quarter Horse Association (EOQHA) currently for eleven years.

Decisions to cancel all events for 2020 due to Covid-19 did not stop Cheryl from engaging EOQHA members in a virtual clinic with renowned trainer and futurity prospect, Brian Isabell. Cheryl is well respected as the anchor of EOQHA, at the Summer Sizzler 2019 the board of director’s presented Cheryl with an recognition award. In Cheryl’s words: “It was very kind to be recognized” The recognition award read, “we should acknowledge that Cheryl has been president for 10 yrs now and without her dedication EOQHA would not be where it is today. “

Cheryl’s love for the horses spills over into the miniature show circuit, where she exhibits in halter, roadster, single pleasure driving , tandem hitch as well as multi hitch classes , cones, and . . Another
fun class is barrels (yes while driving your fastest mini)

Cheryl’s story does not end here. For the past 25 years Cheryl has been employed at Kemptville District Hospital in the Dietary Department. Kemptville District Hospital is a fully accredited healthcare facility
committed to building healthier communities.

During her career, Cheryl was on the award winning team to receive: Regional Unit of the Year by Morrison, the healthcare division of Compass Group Canada, the hospital’s food service provider. The KDH unit was chosen from healthcare organizations all over the region, which encompasses Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.(excerpt from Kemptville District Hospital)


CQHA honours Cheryl Norris as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.

Todd Bailey

Todd Bailey certainly is no stranger to the equestrian world. Todd juggles his time between
family, saddle maker, trainer and horse show judge.

Todd and his wife Peggy have carried on the long family tradition of saddle making for 38 years,
learning the trade from his father Don Bailey, founder of Bailey Saddles. Todd’s talents go
beyond saddle making. For the past 34 years, Todd is one of the most sought after judges,
holding multiple judging cards; and during this pandemic, Todd has judged virtual shows and real
time shows across Canada.

Todd has been an active director and president on various boards including Alberta Paint Horse
Association, Area 2 Quarter Horse Association, Ontario Paint Association, All Equine Show in
London, Ontario and London Fair Board.

Todd extends his kindly manner to everyone he meets, and he’s been gracious to assist virtual show managers and competitors alike this year, by donating his judging fees and giving exhibitors constructive feedback on their video entries.

CQHA honors Todd Bailey as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.

Laura Siebenthal-Baxter

Laura is currently in her twelfth year as letter carrier, employed by Canada Post in the Province
of Ontario.

After completing her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Social Work, Laura took a position
with a Police Service and also worked as a Emergency Medical Technician on a rural ambulance.

Juggling a career and family, Laura enjoys equestrian activities with her daughter and
grandchildren. Volunteering with Canadian Pony Club, Equine Assisted Learning and rescuing
horses which keeps the family busy.

Laura enjoys riding her Quarter Horse / Appaloosa cross mare “Dixie”, volunteering with
Ontario Mounted Special Service Unit which is a proud alliance partner of the Canadian Quarter
Horse Association.

For being an essential part of her community, CQHA honours Laura Siebenthal-Baxter as a 2020 Canadian Quarter Horses Association Q Horse Hero.