QUARTER HORSE POST RACING INCENTIVE PROGRAM EXPANDS By Jennifer Morrison
Ontario Racing has announced an expanded Post Racing Incentive Program for 2017 as part of its Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program, great news for retired racing Quarter Horses at Ajax Downs. The program, in its eighth year, awards owners of former Ajax Downs racehorses who show their horses competitively in Ontario with an annual monetary bonus; a share of the $20,000 available for participating horses. For 2017, three new Partnering Associations, Ontario Xtreme Cowboy (OXC), Canadian Dressage Owners and Riders Association (CADORA) and Trillium Hunter Jumper Association (THJA) join five previous partners in the program. Also, the program, formerly available for barrel racing and pole bending events only, has opened up to encompass all classes held by participating Partnering Assciations. “It is a very, very good program,” said Brad Sinasac, a successful barrel racer from Thameseville, Ontario. “It has created a market for horses at the end of their racing career and has increased their value. I can't say enough about it." When Sinasac, who is a firefighter for Chatham-Kent, heard about the program in its early years, he went looking for his first off-the-track Quarter Horse.
Through one of Ajax Downs’ top trainers, Joe Tavares, Sinasac met Dinozzo, a solid runner with three wins about $30,000 in the bank who was getting ready to race as a 5-year-old in 2014. “I had been looking for a certain type of body and build and bloodline,” said Sinasac. “Joe said Dinozzo was the horse for me but as he was planning on racing him, he said he was going to be ‘expensive’." Following some friendly bargaining, Sinasac bought Dinozzo and the pair have hit it off, taking full advantage of the program; bonus money earned by Dinozzo and Sinasac has already added up to more than the gelding cost to buy.
“We spent a year training him to learn the fundamentals of western riding,” said Sinasac. “We taught him how to stop, how to use his hind end and flex; all the tools needed to turn a barrel.” Once Sinasac deemed Dinozzo ready to compete in barrel racing events, he enrolled himself and his horse into the Post Racing Incentive Program, a free registration. DINOZZO was a good runner at Ajax Downs and now he is enjoying his post-racing career as a barrel and polebending horse with new owner Brad Sinasac - Photo courtesy of Brad Sinasac
The program works on a points system throughout the show season from events held by one of the eight Partnering Associations. Participating horses receive one point for competing in an event, whether it be a barrel race, hunter class, jumping, dressage, etc. and earn points on a 4-3-1 basis for top three placings. At the end of the year points are totaled, the $20,000 bonus is divided by the number of points earned by eligible horses and a dollar-per-point value arrived at. Dollar-per-point value times points earned equals how much a horse earns, up to a $1,500 maximum. The maximum has been reached several times by participants in recent years and the average payout from the last three years has been $700-$800. The Partnering Association receives $500 for administration fees if they meet requirements.
Sinasac’s daughter Katie, who is in university, has also enrolled into the program following her purchase of the mare Hot n Dizzy two years ago, from Amber Swatuk. “Hot n Dizzy was not a good racehorse,” laughed Sinasac. “We had to go back to zero with her in her training. My daughter learned a lot through all of that." The transformation in Hot n Dizzy has been amazing as the once-difficult mare loves her new career as a barrel racer. In 2016, Katie and Hot n Dizzy finished second in the Youth Barrels division for the Ontario Barrel Racing Association and second in the Youth division through the National Barrel Racing Association. "They have done very well together," said Sinasac.
Katie Sinasac is having great success in barrel racing with former Quarter Horse runner Hot N Dizzy - Photo courtesy of Brad Sinasac)
Dinozzo, 'Dino' is starting his fourth year of barrel racing in 2017 and will be in his second full year of pole bending classes. He won the 3D division for pole bending last year. "He's a very good horse, he's fast, has a great mind and is easy to work with." You can learn more about the Post Racing Incentive Program and many other programs offered through the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program on this site.