Burlington-owned quarter horse named Canadian Champion at U.S. awards ceremony


Published January 18, 2024 at 6:36 pm

Snow Moose. Photo New Image Media

Burlington-owned Snow Moose was voted Canadian Champion quarter horse Wednesday at the American Quarter Horse Association’s annual Racing Champions Awards at Heritage Place Sale Company in Oklahoma City.

The popular grey gelding was one of Ajax Downs’ top Quarter Horses of 2023, winning five of nine starts and was in the money in all but one as a 3-year-old last year including the QROOI Derby and the Ontario Bred Derby.

Owned and bred by Milena Kwiecien of Burlington, the son of Seperate Interest – Favorite Pearl by Favorite Cartel could have had even gaudier numbers as he was disqualified from two other victories including the $48,000 Alex Picov Championship in which he was bumped to third.

“This is an honour, especially for a small breeder like myself,” said Kwiecien at the awards ceremony. “This is very much a family affair. He owes his name to my Mom, who we call Moose. He was born on a cold, March Day and pulled out from his mare by myself and my sister (Anna Rosiak). And my grandmother made our silks.”

Snow Moose, trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, earned $54,672 in 2023; four of his victories came with leading rider Brian Bell aboard with the other with jockey JB Botello.

Snow Moose started his racing career in 2022 in the U.S. with two races in New Mexico and one in Oklahoma before heading north and winning the 2022 Alex Picov Memorial Futurity in Ajax in his second start in Canada.

There were 10 Canadian-foaled nominees from Ontario and Alberta for the Canadian Champion Award, which voted on by a panel of industry members throughout North America.

The Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario and Ajax Downs host its 2023 Awards Banquet to honour its champions on February 24 at the Ajax Convention Centre.

You can watch the entire AQHA Racing Champions Ceremony here.

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