Burlington-owned Snow Moose voted Ajax Downs Horse of the Year

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Published February 26, 2024 at 1:02 pm

Snow Moose
Snow Moose - Ajax Downs Horse of the Year

The popular grey Ontario-bred Snow Moose took Horse of the Year honours at the Quarter Racing Owners Of Ontario’s annual Awards Banquet on February 24.

The awards, celebrating the best of Ajax Downs racing in 2023, were held at the Ajax Convention Centre, and a large crowd included local Ajax MP Patrice Barnes and representatives from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Ontario racing.

Owned and bred by Burlington’s Milena Kwiecien and trained by Jason Pascoe of Pontypool, Snow Moose won five of nine races as a 3-year-old in 2023 including the QROOI Derby and Ontario Bred Derby.

The son of Seperate Interest from the mare Favorite Pearl won two other races – including the prestigious Alex Picov Championship – but was disqualified from both, yet still earned enough votes in the balloting from the QROOI board of directors.

Snow Moose was also the year’s High Point 3-year-old with 45 QROOI points, just one more than runner-up Sour Candy, who defeated Snow Moose in the Picov Derby.

Kwiecien began racing Quarter Horses nine years ago and her Snow Pony stable was the 2023 High Point owner and leading owner by wins for the third consecutive year. Pascoe, who trains Kwiecien’s horses, won his fifth straight High Point Trainer Title.

Veteran rider Brian Bell was 2023’s top jockey by QROOI points and wins and Amanda McCormack of Peterborough won her first Owner/Trainer trophy. James Bogar of Cameron won his first High Point Breeder award as his homebreds won 18 races in 2023. Bogar raced his first Quarter Horse eight years ago and his first homebreds began racing in 2020.

Other award winners from the 2023 season include:

  • GENERAL SKYWALKER – High Point 2-year-old Male – Owned/bred by Marie Broadstock, trained by Bob Broadstock
  • PRETTY MAGICALL – High Point 2-year-old Filly – Owned by Milena Kwiecien, trained by Jason Pascoe
  • HAD TO BE IVY / VALIANT CHICK INSNOW (tie) – High Point 3-year-old Filly – Owners Carol and Jamie Robertson / Milena Kwiecien
  • FIRST COLD WAVE – High Point Aged Male – Owner/breeder Robert Bailey, trainer Jason Pascoe
  • SW THE TEMPEST – High Point Aged mare – Owned/trained by Chantelle Bourgeois

The 2024 Ajax Downs Quarter Horse Season is set to begin on May 8, the first of 25 race dates.

With files from Jennifer Morrison

Jockey Brian Bell accepts his Top Jockey award from QROOI’s Bob Broadstrock and Chantelle Bourgeois. Photo Jacob Cohen/New Image Media

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