Seelster Farms topped all participants in the Ontario Resident Mare Program in 2019, as it earned a total of $370,026 in breeders’ rewards from the efforts of offspring from its resident mares.
Pacing filly Karma Seelster topped all Seelster-breds that competed in 2019, as she contributed $75,727 to the Lucan, Ont. nursery’s bottom line. In her juvenile campaign, the daughter of Sportswriter and Kiddie Cocktail won an Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) Gold Series leg and finished third in her Super Final, captured her elimination and the final of the Battle of the Belles, and finished second in her Eternal Camnation leg for a record of four wins, three seconds, three thirds and earnings of $262,205 from 11 starts.
“It’s encouraging to be able to see a horse that you bred go on and achieve,” said Walter Parkinson, assistant farm manager at Seelster Farms and president of the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association.
“You can do well here in Ontario when everything is done here, from the breeding and the raising to the actual racing.”
Seelster Farms enrolled almost all of its mares in the Ontario Resident Mare Program (ORMP) in 2016 and 2017, and a total of 28 two and three-year-old starters from 22 different mares contributed toward Seelster’s 2019 breeders’ rewards. Of the $370,026 total, $359,039 came in the Ontario Sires Stakes, while the remainder came from open stakes.
“Generally, we’re breeding on average about 60 mares that are farm-owned each year. Certainly every one of them gets enrolled in the resident mare program when she’s in foal, with the hope that we’ll be able to participate once they hit the track as two and three-year-olds,” said Parkinson. “There might be years where it’s slightly higher or slightly lower, but I think it’s a fairly good representation of OSS performers that we had in the 2019 stakes season.”
Karma Seelster, pictured victorious in the final of the 2019 Battle of the Belles.
From his perspective as SBOA president, Parkinson feels the breeders’ rewards are both an excellent incentive for Ontario breeders to upgrade their operations and a tangible acknowledgement of the investments those breeders have made in the province’s Standardbred industry.
“I think it’s a tremendous bonus to have these breeders’ rewards allocated towards the performance of the offspring. I think it encourages breeders to continually invest in their breeding stock, to upgrade, and to reward them for producing horses that perform,” he explained. “Certainly this year’s standout was Century Farroh, so a horse like that, who is an Ontario-bred horse, versus Alicorn, who was not, the earning potential for the breeder is substantial. Both great horses, both had great seasons, but one is Ontario-bred and one is not.”
All horses produced by Ontario resident mares are considered Ontario-bred and their earnings in eligible races contribute toward their breeder’s rewards. Prior to foaling, mares that meet the eligibility requirements can be enrolled in the program for $100. After foaling and before September 1, the enrollment fee is $300 and third-party proof of residency is required.
For complete information about the Ontario Resident Mare Program, click here. Further questions can be directed to program co-ordinator Kathie Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-477-5529.
Top 10 Ontario Breeders’ Rewards Recipients in 2019
Total Breeders’ Rewards
Seelster Farms Inc.
(Karma Seelster, Sportswriter-Kiddie Cocktail, $75,727)
Century Spring Farms
(Century Farroh, Mach Three-Beachy Girl, $180,386)
Charles and Gordon Lawrence
(Boadicea, Big Jim-Rose Seelster, $138,281)
(Warrawee Vicky, Royalty For Life-The Tall Poppy, $72,736)
Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. / CSX Stables / Al McIntosh Holdings Inc.
(Sunny Dee, Sunshine Beach-West Of L A, $106,542)
(Haveoneforme, Kadabra-All Filled Up, $98,607)
(Scorched Romance, Kadabra- Tequila Slammer, $32,990)
Bet Max Stables Inc.
(Bright Eyes M, Kadabra-Motown Muscle, $87,159)
(Teddys Littleangel, Archangel-Pine Knolls, $63,973)
(Hetalkstoangels, Archangel-J Marie, $23,496)
(Ontario Sires Stakes)