Don has been training racing QH's with consistent success for over 30 years.
The best introduction to Don is through an article published in the Fall 2012 issue of Racing Quarterly :
1000 And Counting........
On July 15, 2012 Donald Reid became the 33rd
trainer in the history of the AQHA to win 1000 races. To date, Don has won 1008 races from 4377
lifetime, for a lifetime win percentage of 23%.
So far, Don’s 2012 season is looking to be a successful one with 33 wins
(4 stakes) from 97 starts, and a win percentage of 34%.
Don started training quarter horses in 1980 at the age of
18. His first horse was Loves Dual
Diamond, who also became Don’s first stake winner that year when he won the
Canadian Bred Futurity. The next year he
and his mother, Marie, travelled to the Tattersall’s sale in Kentucky and
purchased a 2 year old named Bids Abraham.
Bids Abraham went on to win the Early Bird Futurity the following
Don trained privately for 2-3 years before becoming a public
trainer. Because of his early successes,
his first owner, Don O’Haloran, approached him to train his horse Lady Dee
Folly. Don O’Haloran’s faith in Don’s
ability is fondly remembered, as Don was only 20 at the time and he believed in
As the years continued, Don began to accumulate more owners
and by 1985 he was training close to 20 horses and earned his first Leading
Trainer trophy. From that point forward,
Don was leading trainer at least 18 times and won the award 10 years in a row
over one stretch. He has also earned
AQHA High Point Canadian Trainer and trained AQHA Canadian Champions First Kool
Money and One Kool Wave.
Although AQHA records have Don’s stake wins listed at 49,
this number does not take into account the actual number of stake wins. Over the years, Don has also won “unofficial”
stake races with horses such as: Sign Says Go, Eyes Pretty Cute, DR Steppin Out,
Strawfly Fortune, Chatin Down Home, Casino Nights, ZZ Special, Star Fire Grande,
Kentucky Darby, and many more.
Don’s 2012 stake season has been a successful one. On June
26 he won the Ajax Downs Maiden Stakes with Red Kelly, owned by Whispering Winz
Racing. On July 2 he won the Fort Erie
Distaff Challenge with 2011 Horse of the Year Leanintoit. On July 10 he won the Princess Stakes
Futurity with First Down The Track, leased by DK Training Centre and Richard
Wincikaby. On August 7, Don’s 4
qualifiers to the inaugural $100,000 added Ontario Sires Stakes Derby ran 1st,
2nd, 3rd and 7th. The winner, Wranglin Gump, owned and bred by
Lisa Kalvoda, closed hard and fast to win with a 92 SI. This season, his horses also ran 2nd
and 5th in the Princess Stakes Derby and 4th in the
Ontario Sires Stakes Futurity.
Don’s influence has left a mark on the Ontario racing
industry in during his time as a trainer.
In the breeding arena, Don’s purchases of quality race stock have
evolved into outstanding breeding stock.
Most notably, in 1990, he travelled south for owner Judy Hilton and
purchased Kool It Yawl, who went on to win the All Canadian Futurity that
year. Kool It Yawl was later sold to
Belinda Taggart for whom she produced, Kool Kinda Star, dam of AQHA Canadian
Champion First Kool Money. Kool Kinda
Star is also the dam of One Kool Bud, who is the dam of Canadian Champion One
Kool Wave. Another exciting element for Don in recent years has been watching
his son Scott’s success as a trainer.
“It’s every father’s hope that his son will follow in his
footsteps. I have been proud of him since
he started. Seeing him win his first
stake race was priceless.”
Of the 1000 win mark, Don admits that he never really
thought much about it until recently. “I
never really considered it. It really
wasn’t it my list of goals until about 2 years ago. I finally sat down and started counting and
realized how close I was. Then it went
on the list.” Now that he has surpassed
this milestone, Don is excited about the accomplishment. “It’s an achievement. It’s amazing to be one of only 33 to do it
and I think I’m the first from Ontario.
The way it happened was great too.
One Kool Wave was winner 999 and Dave and Carol McIntyre (one of Don’s
clients) bought me a great picture from that race which says “999”. I thought I would have to wait forever for
1000 but it was the next week. That one
was special too because it was one we bred and raised on this farm, sired by
our own stallion.” When asked if any of
the 1000 stand out in his mind, Don cannot pick one over another. “Most of them,” he laughs. “I’ve won Index
Races, Allowance Races, Maiden Races and Stake Races which stand out in my
mind. I appreciate them all because
every single one helped get me to this mark; just like every owner I’ve had has
helped get me to 1000, and every jockey, and so on and so on.”
Don’s advice on how to get to 1000, after a lifetime of
experience, is simple and straightforward. “Work hard. If things aren’t going right, be patient, it
will turn around. If you look after your
horses, they will look after you. Horses
don’t run well because they have to, they run well because they want to. You just have to figure out what they want
and give them that. Keep them sound and
happy. Treat every horse like a stake
horse and you’ll do ok.” Don’s advice
also points to the human element of racing.
“Always surround your horses with good people. We have the right people around our horses;
everyone has the same goal, to win races.
All of our people are doing a great job.
It’s not about the trainer, it’s about the team. That’s where people get mixed up. They want to be “THE TRAINER”, but it’s all
about “THE TEAM”.