With written files from Kim Ito
When asked about the horse that changed their life, many owners and trainers will regale an interviewer with stories of the horse that won them the most races, most money or first stakes event.
For Don Reid, one of Canadian Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading trainers, it was a Quarter Horse who accompanied his runners to the races for almost 20 years who made the biggest impact on his life.
Cannington, a homebred foal of 1993 and produced from the All Canadian Futurity winner, Bidding Bam, was a 2-year-old when he was called into action.
Reid, who owns DK Training Centre and DK Tack & Supply with former jockey Kim Ito, had been sidelined at the time with a broken leg in a training accident and Cannington’s training was put on the back burner. When Reid was close to being fully healed by the end of the ’95 season, he decided to try Cannington as a pony as he was not happy with the one he was riding.
Ito remembers the process. “There were some trial and error moments and some bumps along the road, but he became the horse that Don depended on most to get his best horses to the gate for almost 20 years.”
“He says that he only had to think about what he wanted Cannington to do and he'd be doing it.”
Reid said he has never had a pony horse so good at teaching 2-year-olds and no doubt, Cannington helped Reid build his career along the way. In 2012, Reid became just the 33rd
trainer in AQHA history to win 1,000 races.
Cannington was retired a few years ago and then passed away this summer.
“Anyone who's ever worked here, or spent time with us, when they ask "who's the best horse in the barn", would know that Don’s answer has always been "Cannington'. He's the best horse in the world."
Reid was given a gift by jockey Brian Bell and his partner Katie Browne following Cannington’s death: a memorial plaque of stone that reads CANNIINGTON: The Best Horse IN The World"
(Photo below by Laurie Overton of Cannington and Don in action)
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