Jason Olmstead: Canterbury’s Leading Quarter Horse Trainer

Jason Olmstead

By: Megan Johnson

Training duo, Jason Olmstead and his wife, Amber Olmstead, won the quarter horse training title in 2015 and are keeping the competitive field high, as they lead the current standings for this year’s meet. This season they have more than 60 horses in their barn. Jason took time last week to answer a few questions.

Q: How did you get started in racing?
A: I grew up in racing. My grandfather was a trainer and all I ever wanted to do was be a jockey. I rode for 15 years, got past that point and then I started training with my wife, Amber, about 15 years ago.

Q: What’s one of your favorite memories of racing?
A: We’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few good horses but we had a horse names Hes Relentless that made the All American Finals. He was a world champion 3-year-old colt, if one of them is going to stand out, it’s going to be him. But we’ve got a well-rounded barn and that’s what leads to success and winning races.

Q: How was the change from riding to training for you?
A: I think the riding was a big help. I was fortunate enough to ride for a lot of different people and was in a lot of big barns helping big time trainers. While I was there galloping and riding for those people, I was also watching and learning.

Q: What’s the biggest lesson training has taught you?
A: Going from riding to training I’ve learned to continuously evolve. What worked yesterday, might not work tomorrow.

Q: How many horses do you have in your barn this meet so far?
A: Right now the majority of our horses are quarter horses. We have two thoroughbreds and 60 quarter horses.

Q: You guys had some quarter horses qualify in the trials recently, how was that?
A: Yeah we had five qualify to the Northlands, three to the Canterbury Park Derby, and three to the Minnesota Stallion Breeders Futurity. Last year we qualified five to the Northlands as well and ended up coming in first and second in the final. This year I wanted to prove last year wasn’t a fluke and we ended up qualifying five again so it’s been good.

Q: Besides Canterbury, where else do you race?
A: We start at Remington in the spring and then we usually have a few horses that go to Ruidoso if they’re good enough, but the majority of them come here. After Canterbury we go to Iowa and then if there is anything left we usually go to Lone Star.

Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not racing?
A: There’s not much time that isn’t spent here, but when we aren’t at the track, we’re trying to do what we can to take our two children to the pool and do other activities to entertain them.

On Sunday, the Olmstead stable will be very busy as they have qualified five horses for the $165,600 Mystic Lake Northlands Futurity, three for the $68,250 Canterbury Park Quarter Horse Derby, and two for the $50,000 Minnesota Stallion Breeders’ Futurity.


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