Nextgen Racing Stable — Moving the Family Tradition Forward

By Katie Merritt

Nextgen Racing Stable, LLC is a brand new racing partnership formed in April of this year, and it is comprised of relatives of Canterbury Chairman of the Board Curt Sampson, including his son Russ Sampson, Russ’s daughter Sophie, and several other nieces, nephews, grandchildren and family friends. Because of their family’s involvement in Canterbury Park, the next generation of the Sampson family has grown up at the track. “I remember being five years old and sitting under the horseman bookkeeper’s desk because I was friends with her daughter, so we would hang out down there. Canterbury’s been my childhood,” said Sophie.

Since Canterbury opened, Curt Sampson has owned a steady string of thoroughbreds that run primarily here, and the whole family has always enjoyed the involvement in the industry and in horse ownership that they have been able to experience. Over time, Curt Sampson has down-sized the number of horses he has in training, so the next generation, aptly calling themselves “Nextgen” are picking up the reins. “We only have two horses right now,” Sophie explained, “But we’re trying to get a few more horses, probably for next season!” she added, already thinking about the future.

Horse racing has always been a part of the Sampson family. “This is what we know. So we really want to keep doing what we know. This is our summers!” Sophie said with a smile. “We love going in the paddock with our horses, and getting to watch them run from the winner’s circle. And I actually like the mornings, when I wake up early enough to go watch the training. Owning horses lets you feel so much more involved.” Nextgen has a good start on continuing that involvement and passing the love of horse racing on to the generations of the future.


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