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Challenge Championship: Canadian Invasion

Young jockey Teagan Oulton riding high in Challenge Championships.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
November 9, 2013

howdoyado

Howdoyado. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill

When you’re enjoying the spectacle of the Bank of America Challenge Championships, be sure to keep an eye out for 24-year-old jockey Teagan Oulton. She will ride CR Strawflyn Bux in the $150,000 John Deere Juvenile Challenge (G2), Howdoyado in the $100,000 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), and KR Streakin Version in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1).

The talented young jockey began her career in 2007, making five starts and earning her first win. Since then she has collected 148 additional victories in 784 additional starts, with mount earnings of $644,831.

The Alberta, Canada, horsewoman comes by her horse passion honestly – her whole family is involved with them.    

Her dad, Wesley Oulton, has been involved in horses since he was a teenager. A past president of the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association, he is very involved in all aspects of racing in the area. “Wes” has a financial planning business and engineering consulting business. He is joined in his passion by wife, Sue, and their kids, Teagan, Lexya, Tyrel and Riordan. They raise and run almost all of their horses – and often use them to ride when the horse’s race careers are over. They own and stand First Timber (Oak Tree Special-First Prize Dash by Dash For Cash).

“We use our horses a lot,” Wes says. “They’ve been very good for our family to be a family. We ran cattle for 25 years, and the kids all learned to chase cows on racehorses – a bit of a challenge since they don’t always turn when they should, but they get there quick.”

Teagan graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Alberta, one of the premier schools in Canada, using her riding to pay her way through school, and is pursuing a dream she’s had since childhood.

Lexya also rides, and is getting an engineering degree from the University of Alberta, with the help of an American Quarter Horse Foundation scholarship. Tyrel has his trainer license, and makes a career in the oil field. Riordan is in college working to be a mechanical engineer and specializes in strength jobs with the horses.

Wes fondly recounts how, when Teagan was little and they were working at the track, he had to set her on his pony horse all morning at the barn where she could watch the goings-on. If he tried to take her off the horse, she would cry.

In fourth-grade, Teagan’s teacher asked her students to write themselves a letter for the future, and, when they graduated high school, she mailed the letter back to them. In Teagan’s, her fourth-grade self had written, ‘One day, I hope I’ll be a jockey.’

“She wants to ride, so that’s what she’s been doing,” Wes says.

One of the horses Teagan will ride is her father’s. Wes bought Howdoyado from the Heritage Place Fall Mixed Sale last year. The Pappasito mare was bred by Jean Dillard, and was guided by trainer Durk Perry this spring. She found success at Remington Park, then shipped north to find success in Canada. Howdoyado has finished second or better in four of seven starts this year, and added to her career earnings of $30,959. She qualified to the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship after finishing second in the Merial Evergreen Distaff Challenge Championship.

Teagan is also riding Ray Shane and Brian Weatherhill’s CR Strawflyn Bux, who in September won the Canada Cup Futurity (RG3) by 2 1/2 lengths, and in August won the John Deere Evergreen Juvenile Challenge by daylight. He has won three races by a combined 7 lengths, and placed in two more of his seven career starts with earnings of $51,756.

Her other mount is Richard Aldoff’s KR Streakin Version, who qualified for the big race by winning the Bank of America Evergreen Championship Challenge. The 5-year-old gelding began his racing career late, with his first start coming in the summer of his 4-year-old year. He made up for it since, as the stakes winner has won or placed in eight of 13 starts and earned $26,853.

The Canadian invaders bring stakes credentials to the world-class stage, and they will have a huge fan club cheering them on -- and one young jockey will have an awfully proud family backing her up.

The 21st Bank of America Challenge Championships are November 9 at Los Alamitos Race Course at Los Alamitos, California. Watch the festivities live on Q-Racing Video at www.qracingvideo.com and stay tuned to complete coverage from the Q-Racing Journal at www.aqharacing.com.