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Jerry Olson Started With A Starting Gate

By Rebecca Roush

Around 40 years ago, quarter horse owner Jerry Olson came across a set of starting gates that were for sale in his home town of Selby, North Dakota. He convinced six of his friends to help him purchase the gates and used them to race saddle horses in a small field. The group bought and sold horses before Olson went on to purchase, and later breed, his own quarter horses.

Olson began to run his horses at tracks throughout the Northwest before making his way to Canterbury Park in 2007. He and his wife, Shirley decided that it was time they try something new with the horses. “We had already run everywhere else around, so we figured we’d try Minnesota too,” he said.

The Olson’s have had a couple of quarter horses racing on average each year and their horses have won 32 of 232 starts. The Q’s have also brought in more than $190,000 in earnings.

“Owning horses is more of a hobby for us,” Olson said. Between working on their cattle ranch year round and driving to the races any chance they have, Olson says they “hardly have time for anything else.”

The Olson’s have worked with trainer, Randy Weidner since 2013 and have “had success with him since,” said Olson.

“I always have good stock and a great working, and almost family-like, relationship with the Olson’s,” Weidner commented.

One of Olson’s favorite parts about horse ownership is not only having his horses win, but also seeing other owners have success. “I enjoy seeing people have a good time at the races, even if my horse doesn’t do well,” he said.

A piece of advice that Olson offers to someone thinking about buying a horse for the first time is to “try finding a horsemen who knows what they are doing to help guide you through the process.”

For more information on horse ownership, please visit and use the keyword “ownership.”