By Mari Ballinger
Matt Crawford may be new to Canterbury Park, but he has a surplus of experience in the racing industry. Crawford became Director of Racing and Racing Secretary at Canterbury Park earlier this year, but his love for horses started in 1968 when his dad first introduced him to the sport.
With summers spent at Ruidoso Downs with his dad, Crawford learned the ins and outs of the racing industry.
Crawford earned his trainer’s license in 1980 in California. He started with only eight horses, but that number quickly escalated to around 45 horses within just seven years.
As one can imagine, training horses comes with a rollercoaster of a ride and Crawford decided to pursue a different role. Although Crawford’s status as a racehorse trainer came to an end, he has the great memory of the horse Big Sturgeon to reminisce on. Big Sturgeon won nine of 34 starts from 1986 through 1989 including several stakes, and ended his career with more than $200,000 in earnings.
Crawford began working in the racing office at Lone Star Park in Texas. It was from there that he knew the racing office was his calling.
Crawford loves Canterbury Park because of the infectious smiles, good energy, and his fellow racing fanatics. As racing secretary, he tries to meet the needs of the owners and trainers while writing competitive races for the bettors as well.
After a Minnesota summer filled with horse racing and fishing, his other passion, Crawford will travel back to his home in Fort Worth, Texas.