Cam Ziprick has led all Manitoba breeders close to 15 years and he is in the midst of his best couple of years thanks to the exploits of the amazing Escape Clause, the Sovereign Award winner for Champion Older Mare in Canada in 2018 who he co-bred with Barry Arnason.
Ziprick and Arnason will be honoured by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) in Kentucky at its 34th annual awards dinner on Sep. 7 as the Canadian Breeders of the Year. But first things first, Ziprick wants to promote Manitoba racing and the upcoming CTHS Manitoba yearling sale on Aug. 11.
You just found out that you and Barry will be honoured as Canadian Breeders of the Year at the TOBA Awards in Kentucky in September. How does that feel?
“I have been in this a long time, 20 years, and getting acknowledged as a breeder for all of Canada puts icing on the cake. For a truly Manitoba program to be recognized in Kentucky is unheard of. This is because of the success of Escape Clause, a mare whose sire, dam, and grandsire and granddam we own(ed). As far as I’m concerned, this is a lifetime achievement award.”
Escape Clause is a daughter of your stallion Going Commando (Unbridled’s Song—Regal Miss Copelan, by Copelan) from your mare Danger Pay, by Circulating. She was a multiple Manitoba champion before heading to the U.S. and becoming a graded stakes winner and Grade 1 placed. Has she given lots of notice to Manitoba-breds?
“I am thankful she came along when she did, it is fun to get acknowledged. Escape Clause turned herself into a champion. She started to win (at Assiniboia Downs) so easily she took that confidence to the States. It would have been different for this year, I think, if her sire and dam had been younger. Going Commando is 19-years-old now and has a sore hip. He doesn’t breed outside mares anymore, just a few for us. But we’re pretty small here in Manitoba so the recognition is fun. As far as bringing more business? Not really. But we have a great program here in Manitoba.”
How do you feel about the upcoming CTHS Manitoba sale (Aug. 11)?
“There are 41 horses in the catalogue this year and that is a good number for us. I don’t think we have that many buyers. We have a few big buyers, but they tend to fight over a few yearlings. The track is in pretty good standing right now with good purses and the stakes races all got a $5,000 increase. I can’t see why it won’t be a good sale. We just have to try and make new trainers and owners aware of how good the Manitoba-bred program is here. At the CTHS level we plan on having some luncheons and events to talk to some of the U.S. trainers that come up here to race in stakes and try to get them to buy Manitoba-breds. If you race here, you might as well have Manitoba-breds. Our track is like everywhere else, we are short of horses so we need more owners.”
Tell us about your consignment for this year’s sale. Your offerings include full sisters to Escape Clause and to Hidden Grace, an undefeated filly this year you co-own with Barry Arnason and Charles Fouillard.
“I have 15 catalogued but the full sister to Escape Clause is going to sell at Keeneland September in Lexington.
The ones in my consignment I have in partnership with Charlie Fouillard and my kids have a couple in there, too. We’re starting to get them involved a little bit. Yes, I have a full sister to Hidden Grace (Going Commando–Hidden Pioneer by Pioneering). I don’t know how good she is, she hasn’t really been tested yet. She will head for the Manitoba Oaks. I have two Alberta-breds that I kept for this sale and one is a really nice filly by Dominus (Smart Strike) from a mare I bought in Ontario, Runaway Delite by Mineshaft. The past year we bred some of our better mares to our stallion True Sense (Street Cry—Ire), a full brother to Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, and this is his first full crop from decent mares. I am kind of excited about him. I don’t know if I will get the response but I think they will go to the track and wake people up.”
You have seen trainers ship in for stakes races at Assiniboia, so is it just about getting the word out?
“Well, you can’t hold people by the hand, but really, if they want to race here, why not get a Manitoba-bred to add to the stable? I don’t really understand why people don’t do it. I hope that we can create some interest. I have had good success running them myself and if people don’t buy them, then I will and keep on winning!”