Justin Stein is no stranger to Barriere. The 32-year-old jockey grew up in the North Thompson Valley community, and is a graduate of Barriere Secondary.
Stein, now a jockey at Woodbine in Toronto, won the prestigious Queen’s Plate partnered with Strait of Dover, on June 30, in an exciting race that he led from wire-to-wire, and set a track record as well.
With now over 700 career wins as a jockey, this hometown young man is quickly carving himself a place in the history of Canadian Thoroughbred horse racing.
When Stein left Barriere in 2004, to follow a career as a jockey, he started riding at Hasting Park in Vancouver. Within 12 months he was on top in the jockey standings for that track, and continued to be at the top of his game over the next few years.
In that year he and his family made the move across Canada so he could ride at the Woodbine Race track in Toronto; and his success continued, and grew.
In 2005, Stein was named as a finalist for both the 2005 Sovereign Award (Canada’s Top Apprentice) and the Eclipse Award (North America’s Top Apprentice). His 23 per cent win average was the tenth best in all of North America.
Last year he chalked up an amazing 102 wins at Woodbine, putting him fourth in the year-end jockey standings.
Partnering in the Queens Plate with the B.C. bred, raised and owned Thoroughbred, Strait of Dover, a son of English Channel, and owned by Canyon Farms, was an opportunity for Stein that he took to heart, and brought them both into the winners circle.
Stein, and his wife, Renee (also from Barriere), now reside in the Woodbine area with their young family. The couple say their faith, and love for everything horses brought them together and has kept them even closer ever since.