Jay Duke Equestrian
|Hometown:||Whistler, British Columbia|
|Occupation:||Clinician, Course Designer|
Jay Duke began his riding career as a four-year-old instructed by his mother, well-known Alberta coach Cheryl Anderson. His father, Fred Duke, also knows his way around horses - he’s a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame for cutting horses.
Jay began showing on the 'A' circuit at the tender age of eight and enjoyed an illustrious competitive career. In 1986, he was a member of Alberta’s bronze medal show jumping team at the Continental Young Riders’ Championships and was also a four-time Canadian Junior Champion in both the hunter and jumper rings. Jay ended capped off his successful junior career in 1987 by winning the Junior Jumper Championship at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament as well as claiming the Junior Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament.
Having spent many winters competing in California, Jay relocated there in 1993 to ride and train full-time. As the result of a very successful 1994 season, which included winning the Leading Male Rider title at the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ tournament, Jay was named to the Canadian Equestrian Team and made his Nations’ Cup debut at the Washington International Horse Show in Washington, D.C. He went on to represent Canada in Nations’ Cup competition at the iconic National Horse Show as well as on home ground at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show.
In 1999, Jay was appointed trainer at Castle Cliff Farm in Sedalia, CO, just outside of Denver. It was there that he added success in the hunter ring to his résumé by training horses such as King David and Caymus, both of which went on to claim USEF Horse of the Year titles. Jay Duke returned to Calgary in 2006 and continued what he considered to be his calling; developing young horses in the jumper ring.
His success stories include the likes of Mister Brown, a horse that came straight off the track and went on to represent Canada internationally. He also developed and campaigned a young horse named Grappa, earning the Five-Year-Old Jumper Development Western Canadian Championship in 2009. That horse was renamed Mindful, and is now one of the most successful high performance and hunter derby horses in North American under rider Kelley Farmer.
In 2014, Jay hung up his show coat and retired from competition, turning his focus toward other endeavors. Today, he wears two hats as a senior course designer with Equestrian Canada as well as a sought-after clinician, sharing his knowledge of training, riding, and competing across all levels at clinics throughout North America.