Pina, Packer share honor as top Quarter Horse Jockey for 2016

It’s been a big year for Quarter Horse jockey Rolando Pina. Earlier this season, he scored his first stakes win aboard Parti Favor and the stakes win was followed up by other stakes wins aboard CB Come Fly With Me and Stinkin Rich. Pina and Berkley Packer tied atop the standings with 28 wins apiece to share the honor as the meet’s top Quarter Horse jockeys for 2016 at Indiana Grand.

Rolando Pina (Center) is presented with the Leading Quarter Horse Jockey award, an honor he will share with Berkley Packer for 2016. Pina and Packer each scored 28 wins during the 2016 meet to lead the standings. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Rolando Pina (Center) is presented with the Leading Quarter Horse Jockey award, an honor he will share with Berkley Packer for 2016. Pina and Packer each scored 28 wins during the 2016 meet to lead the standings. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 Pina rode first call for Trainer Joe Davis, who also had a breakout year and finished third in the trainer standings. Pina has been a threat then entire season and has traded the top spot with both Packer and Cesar Esqueda several times.

 Pina and Packer ended their seasons with 28 wins apiece to equal the record for most wins by a Quarter Horse jockey in one season, which was set in 2013 by Harold Collins. Pina moves into the top 25 all-time leading Quarter Horse jockeys this year in only his third season of riding at Indiana Grand.

 “I want to thank Joe Davis and all the owners for this opportunity,” said Pina. “I never thought I would ever be able to do this. It’s been a great year.”

 Packer, a seasoned rider, spent his second season riding at Indiana Grand. He came into the 2015 meet halfway through the 120-day season and immediately started winning races. He rode first call for Leading Quarter Horse trainer Randy Smith and had several stakes wins during the meet, including wins aboard Beach Cartel, Three-Year-Old Quarter Horse of the Year in 2015. The Idaho native plans to return in the spring of 2017 for another season of Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana. Packer left the meet early and was unavailable for the awards ceremony on closing night.

 Racing dates for 2017 will be approved and announced soon by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.