About the Owners

Jeff and Deb Hilger are Minnesota Thoroughbred race horse breeders and owners, with over 55 yrs. of combined horse ownership experience.  In 2011, the Hilgers were honored by their peers with the induction into the Canterbury Park Hall of Fame as outstanding breeders.  The Minnesota Thoroughbred Association selected the Hilgers as Members of the Year in 2015.

Additionally, the Hilgers have earned industry wide recognition and the following distinctions as both breeder & owner:

  • MN 2 yr. older Male of the Year 1998 – Bleu Victoriate
  • MN 3 yr. older Male of the Year 1999 – Bleu Victoriate
  • Canterbury Park Male of the Year 1999 – Bleu Victoriate
  • MN Bred Older Male – 4 yr. old & up – Bleu Victoriate
  • MN HBPA Horse of the Year 2000 – Bleu Victoriate
  • MN HBPA Owner of the Year – 2000 – Bleu Victoriate
  • MN Broodmare of the Year 1998 – Bleu Turquoise
  • MN Broodmare of the Year 2000 – Bleu Turquoise
  • National TOBA Award 1999 – Outstanding MN Breeder
  • National TOBA Award 2000 – Outstanding MN Breeder
  • National TOBA Award 2001 – Outstanding MN Breeder
  • National TOBA Award 2010 – Outstanding MN Breeder
  • Charles Bellingham Breeders Award – MN Leading Breeder in 2000
  • Charles Bellingham Breeders Award – MN Leading Breeder in 2010
  • MN Canterbury Park Older Mare  2005 – Bleu’s Apparition
  • MN 3 yr. old Male of the Year 2008 (Breeder) – Cubfanbudman
  • MN 2 yr. old Minnesota Bred filly 2008 – Chick Fight
  • MN 3 yr. old Minnesota Bred filly 2009 – Chick Fight
  • MN HBPA Horse of the Year 2009 – Chick Fight
  • MN 2 yr. old Minnesota Bred filly 2010 – Esprit de Bleu
  • Canterbury Park Hall of Fame – Outstanding Breeders 2011
  • MN 2015 Older Female of the Year – Rockin the Bleu’s

Jeff Hilger  is a long time member of the HBPA.  He has served the HBPA Board as Director, Vice President, Chairman of the Negotiating Committee, and Chairman of the Legislative Committee.  He has tirelessly promoted racing in the state and lobbied for industry needs.  In the Fall of 2011, Jeff was retained to  represent the Racino effort at the Legislative level.  As President of the Equine Development Coalition of Minnesota, Jeff was relentless in bringing awareness of the struggling MN equine industry and the resulting negative economic impact and loss of jobs to the state.  He was instrumental in the passage of the Purse Enhancement Bill in the House and Senate.  This subsequently led to an unprecedented and historical agreement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Souix Community (SMSC).  This is a cooperative ten year agreement providing approximately $75 million dollars in direct purse enhancements combined with $8.5 million in joint marketing funds between SMSC and Canterbury Park.  This agreement effectively doubles purses at Canterbury Park.

Deb Hilger managed the day to day operations at Bleu Valley Farm for 16 years when it functioned as a breeding, foaling & boarding facility for Thoroughbred & Quarterhorse race horses.  She has been a horse owner for over 40 years, breeding, foaling and raising quality Thoroughbred and Warmblood foals.  Her knowledge of reproductive procedures, nutritional science and veterinary care protocol provided invaluable experience and meticulous attention to horse health and welfare issues.  Deb focused specifically on the proper development of Thoroughbred equine athletes through nutrition and superior horse care management.