Equilaw celebrates champion 3yo colt Dissident at HTBA Awards

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Equilaw partner, Daniel Morgan, presented the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association award for champion three-year-old colt, Dissident, to his breeders Widden Stud, Mr R Hamer and Mr T Burnett at the 23rd annual HTBA awards night held on 14 May 2014 at the Scone Race Club.


Randwick Guineas (G1) winner, Dissident, has won the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA) champion 3-year-old colt, sponsored by Equilaw Solicitors.

Equilaw partner, Daniel Morgan, presented the award to Dissident’s breeders Widden Stud (pictured with Daniel Morgan are Widden’s Antony Thompson and Ryan McEvoy), Mr R Hamer and Mr T Burnett at the 23rd annual HTBA Awards night held on 14 May 2014 at the Scone Race Club.

He took the opportunity to update the crowd of some of the legal issues that have affected the industry including the McHugh v Australian Jockey Club Limited appeal which found there was no restraint of trade in banning A.I. and in veterinary surgeons that work with race horses were unsuccessful when they appealed Racing NSW requirement they be licensed in Pedrana v Racing NSW.

“Our industry continues to throw up many interesting questions for Equilaw to address,” Mr Morgan said.

The night, hosted by Sky Racing presenter Matt Browning, gets together leaders of the thoroughbred industry to celebrate the achievements of the horses and breeders based in the Hunter Valley as part of the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival and Scone Cup racing carnival.

The HTBA Awards was an important night for the firm, said Ross Cole, also an Equilaw partner.

“Supporting the HTBA is a wonderful way for Equilaw to support the local thoroughbred industry, and honours and acknowledges how significant the Hunter thoroughbred breeding industry is not only in Australia but worldwide,” he said.

“Our sponsorship is also another way we can be return the support to the breeders who form a strong part of our client base.”

The Hunter Valley’s thoroughbred breeding industry contributes over $5 billion to the national economy and $2.4 billion to the NSW economy and the competition is stiff to win an HTBA award as every nominee boasted a Group 1 win.

Other winners

The HTBA Champion 2 year-old colt category, sponsored by International Animal Health was awarded to VRC Sires Produce winner, Zululand, bred by Kia Ora Stud.

Unbeaten Darley Exceed and Excel-filly, Earthquake, winner of the G1 Blue Diamond, took out the HTBA Champion 2 year-old filly category sponsored by the Scone Race Club. Darley’s four times Group 1 winner, Guelph, daughter of champion stallion Exceed and Excel took out HTBA Champion 3-year-old filly category, sponsored by Pages Event Equipment.

The category of HTBA Champion Racehorse, sponsored by JG Goldner Pty Ltd, was hotly contested. Lankan Rupee, bred and raced by Teeley Assets Ltd, winner of the TJ Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, Oakleigh Plate and Coolmore Stud Stakes took out this category inching out multiple Group 1 winners Atlantic Jewel, bred by GJ Perry, and Appearance bred by Darley.

The HTBA Champion Sire category was also strongly contested. Sire of 100 stakes winners, 24 Group 1 winners, two new classics winners, earning prize money of over $10 million, Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice, standing at Arrowfield, took out the category of HTBA Champion Sire sponsored by the HTBA’s major sponsor Inglis. Darley’s 2012-13 Champion Sire Exceed And Excel and Coolmore’s 2011-12 Champion Sire Fastnet Rock, both sires of multiple Group 1 champions earning prize money of $9.3m and $9.2m respectively, came a close second and third.

The category of HTBA Champion First Season Sire, sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, was awarded to brilliant sprinter I Am Invincible standing at Yarraman Park. By Group 1 winning sprinter and champion European sire Invincible Spirit, five time winner I Am Invincible has sired Group and Stakes winners Vinnie Eagle, Fuld’s Bet, Brazen Beau and Bassillique.

The title of HTBA Champion Broodmare was awarded to the well-bred Zabeel mare, Regard, dam of 10-time winner Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 and multiple Stakes winner Commanding Jewel. Regard was owned by Mr GJ Perry. The HTBA Champion Broodmare award was sponsored by the Scone Equine Hospital.

President’s Award for Life Time Achievement

Forty years of dedication and achievement, across two hemispheres, advising the best thoroughbred breeding operations in Australia, the UAE and Asia, the Hon. Henry Plumptre, Managing Director of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Darley operations in Australia was awarded the 2014 HTBA President’s Award for Life Time Achievement.

Murray Bain Service to the Industry Award

And following every Irish person being asked to stand in the room – that being nearly half the people in the room – only one Irish man was asked to remain standing and that was Martin Byrne, as winner of the 2014 Murray Bain Service to the Industry Award. For over thirty years Martin’s service to the industry extended far beyond his ability to influence and shape the nature of the breeding and racing industry to the development and growth of industry leaders including Peter O’Brien (former manager of Coolmore and now manager of the Segenhoe Stud); Craig Anderson (owner of Amarina Stud Farm); Andrew Baddock (current manager of Gooree Stud); Scott Holcombe (former manager of the Woodland’s farm); and the presenter of the award, Brian Nutt (owner of Attunga Stud).

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