Wednesday night saw the 2011 Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Annual Awards held at Scone Racecourse.
Freezing weather welcomed guest early in the evening but the marquee was warm and toasty inside.
Hosted again by Sky Channel’s Jo McKinnon, the awards were all richly deserved. There are strict conditions applying to eligibility for award winners with racehorse awards reserved for horses foaled and raised in the Hunter, champion broodmare must be a Hunter resident for a minimum 8 months of the year, Champion 2YO, Champion 3YO and First Season Sire are based on Season To Date results, while the Champion Broodmare and Champion Sire are judged on their most recent rolling 12 months results, from after the end of the previous year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival to the end of this year’s.
The International Animal Health Champion 2YO award was given by IAHP’s Chris Lawlor to the dual Group 1 winning Helmet with the award accepted by Trevor Lobb on behalf of Darley. The Equilaw Solicitors Champion 3YO went to Anacheeva. Antony Thompson, deputising for breeder Tim Bodle of Cambridge NZ, accepted the award from Equilaw’s Daniel Morgan. Xavier Franklin of Goldner’s Horse transport presented the Champion Racehorse award to the breeder of the winner Shocking, Ilala Stud’s George Fraser.
The Scone Equine Hospital Champion Broodmare was awarded to Darley’s dam of Helmet and Bullbars, Accessories. Cameron Collins made the presentation (complete with the now mandatory long green glove) to Darley’s John Sunderland.
Champion First Season Sire, sponsored by Kentucky Equine research and Barastoc in partnership, went to Darley’s Nadeem. Dr Peter Huntington of KER and Brendan Hunt of Barastoc presented this, the third for Darley on the night, to Alastair Pulford.
The Inglis Champion Sire went to Redoute’s Choice. Inglis’ Peter Heagney, all the way from Melbourne, presented this most coveted trophy to Arrowfield’s John Messara.
A special presentation was made by Inglis and HTBA to the breeder of the ill-fated Hot Danish, long a darling of Australian racegoers and a real Sydney favourite. Hot Danish has been the greatest success story of the Inglis HTBA Scone Yearling Sale and her breeder David Parker was thrilled to accept a memento presentation for the wonderful racemare. Joining him in the acceptance was Julie Harris of Holbrook Thoroughbreds, where Hot Danish spent her early years.
Then it was the turn of the “people” awards and Peter O’Brien of Coolmore delivered a most heart warming dedication to the recipient of the Murray Bain Service to Industry Award, Nickie Cramsie. It was a wonderful dedication speech and the acceptance from Nickie was a delightful mixture of dignity, disbelief and humility. Most deserved.
The final award was the prestigious President’s Award. Andrew Reichard of Bluebloods was tasked with the dedication speech – and an entertaining one at that. His dear friend, Emirates Park’s Dr Shalabh Sahu has now joined an illustrious roll of honour and the best part was that he just didn’t see it coming. An emotional and humble acceptance speech followed. Well deserved and long overdue.
Nickie Cramsie collected the main prize in the Lucky Door tickets so what a great night for her and the Arrowfield team won the Bluebloods/Bloodhound Table Quiz and took home 10 X $100 Bloodhound vouchers for their efforts.
Wayne Bedggood closed out the formal proceedings with thanks to Jo McKinnon for a fantastic job of hosting and also Mel Sunderland Executive Officer and the HTBA committee who all did their part to make the evening a great success.
Most in attendance will almost certainly be fronting up for the two days of great racing at Scone this Friday and Saturday while in the meantime the Inglis HTBA Scone Yearling Sale kicks off at 10.30 on Thursday.