The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association held their annual awards night on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at the Scone Racecourse. Hosted by TVN’s Caroline Searcy, more than 300 guests representing the Who’s Who of Hunter Valley breeding, were treated to a glittering evening which saw the best horses in the country honoured for their deeds, and recognition given to people who have made notable contributions to the thoroughbred industry.
The Inglis Champion Sire went to Coolmore’s Encosta de Lago, ahead of Redoute’s Choice and More Than Ready. Mark Webster CEO of Inglis spoke of Inglis’ long association with Hunter Breeders and presented the award to Tom Magnier of Coolmore who remarked that it was on “this night seven years ago we lost Danehill.” In Encosta de Lago, Coolmore look to have a stallion worthy of such comparison.
The President’s Award for outstanding contribution at the highest level was given to the Ingham Family of Woodlands and Crown Lodge fame. John Ingham represented the Ingham family and accepted the award from President Wayne Bedggood and former Woodlands manager Peter Flynn. As John Ingham was making his way to the stage, footage of Lonhro’s astounding last stride win in the Australian Cup was played – to the delight of the audience and John.
Helen Sinclair CEO of Scone Race Club was named as the recipient of the Murray Bain Service to Industry Award for her tireless contribution to the Hunter thoroughbred industry. Daniel Morgan, President of Scone Race Club made the presentation speech in which Helen’s contributions to the industry were outlined. A most deserving winner, Helen said she was so pleased to receive the honour that she would “throw a big party this Friday at the racecourse”. Friday of course meaning Scone Cup Day!
The International Animal Health 2YO of the Year went to Phelan Ready, bred at Kitchwin Hills Scone, by Carl Holt, and the presentation was made by Peta Johnson representing IAH. Other contenders were Manhattan Rain and Onemorenomore. Samantha Miss won the Ladd Hudson Architects 3YO of the Year. Samantha Miss was bred by New Zealanders Gary and Lynn Witters at Willow Park Stud, Scone. John Ladd Hudson, whose architectural work includes Darley Kelvinside and Darley Victoria as well as Brooklyn Lodge, presented Witters and Glenn Burrows of Willow Park with the trophy. Gary made reference to how much he enjoyed his association with Willow Park – and Australians generally – in an entertaining acceptance speech. Other contenders were Northern Meteor and Whobegotyou.
The Goldner’s Horse Transport Champion Racehorse went to Theseo. Xavier Franklin of Goldners made the presentation to Dr Sahu of Emirates Park Stud, the breeders of Theseo who is by the Emirates stallion Danewin. Sahu thanked Gai Waterhouse and Star Thoroughbreds for the marvellous way in which they have guided Theseo through his career and also thanked the staff at Emirates. Other contenders were All Silent and Samantha Miss.
Tracy’s Element took out the Scone Veterinary Hospital Broodmare of the Year. The dam of Typhoon Tracy and Red Element, Tracy’s Element is owned by Hutchins Thoroughbreds and Peter Orton of Vinery accepted on their behalf from Scone Vet partner and HTBA Committeeman Cameron Collins. Peter said that he was particularly pleased to receive an award from Scone Veterinary Hospital considering the amount of work they send their way! Other contenders in a stunning field of candidates were Palia, dam of Onemorenomore; Shantha’s Choice dam of Manhattan Rain, Redoute’s Choice, Platinum Scissors and Sliding Cube; and Staging, dam of Duporth, Excites and Tickets. The Champion First Season Sire Award went to Arrowfield’s Charge Forward. The amusing acceptance speech for Charge Forward was made by Arrowfield’s Sam Fairgray. Other contenders were Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock and Kitchwin Hills’ Dane Shadow.
As each award was made TVN footage of the contenders and each winner was played on multiple monitors around the marquee. Guest Speaker for the evening was a very entertaining James Bester. His stories of characters in the industry meant that in many cases the names had to be omitted to protect the guilty. As he remarked early in his address, “many of these characters are in the room tonight so anonymity is essential”.
Winners of the Bluebloods Trivia Quiz this year went to “Coolmore Table 2” chaired by Tony O’Driscoll. TVN’s host for the evening Caroline Searcy also presented a highlights package from the awards in the following week’s edition of Thoroughbreds – a gesture greatly appreciated. The HTBA now has a new website produced by Ardex. Go to www.htba.com.au and have a look.