The Australian breeding industry celebrated its best and brightest today with five prestigious awards handed out at a ceremony in conjunction with Coolmore Australia’s annual stallion parade.
The event, hosted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA), recognised the outstanding achievements of horses and breeders during the 2016-17 season.
Securing the coveted Champion Australian Sire award was Arrowfield’s Snitzel, who established a new Australian record for progeny earnings, amassing over A$16 million in prize money. Snitzel recorded 26 individual stakes winners for the season, highlighted by G1 winners Russian Revolution, Redzel, Summer Passage and Invader.
Snitzel was also crowned Champion Sire of 2YOs, with eight individual 2-year-old stakes winners for the season and 2-year-old progeny earnings of $4.9 million. “It’s been a wonderful year for Arrowfield and I’d like to thank the whole team there who have done a wonderful job, as they do in all studs," said breeder Alan Jones, who collected the awards on behalf of the stud. "We couldn’t survive without the work of the staff and they do a fantastic job.
“It’s been a remarkable year for Snitzel, he equalled Danehill’s record for the most stakes-winners in a season, which is quite extraordinary, so we are very honoured, very priviledged and very thankful.”
Champion First-Season Sire was awarded to Coolmore’s Pierro. Coolmore’s Tom Magnier, who received the award, said, “On behalf of the shareholders in Pierro, I just want to say thank you to the people here who supported him. He’s got some great mares booked in again this year so the future is very bright for him.”
The highest rated juvenile of his era, Pierro was represented by seven 2-year old winners for the season with G3-winning filly Tulip his best performer.
Australian Broodmare of the Year went to Vegas Showgirl (NZ) for the second year running. Vegas Showgirl is the dam of champion mare Winx, who remains unbeaten in her last 18 starts and is currently rated the world’s best horse on turf, world’s best mare and world’s best middle-distance racehorse.
The final TBA award of the morning, the Aushorse Breeder of the Australian-Bred Exported Racehorse, went to Mr Enrique (Henry) Cojuangco, breeder of the ill-fated Hong Kong champion Rapper Dragon. Australian-bred Rapper Dragon made history during the season by becoming the first horse to sweep the Hong Kong 4-year-old series, winning the Classic Mile, Classic Cup and Hong Kong Derby and earning the title of Hong Kong Horse Of The Year.
Speaking at the awards, which were compered by Caroline Searcy, TBA President Basil Nolan said, “Our industry continues to go from strength to strength and I am delighted that we can gather today to celebrate the success of these outstanding individuals and the contribution they’ve made to the breeding and racing landscape of Australia and the world.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all breeders the best of luck for the upcoming season and I look forward to our industry enjoying another successful year.”
Following the TBA National Awards, Thoroughbred Breeders New South Wales (TBNSW) recognised two other outstanding achievers.
NSW Champion Broodmare Of The Year was awarded to National Colour, dam of South African G1 winners Mustaaqeem and Rafeef. The President's Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented by TBNSW's Les Young to Rob Manwaring, breeder of Capital Gain and Grande Rosso.
TBA award winners
Champion Australian Sire: Snitzel (AUS)
Champion Australian Sire of 2YOs: Snitzel (AUS)
Champion Australian First Season: Pierro (AUS)
Australian Broodmare of the Year: Vegas Showgirl (NZ)
Breeder of the Australian-bred Exported Racehorse of the Year: Enrique Cojuangco