Matter of Interest - TRSA Awards
Wednesday 23 September, 2015
Recently I had the privilege of attending the annual industry awards of Thoroughbred Racing South Australia. This gala evening recognised the talent of the sport's high achievers and also inducted an outstanding racehorse into the South Australian Racing Horse Hall of Fame. I would like to acknowledge a few of the human and equine award winners of the evening. The 2014-15 Champion Racehorse of the Year was Hucklebuck, an outstanding horse worthy of much praise. Hucklebuck boasts eight wins from 14 starts, securing three first places in the 2014-15 racing season. Consistency is not only a desirable characteristic in a racehorse but one which is so important that it is acknowledged through the Most Consistent Racehorse award. However, there was not just one consistent racehorse but a tie for the award. Swinging Arms and Go Dreaming were both very deserving winners and thoroughly deserved the accolade. Swinging Arms is an incredibly consistent horse, with five wins in the 2014-15 season and three third placings. Go Dreaming secured six wins, was second five times and placed third twice. Clearly, these two horses have been consistently placing in the top three of numerous races and are incredibly worthy of this award. However, this was not the only highlight of the evening. An outstanding jockey was awarded not only the John Letts Medal, which recognises excellence in riding and exceptional achievements across all race meetings in the state, but also the South Australian Jockey of the Year. I am incredibly proud of Ms Claire Lindop, a courageous and talented jockey. It is great to recognise her success in returning to racing after a horrific accident during last year's Adelaide Cup, where she sustained a broken collarbone and broken ribs. Matthew Neilson, a jockey not unfamiliar with receiving awards as he too has received the Jockey of the Year award, was recognised as the Provincial and Country Jockey of the Year. Not only are jockeys and racehorses important to the industry, but so is the person who puts in an incredible amount of hard work, and that is the trainer. The Metropolitan Trainer of the Year award was given to the highly competent Phillip Stokes, and the Provincial and Country Trainer of the Year was David Jolly. In addition to this, Phillip Stokes was also the recipient of the South Australian Trainer of the Year award. The Apprentice Jockey of the Year award is becoming increasingly significant in racing. It encourages and rewards the younger generations' participation and talent in the industry, ensuring that racing remains an integral aspect of South Australian culture and also an enormous employer. This award went to Jake Toeroek, a young man with great potential in this industry. Jake achieved two international wins at Kranji in Singapore during August this year. Emily Finnegan was the recipient of the country equivalent, the Provincial and Country Apprentice Jockey of the Year award. I have to say that she is a very charming young Irish woman who conducts herself incredibly well. Stephen Pateman received the medal for Jumps Jockey of the Year with 25 wins in the last 12 months, and Eric Musgrove's efforts were acknowledged through his win as the Jumps Trainer of the Year. The coveted Most Outstanding Achievement by a Club award was given to the Port Augusta Racing Club. It was extremely pleasing to see a country club's efforts recognised. This racing club has been providing the region with a racing facility since 1881 and hosts nine different racing events each year for all to enjoy. It is incredibly well patronised and incredibly professionally run. The Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual award was given to Mr Trevor Trenowden (affectionately known as Bushy), a trainer very worthy of this award. Becoming worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame is not an easy feat but, with Storm Queen winning eight races in a row in her first year of racing in 1966, this title is thoroughly deserved. Trainer Ab Macdonald was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for his outstanding efforts. A category of awards unlike the others acknowledges significant achievements of individuals in the media. The Best Racing Story Award went to Lincoln Moore for his story in The Advertiser about cousins Chris Burdon and Martin Connor, who paid $6,000 for a 5 per cent share in the then unraced galloper Brazen Beau. The horse went on to become one of Australia's best racehorses. Photographer Terry Hann received the Best Racing Picture Award. The awards night was a very enjoyable event, and it was great to see the stars and the hard work of the industry being recognised. I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to Thoroughbred Racing chair, Ms Frances Nelson QC, and the incredibly competent chief executive Mr Jim Watters. I wish the TRSA, all award winners and the entire industry the best of luck for a successful season.