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HTBA’s 26th Annual Awards Night
11 May 2017 | Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association 

The 2017 thoroughbred champions were announced at the HTBA’s 26th Annual Awards Night held at Australia’s Horse Capital in Scone. Over 350 industry leaders, clients, sponsors, supplies and VIPs came together to commemorate the Hunter’s champion equine athletes.

“The Hunter Valley is Australia’s thoroughbred capital. It is the birthplace of 1 in every 2 thoroughbred race horses every year and is renown the world over for breeding champion equine athletes. We are very proud of our people and our thoroughbred champions and tonight we recognise their exceptional achievements ” Dr Cameron Collins said.

Every year every category is highly contested and this year proved no exception.

The 2017 HTBA Champion 2 year-old-filly was awarded to She Will Reign, bred by Mr Gary Bachell. 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign was sired by Arrowfield’s Manhattan Rain, out of Courgette. The 2-year-old filly award was sponsored by Scone Race Club and accepted by breeder Gary Bachell.

The 2017 HTBA Champion 2 year-old colt, sponsored by International Animal Health Products was awarded to multiple Group 1 winner, Invader bred by Mr M A Pitt. Sired by Arrowfield’s Snitzel, out of Flame of Sydney, Invader won the 2017 Inglis Sires Stakes. Mr Paul Messara accepted the award on behalf of Mr Pitt.

The 2017 HTBA Champion 3 year-old filly was awarded to Foxplay. Sired by Foxwedge, out of Butters and bred by SF Bloodstock, Foxplay was the winner of the Group1 2017 Coolmore Legacy Stakes. Sponsored by Pages Event Hire the award was accepted by Mr Henry Field.

The 2017 HTBA Champion 3 year-old colt was awarded to Group 1 Golden Rose winner Astern. The son of Darley’s Megalia D’Oro, out of Essaouira, Astern was bred by Godolphin. The HTBA Champion 3 year-old colt award was sponsored by Morgan and English Commercial Lawyers Solicitors and accepted by Mr Alistair Pulford.

For the second year in a row the 2017 HTBA Champion Racehorse was awarded to the Hunter’s golden girl and Australia’s darling of the racecourse, multiple Group 1 winner, Winx. Sired by Darley stallion Street Cry out of Vegas Showgirl, Winx was bred by Fairway Thoroughbreds and raised and grazed at Coolmore stud. With 17 straight wins to her name, Winx has beaten the mighty Phar Lap’s winning streak, was named Australian Racehorse of the year in 2015/16 and the world’s best horse on turf at Longines World’s Best Racehorse Awards in London in January 2017. The 2017 HTBA Champion Racehorse award was sponsored by Goldners, and accepted on behalf of Fairway Thoroughbreds by Mr Fergal Connelly.

The 2017 HTBA Champion Broodmare was awarded, for the second year running, to Vegas Showgirl owned by Fairway Thoroughbreds and dam of champions Winx and El Divino. The 2017 HTBA Champion Broodmare award was sponsored by the Scone Equine Hospital and accepted by Mr Peter O’Brien on behalf of Fairway Thoroughbreds.

Australian two-year old Triple Crown winner and Australia’s highest rated Australian juvenile since 1997, Pierro was awarded the 2017 HTBA Champion First Season Sire Award. Son of Darley’s champion stallion Lonhro, out of Miss Right Note, Pierro’s first crop of 2 year-olds already include winners such as Tulip, Pierata and Pierone. The 2017 HTBA Champion first season sire award was sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research & Ridley Barastoc Partnership and accepted by Mr Sebastian Hutch.

The 2017 HTBA Champion Sire was awarded to Arrowfield’s champion stallion Snitzel. Son of Arrowfield’s champion stallion Redoute’s Choice, out of Snippets’ Lass, and grandson of the legendary Danehill, multiple Group 1 winner Snitzel has sired 59 Stakes winners and 10 Group 1 winners including Invader, Russian Revolution, Snitzerland, Summer Passage and Heavenly Blue. The 2017 HTBA Champion Sire award was sponsored by William Inglis & Son and accepted by Mr Paul Messara.

The 2017 HTBA Employee of the Year (Administration) Award winner is Ms Michelle Nichols, Stud Office Manager, Arrowfield. Highly regarded and respected by her colleagues Michelle’s long and loyal service, high integrity, impeccable accuracy, diligence and corporate knowledge earned her the reputation of being “the walking encyclopedia” at Arrowfield. For the past two decades, through her exceptional skills, dedication and loyalty, Michelle has demonstrated complete commitment to, and involvement in, the Arrowfield business.

The 2017 HTBA Employee of the Year (Horsemanship) Award winner is Mr Daniel Krzanic (Stallions, Yearlings & Transport) Coolmore Australia. Daniel has been part of the Coolmore team since Coolmore’s inception in Australia over 20 years ago. Totally loyal and dedicated, Daniel is considered one of the “unsung heroes” of the Coolmore team. His horsemanship and affinity with horses is exceptional. Daniel’s appreciation of caring for elite athletes ensures outstanding performance year in year out. His professionalism, reliability, work ethic, positive attitude, and passion for horsemanship not only epitomizes the many roles he performs, it is an essential part of the presentation of yearlings at all major sales and a shining example to younger staff, many of whom he mentors. Daniel is an outstanding team member of the Coolmore stud farm and is a very deserving winner of this year’s award.

The Murray Bain Service to Industry Award honours the outstanding achievements of those in our industry who champion exceptional service to industry and hands-on best practice. This year’s Murray Bain Service to Industry Award recipient, Mr Mike Thew has exemplified hands-on best practice and shared this passion and commitment with the many people he has worked with, trained and mentored throughout his career.

It is with heartfelt sadness and the upmost honour that the 2017 HTBA President’s Award for Life Time Achievement was awarded posthumously to Mr Noel Leckie.


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