Winx crowned Hunter Horse of the Year again

3 min read

Champion mare Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) has won the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Horse of the Year title for the fourth consecutive year.

The award was sponsored by the Scone Race Club while, also for the fourth year running, the great mare’s dam Vegas Showgirl (NZ) (Al Akbar {NZ}) was named the Scone Equine Hospital Champion Broodmare, sponsored by the Scone Equine Hospital.

“The Hunter Valley is Australia’s premier thoroughbred breeding region and horse capital,” HTBA President Dr Cameron Collins said.

“It is Australia’s jewel in the thoroughbred breeding crown. The breadth and depth of talent of our people and the success of our equine athletes is world renowned. We are immensely proud to recognise their achievements at the annual awards.

Vegas Showgirl

“This year’s equine athlete categories were once again strongly contested. It is both humbling and inspiring to acknowledge that our 2019 Champion Racehorse, is a national and international icon.”

“It is Australia’s jewel in the thoroughbred breeding crown. “ – Dr Cameron Collins.

The International Animal Health Top 2-year-old Colt award was won by Microphone (Exceed And Excel) and the Champion 2-year-old Coprice Filly award went to the G1 Golden Slipper S. heroine Kiamichi (Sidestep).

The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) won the Morgan & English Champion 3-year-old Colt (Morgan & English) and Sunlight (Zoustar) was named the Pages Events Champion 3-year-old Filly.

The Inglis Champion Sire award went to Arrowfield Stud’s Snitzel, the sires’ premiership winner in 2017 and 2018 with all-time record Australian earnings of $16.2 million, joining sire Redoute’s Choice and grandsire Danehill (USA) to complete Australia’s only three-generation sequence of champion sires.

The 2 and 3-year-old sires’ categories belonged to him too, and he headed all three lists by winners, stakes winners and stakes wins.

Coolmore’s Rubick was awarded the Kentucky Equine Research Champion First Season Sire title.

People Awards

Other honours presented included the Murray Bain Service to Industry Award, which was awarded to Julie Harris. The award honours the outstanding achievements of those in our industry who champion exceptional service to industry and hands-on practice.

Harris is well known and highly respected throughout the industry for her knowledge and dedication. Through a successful partnership with West Australian breeder Bob Peters, numerous top horses have been bred at Holbrook under the guidance of Harris.

An active member of the Scone community, Harris is respected as a wonderful mentor to young industry participants.

The Employee of the Year Awards in Administration and Horsemanship were awarded to Bo Ritson and Nigel Bentley respectively.

Bo Ritson has been a valued and critical member of the Kitchwin Hills Stud for nearly two decades. Her management of client relations is highly respected in the Hunter Valley community. She was described as "taking every day at Kitchwin Hills with enthusiasm and dedication."

Long-time Arrowfield employee Nigel Bentley secured the horsemanship award. Bentley has been a senior staff member at Arrowfield for 12 years and was recognised by his peers as "a wonderful horseman" and "totally committed to every horse in his care".

His lifelong equine experience, patience and affinity, especially with young horses and difficult mares, as well as his ability to teach novice staff has made him a key member of Arrowfield's Stud Management team.