Otago Harness Racing Awards results

By Tayler Strong

Eamon Maguire was named Otago Harness Horse of the Year for the 2016-17 season at a function at Forbury Park raceway in Dunedin on Saturday night.

The 3yr-old pacer Eamon Maguire won seven races and $81,455 in stakes during the season. His wins included the Southern Supremacy Stakes Final at Invercargill. He finished third in the New Zealand Derby.

“He is ready to resume racing if we can find our way around the rating system,’’ said his trainer Graeme Anderson, who races the Art Major – Kim Maguire gelding with Brian Sceats, Ray Chalkin, Stephen Pulley, Tony Gow and Pauline Gillan.

Eamon Maguire, rated 90, has not raced since he finished seventh in the Harness Jewels in June.

Motu Time To Shine, Hopes And Dreams and Titan Banner, stablemates of Eamon Maguire, also took awards in the pacing section. Titan Banner was the 2016 Otago Horse of the Year.

Phil Williamson took the 2017 trainer award and his stable scooped the pool  in the trotting section with Majestic Man, Muscle Moment, Bobbins, Zoey’s Gift, Blazing Under Fire, Alderbeck and Monty Python.

Lance Justice, the Victoria trainer, was an entertaining guest speaker on Saturday night when interviewed by master of ceremonies, Jess Smith. His visit was arranged by Vet Equine Otago (principal Peter Gillespie) who sponsored the awards function.

The graphics provided on screen by Matt Smith complemented the presentation.

Jonny Turner, racing writer for the Otago Daily Times,  and judge of the awards, displayed talent as auctioneer when disposing of service fees to Sir Lincoln and Highview Tommy, donated by Alabar and Woodlands Stud respectively.

The Otago awards:


2yo colt/gelding: Majestic Man

3yo  colt/ gelding: Muscle Moment

3yo filly: Zoey’s Gift

4yo entire/gelding: Blazing Under Fire

4yo mare: Alderbeck

5yo + mare: Bobbins

5yo+ entire/gelding: Monty Python


3yo colt/gelding: Eamon Maguire

3yo filly: Motu Time To Shine

4yo entire/gelding: Fiery Ferret

4yo mare: Hopes And Dreams

5yo+ mare: Break Dance

5yo+ entire/gelding: Titan Banner

Trainer: Phil Williamson

Special award 500 wins: Phil Williamson

UDR achievement: Graeme Anderson

Driver: Matthew Wiliamson

Junior driver: Rory McIlwrick

Broodmare excellence: Bethany (dam of Lazarus)

Breeder: Tuapeka Lodge (Dan and Peter Cummings and Julie Davie)

Otago-owned horse: Heaven Rocks

Young achiever: Rory McIlwrick

Significant achievement: Bob Mason (Roxburgh club), Dave Hay (paramedic), Tayler Strong (journalist)

Horse of the Year: Eamon Maguire