Sand Wave crowned Southland Horse Of The Year
by Jonny Turner
Sand Wave was crowned 2022 Southland Horse Of The Year and the Southland Harness Awards in Invercargill last night.
During a brilliant three-year-old season the pacer won six of his 13 starts, banking more than $127,000 in stakes for trainer-driver Nathan Williamson and owners the Nine Three Syndicate, the Nude @ Ten Syndicate and Chris Alcock.
Back-to-back victories in the Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes and the Listed Sires Stakes Magnifique, as well as Sand Wave’s third placing in the Group One New Zealand Derby were clearly enough to impress the awards judges.
The now four-year-old headed off a stellar line up of equine talent, with Macandrew Aviator and Hidden Talent also worthy contenders.
Williamson won yet another Southland trainer’s premiership in 2022, but this time he shared the award with good friend Brett Gray.
There was no tie in the driving award with Williamson continuing his run of 15 wins in that category.
Mark Hurrell was a clear winner of Junior Driver Of The Year.
The Williamson trained Hidden Talent, Micaitlen Denario and Rakamurph picked up wins in their respective age-group categories.
The Gray trained Peregrine was Aged Trotter Of The Year.
Gray also took out the award for most wins for a trotting trainer.
Gray’s stable owners Robert and Sharyn Symon were awarded the Achievement Of The Year award.
The couple enjoyed a great year with their horses with Joe’s Rock, Snow Robyn and American Eyretime – the latter two trained by Craig Ferguson.
Joe’s Rock was took out the three-year-old pacing filly of the year award.
The Makarewa Country Club Syndicate was acknowledged for their impact on southern harness racing which spans more than 30 years with the Contribution To Harness Racing Award.
The group has enjoyed strong success over the decades with a long list of horses.
Their best win came in the Group Two Diamond Creek Farm Classic with You’re So Fine in 2021.
Macca Lodge foaling supervisor Allison Jackson was also acknowledged with the Contribution To Harness Racing Award.
Jackson has ensured the safe delivery of foals through the night a Jaccka Lodge and then Macca Lodge for 27 years.
In the breeding categories, Broodmare Of The Year went to Democrat Party the dam of Republican Party, Debutante Party and Advance Party.
Full list of award winners:
SSBA Trophy for leading stake earning fillies and mares
Two-Year-Old - Micaitlen Denario
Three-Year-Old - Hidden Talent
Aged - Peregrine
Two-Year-Old Colt Or Gelding Of The Year - Rakamurph
Contribution To Harness Racing - MCC Syndicate and Allison Jackson
Trainer - Brett Gray and Nathan Williamson
Driver - Nathan Williamson
Junior Driver - Mark Hurrell
Achievement of the Year 2022 - Robert & Sharyn Symon
Robin Dundee Club Three-Year-Old Filly - Joes Rock
Robin Dundee Club Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding - Sand Wave
Caduceus Club Trotter Of The Year - Port Pegasus
Southland SB Breeders Assn New Zealand Record Holders - Switch On and Invitation Only
Southland SB Breeders Assn Fastest Winning Mile Rate for a filly or mare - Joes Rock 1.53.5
Macca Lodge Southland SB Breeders Assn Broodmare Of The Year - Democrat Party
Horse Of The Year - Sand Wave