Sundees Son - Horse of the Year
Trotting superstar Sundees Son has been named Harness Racing New Zealand's Horse of the Year.
More than 30 awards were presented for the 2020-21 season at Addington Raceway on Saturday night. The function had been delayed several times because of Covid restrictions and was held in two pods of up to 100 people each, in the Terror To Love and Silks Lounges.
With 11 wins from 17 starts in 2021, Sundees Son was the country's premier performer including a record-breaking win in the Dominion. The Majestic Son seven-year-old is poised to be harness racing's next millionaire. Currently his earnings stand at $999,667.
Sundees Son was first awarded Trotter of the Year and then breeder Colin Hair was back accepting the ultimate accolade, Horse of the Year.
"He's not really our horse, he's everyone's horse," Hair said.
Pacer of the Year was not so clear cut as three-year-old filly Bettor Twist prevailed over the likes of Krug, Amazing Dream, Copy That and Self Assured.
She won 12 from 19 in 2021 including seven Group Ones, highlighted by the Rosslands Stud Queen Of Hearts and the Dunstan Horse Feeds 3YO Diamond at the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June.
Bettor Twist's breeder Breckon Farms pipped Hair for Breeder of the Year while the leading driver and trainer of the year were once again Blair Orange and Robert Dunn. Orange has now won the drivers' premiership for the past four years while Dunn's training premiership win was his second in a row.
Tony Abell was honoured for his outstanding contribution to harness racing. A leading and successful administrator and breeder for half a century his influence is felt throughout the sport. There are so many achievements, among them he was a key figure in the establishment of the Sires' Stakes Board and just last year was integral to reshaping the racing calendar. In 2005 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Driver John Morrison won people's choice for the Best Moment of the Season. This was for his emotional 50th race win which he dedicated to his number one fan, nine-year-old Charlotte McLeod who just days earlier had lost her battle with cancer. Morrison flourished his whip as he crossed the line and proudly showed off his helmet, which carried the brave youngster's name.
The full list of winners :
|Hanley Formula||2YO Trotting Filly Of The Year||Double Delight|
|Phil & Glenys Kennard||2YO Pacing Filly Of The Year||True Fantasy|
|gavelhouse.com||2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Of The Year||Highgrove|
|Tyre General||2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding Of The Year||Akuta|
|Harness Racing NZ||3YO Trotting Filly Of The Year||Time Up The Hill|
|Captain Crunch||3YO Pacing Filly Of The Year||Bettor Twist|
|Dunstan Horse Feeds||3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Of The Year||Five Wise Men|
|Garrards Horse & Hound||3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding Of The Year||Krug|
|Summer at the Trots||4YO Trotting Mare Of The Year||Rain Mist And Muscle|
|Breckon Farms||4YO Pacing Mare Of The Year||Amazing Dream|
|hrnz.co.nz||4YO Trotting Entire or Gelding Of The Year||Bolt For Brilliance|
|Brandwear||4YO Pacing Entire or Gelding Of The Year||Copy That|
|What The Hill||5YO & Older Trotting Mare Of The Year||Dark Horse|
|HERO||5YO & Older Pacing Mare Of The Year||Cheezel|
|Cambridge Raceway||5YO & Older Trotting Entire or Gelding Of The Year||Sundees Son|
|Woodlands Stud||5YO & Older Pacing Entire or Gelding Of The Year||Self Assured|
|The Breeders||Trotting Broodmare Of The Year||Stardon|
|The Breeders||Pacing Broodmare Of The Year||Twist And Twirl|
|The Breeders||Breeder Of The Year||Breckon Farms|
|Majestic Horse Floats||Trotting Stallion Of The Year||Muscle Hill|
|Auckland Trotting Club||Pacing Stallion Of The Year||Bettor's Delight|
|Addington Raceway||Owner Of The Year||Jean Feiss|
|Southern Harness||Leading Junior Driver||John Morrison|
|Cruickshank Family||Leading Junior Driver - UDR||Devon van Til|
|Team Bagrie||Leading Driver||Blair Orange|
|Lone Star Spitfire/Riccarton/Manchester & Alex Park||Leading Trainer||Robert Dunn|
|SENZ||Trotter Of The Year||Sundees Son|
|Diamond Racing||Pacer Of The Year||Bettor Twist|
|IRT||Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing||Tony Abell|
|NZB Standardbred||Horse Of The Year||Sundees Son|
|Harness Racing Unhinged||Best Moment Of The Season||John Morrison winning his 50th race and dedicating it to Charlotte McLeod|
|Harness Racing NZ||Outstanding Contribution to Life After Racing||Claire Madden|