Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:00

Alberta Thoroughbred Industry Champions Celebrated at Night of Champions

Written by Lindsay Ward – CTHS Alberta

The 40th Anniversary of the Night of Champions was held this past Saturday at the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton. 175 Thoroughbred owners, breeders, trainers, riders and fans were in attendance to hear the results of the 2013 Award presentations.

This annual event was founded by the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Northlands Park and the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

The night was a great celebration of the accomplishments of the people and horses involved in the Alberta racing industry over the previous season.

The Ted Connor Memorial Trophy for Champion Alberta Bred award went to For Cash owned by Lyle and Phylis Farkash. This gelding by Stephen Got Even earned $216,624 last season with wins in four races including a victory in the 2013 Beaufort Stakes.

Broadway Empire was awarded both the 2013 Horse of the Year trophy sponsored by Horse Racing Alberta and the Champion Three Year Old Colt trophy sponsored by Galileo Equine Insurance. This outstanding gelding by Empire Maker earned over $400,000 in his first year on the track with wins in the Canadian Derby and the Ky Alta Handicap for owners Randy Howg, Bob Butz, Fouad El Kardy and Rick Running Rabbit.

The Ken Cohoe Trophy for Horseperson of the Year was awarded to longtime trainer and horseman Red McKenzie who had a great turn out of his family and friends at the event.

Dave Nicholson won the Backstretch Appreciation Award in recognition of outstanding service by a backstretch employee sponsored by Dr. Jodi Kendrew and Dr. Steve Smith.

The Groom of the Year Award sponsored by the Horse Racing Alberta backstretch foundation was awarded to Misty MacDonald. Leading Jockey went to Rico Walcott for the third season straight for his impressive 148 wins and $1,902,142 in earnings in the 2013 meet. Dale Saunders took home the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association trophy for Leading Trainer.

Horses trained by Dale earned $599,454 and had 48 wins last season. Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd. was awarded the Jockey Club of Canada trophy for Leading Owner after horses owned by Riversedge earned $412,459 in the 2013 race meet. The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Trophy for Leading Breeder was presented to Highfield Stock Farm Ltd. Highfield bred runners earned a total of $412,309 last season.

The H.B.P.A. Trophy for Champion Claimer was given to Kingoftherockies owned by Rod Cundy, Wayne Hall, Robert and Bob MacDonald and Kevin Miller and R & M Stable. Kingoftherockies had 6 wins in 8 starts last season including a victory in the Sales Stake and finished the meet with earnings of $84,104. This Cape Canaveral runner was bred by Highfield Stock Farm.

The Schanks International Trophy for Champion Sprinter was presented to Dale Saunders, M & P Equipment Inc. & Met Set Consulting Ltd. for their horse Ready Racer who earned $65, 714 last season with a second straight victory in the Sun Sprint Championship. Owners Bryan and Carol Anderson and Jim Eccot picked up the Roy McLellan trophy for their filly Habida in the Champion Two Year Old Filly category. Habida won the Freedom of the City Stakes and earned $65,763 in 2013.

The Rocky Mountain Turf Club Trophy for Champion Two Year Colt was taken by the impressive colt Legend Fortynine. This Gold Legend colt was bred by Pierre Esquirol

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