Sunday, 12 August 2012
: Variety Club has been named South Africa's Horse of the Year at the 2012 Equus Awards.
| Variety Club|
Photo by Liesl King
The three-year-old's owner Markus Jooste and trainer Joey Ramsden were presented with the most coveted trophy in South African horse racing.
Variety Club registered six wins and two seconds in eight starts during the 2011/12 season, taking his career record to nine wins from 14 starts.
His victories included the G1 Cape Guineas at Kenilworth and G1 Gold Challenge at Clairwood along with two G2 and two G3 wins.
He was also second in the G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and the G1 Investec Cape Derby.
Variety Club also took out the Equus awards for Champion Three Year Old Colt and Champion Middle Distance Horse.
All horses nominated in the various categories, including Igugu, Princess Victoria, What A Winter, Val De Ra and Pomodoro, were eligible for Horse of the Year.
Last year’s Horse of the Year Igugu took the 2012 Champion Older Filly/Mare title on the strength of her brilliant victory in the 2012 J&B Met.
Princess Victoria was named Champion Three Year Old Filly following wins in the Cape Fillies Guineas and the Garden Province Stakes.
In the tough Champion Sprinter category, What A Winter clinched it with his return to form in the Mercury Sprint – edging out Shea Shea, Val De Ra and Delago Deluxe.
Ladbroke’s Gold Cup winner In Writing won the Champion Stayer award.
A highlight of the Equus Awards was a Special Achievement Award presented to Diane de Kock, wife of champion trainer Mike de Kock for her HIV-Aids care and awareness work among racing industry grooms.
The championships for jockey, trainer, owner, breeder and stallion were all known in advance of the
ceremony and went to Anton Marcus, Mike de Kock, Ingrid and Markus Jooste, Summerhill Stud and Jet Master respectively.
The media prizes were won by David Thiselton of Gold Circle in the print category and Andrew Bon for television work.
The Breeder Award for Exceptional International Achievement went to Maine Chance Farms for the stud’s product Ato winning the G1 Krisflyer Sprint in Singapore.
Champion Two Year Old Filly ALL IS SECRET
Champion Two Year Old Colt/Gelding SOFT FALLING RAIN
Champion Three Year Old Filly PRINCESS VICTORIA
Champion Three Year Old Colt/Gelding VARIETY CLUB
Champion Older Fill/Mare (4YO and older, distance immaterial) IGUGU
Champion Older Male WHAT A WINTER
Champion Sprinter WHAT A WINTER
Champion Middle Distance Horse VARIETY CLUB
Champion Stayer IN WRITING
Special Achievement Award DIANE DE KOCK
Champion Stallion JET MASTER
Champion Broodmare GOLDEN APPLE
Champion Breeder SUMMERHILL
Breeder Award – Exceptional International Achievement MAINE CHANCE
Breeder of the Year Award MAINE CHANCE
Work Rider of the Year ABRAM MAKHUBO
Media – Print DAVID THISELTON
Media – Television ANDREW BON
Apprentice of the Year NOORESH JUGLALL
Champion Jockey ANTON MARCUS
Champion Trainer MIKE DE KOCK
Owner of the Year INGRID & MARKUS JOOSTE
Horse of the Year VARIETY CLUB