Southland Harness Awards (1)

Southland Harness Awards (1)

Bruce Stewart

20th September 2020

This year’s Southland harness award winners will be announced this Saturday.

The Awards evening which was scheduled to be held at Ascot Park had to be cancelled due to the implications of COVID-19 but it will be live streamed on the Southland Harness Facebook page from 6pm.

Vintage Cheddar, Robyns Playboy, Pembrook Playboy, See Ya Write and Franco Santino are all finalists for the Southland Horse of the Year Awards.

From a limited season Vintage Cheddar won once and was placed twice in only five starts. He broke a track and Southland record when he won the Wairio Cup, and his placings included a third in both the Group Three Summer Cup and the Group Three Northern Southland Cup. He won $16,400 for the season.

Vintage Cheddar

Robyns Playboy started fifteen times, recording three wins and two minor placings. He won the Tuapeka Cup and was third in the Riverton Cup. His seasons earnings were $27,745.

Robyns Playboy

Pembrook Playboy was the province’s leading three year old colt or gelding, winning four of his seven starts for owner Chris Alcock. His season’s earnings were $32,100.

Pembrook Playboy

See Ya Write started ten times, recording four wins and four placings. He earned $25,745.

See Ya Write

Franco Santino was the province’s leading stakes winner with $32,930. He won three races and his three placings included a second in the Group Three Invercargill Cup.

Franco Santino

The Southland Broodmare of the Year finalists are: Holmezy, Delcola, Arden’s Darlin and Their Excuse.

Bettor’s Delight mare Arden’s Darlin is the dam of Arden Voyager, who last season won eight of his seventeen starts in Australia. She’s also the dam of Celestial Arden, he had eleven starts in North America last season, winning two races and pacing a mile in 1-51.2.

Arden Voyager as a yearling

Holmes Hanover mare Holmezy is the dam of Our Alfie Romeo. In the season under review she won six of her twenty one starts. Her wins included the Group Three Christmas Belle at Gloucester Park and she ran second in the Group One Westral Mares Classic on the same course.

Their Excuse is the dam of Bettor Enforce. She won nine of her twenty starts in Australia last season and her wins include the Group Three Success Stud Ladyship, The Group Three Prydes Stamina, and the Group Two Red Ochre Mares Classic. She also ran second in the Group One Ladyship Cup, second in the Group One Ladyship Mile and Third in the Group Three Sibelia Stakes. Her fastest mile this season was 1-48.9.

Bettor Enforce

Delcola is the dam of Splash Cola. She won three races last season from seven starts with one of her wins the Group Three Summer Trotting FFA. Another one of Delcola’s progeny Delson won twice in eight starts while her latest race winner Andy Hall, also won twice from just four starts.

Splash Cola

In the Achievement of the Year category the finalists are Shard Farm, Ellie Barron and Nathan Williamson.

Mark and Debbie Smith of Shard Farm presented and sold the top lot at this year’s National Yearling Sale – Moet Shard.

The outstanding colt by Bettor’s Delight out of eleven win Christian Cullen mare Pemberton Shard was knocked down to first time buyer Graham McClintock for $280,000.

Debbie and Mark Smith with John Stiven

They were also top vendors at the sale with an average of $97,250 from the eight yearlings they offered.

The Smiths also bred Mach Shard which won the Group Three Allied Express Casey Classic at Melton and ran third in the Group One Platinum FFA.

Ellie Barron was the province’s leading junior driver last season. She was also Southland’s ambassador for the Teal Appeal. On January 3rd at Omakau Barron played a pivotal part in saving Ricky May’s life. May collapsed in the sulky and fell to the track when driving A. G. White Socks in the Central Otago Cup at Omakau. Ellie Barron administered CPR until the paramedics took over.

Ellie Barron

Nathan Williamson was once again Southland’s leading driver and trainer. The 2019-2020 season is the fourth time he’s won the Trainers Premiership, and the eleventh time he’s won the Drivers Premiership. Only Henry Skinner (16) beat that number.

Nathan Williamson

A Contribution to Harness Racing will be awarded to long time Southland Race caller Dave McDonald who has been in the commentary box for forty four years.

Dave McDonald

You can follow the Awards Announcements on: https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Harness-Racing-373340796086991 on Saturday 26th September from 6pm.