It was a big night at the Myer Mural Hall: plenty of dignitaries including Dr Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing, who did the honours at the Victorian Owners and Breeders Awards for season 2012/13.
One who wasn’t there though was Bel Esprit who clearly had his mind on other matters.
The Premier certainly acknowledged Bel Esprit’s impact on the breeding landscape though given that this was not only the stallion’s sixth straight champion sires’ title, but that he’s also the sire of the much beloved Black Caviar and 2013 Group One winner Bel Sprinter.
Other award winners last Thursday included Rick Jamieson (leading breeder for the third consecutive year), Eliza Park International-bred Helsinge (champion broodmare), Bel Sprinter’s breeder Glen Bailey (small breeder – surely we can find a better name than ‘small’?), Vern Rayner (TROA Outstanding Contribution to Ownership Award) and David Moodie (Super VOBIS Nominator of the Year and Country Owner of the Year), Darley Australia (Super VOBIS Owner of the Year) and the ownership group for All Too Hard (Metropolitan Owner of the Year).
“These awards recognise the dedication, commitment and hard work of breeders in Victoria over the past season,” Dr Napthine said. “The awards are also an acknowledgment of the invaluable contribution made by owners to the Victorian racing industry.”
Dr Napthine said the breeding industry is a major contributor to the economy, particularly in regional areas.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditure and many hundreds of jobs are generated annually by the thoroughbred breeding industry – mostly in regional Victoria.