The brilliant Dynasty colt, Futura, who won the Grade 1 J&B Met and the Grade 1 L’Ormarin’s Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth for original trainer Brett Crawford before winning the Grade 1 Champions Cup at Greyville for new trainer Justin Snaith, was not only awarded both the Champion Older Male title as well as Champion Middle Distance Horse, but also walked away with the impressive Horse of the Year title. This announcement took place at the prestigious Equus Awards, known as the Oscars of South African horseracing, held at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on 11 August 2015.
Gavin Lerena was announced as the 2014/2015 horseracing season’s Champion Jockey of the Year after his impressive 220 wins, with S’manga Khumalo coming in at second with 198. The experienced and brilliant Piere ‘Striker’ Strydom, who has won the Champion Jockey title six times and achieved 5,000 wins, a milestone unmatched by any jockey in the history of South African horseracing, was presented with a Special Achievement Award.
Kevin Harris, the independent filmmaker who wrote and directed the documentary To Be a Champion, which tells the story of S’manga Khumalo’s journey to become one of the country’s greatest jockeys, was awarded the media award for television. This documentary premiered at the Durban International Film Festival powered by Racing. It’s a Rush!
The Sean Tarry-trained French Navy was awarded Champion Three-year-old Colt with Tarry himself winning Champion Trainer, recording a brand new high in stakes earned in one season by any trainer. Tarry earned in excess of R25 million in stakes during the season.
Tarry and Strydom were not the only record-breaking recipients. Ingrid and Markus Jooste were crowned Champion Owners of the Season for the eighth consecutive year. They too earned a remarkable new high in stakes of over R20 million!
Text: Leigh Hopewell