SOUTH Africa-based Yer-Maan is going back home with his head high after being crowned the 2014/15 Zimbabwe Horse of the Year following the conclusion of the Zimbabwean horse racing programme.
By Michael Kariati
This son of Jam Alley and Cheers did more than enough to deserve not only the Horse of the Year Award, but also the other two awards jockey Quinton Riddle received on behalf of owner and trainer St John Gray who is based in South Africa.
Apart from the Horse of the Year Award, Yer-Maan also took the Champions Older Horse Award and was also a joint winner along with Equina for the Open Series.
Yer-Maan was so dominant at Borrowdale Park Race Course to the extent that he won both the Castle Tankard and the OK Grand Challenge and then ran a commendable third in the $40 000 Republic Cup.
The performance at Borrowdale saw Yer-Maan’s record shoot to 10 wins and 11 placings from 37 outings for a total of $527 000 in total stake money. The Quinton Riddle guided horse had only three starts at Borrowdale for which he won two and had a placing in the other.
Riddle, who returned from injury, rode Yer-Maan in all his runs at the home of Zimbabwean horse racing after having watched the six-year-old in action while racing in South Africa where he is based at the Greyville Race Course.
The five-year-old mare Equina shared the Open Series with Yer-Maan after another good run throughout. Although she lost both the Tankard and the Challenge, she came back to win the Republic Cup, and the Breeders Sprint. This came after she had also won the Zimbabwe National Army Charity Handicap.
Another big winner in the just ended season is well-known Zimbabwe owner and breeder Peter Moor who collected awards for Leading Breeder of Two-Year-Olds, Leading Breeder, and Leading Owner and was presented with his awards by Jackie Cocksedge.
Cornie Spies, who was racing for the last time at Borrowdale this season, took the champion trainer award with Karl Zechner from the Amy Bronkhorst stable taking the champion jockey award.
There was celebration too for another jockey Wesley Marwin who was crowned the Champion Apprentice.
Not to be outdone was the super horse called Super Trooper. Grant Littleford accepted the People’s Horse Award for Super Trooper, an award thus decided by popular vote and goes to a horse who has consistently given his or her best even if the horse does not win all the big races.
In short, this is a punter’s friend and the seven-year-old son of Yer-Maan had a great season finishing a close second to Equina in both the Republic Cup and the Breeders Sprint having earlier won the Zimbabwe Challenge and the Ipi Tombe Stakes.
The Zimbabwe horse racing programme has gone into a one month break and will resume with the running of the Borrowdale Handicap on September 5.
List of award winners
1. Champion Two-Year-Old — Equiana
2. Champion Three Year-Old-Female — Print The Pounds
3. Champion Three-Year-Old-Male — Merhaba
4. Champion Sprinter — On This Rock
5. Champion Older Horse — Yer-Maan
6. Horse of the Year — Yer-Maan
7. Personality of the Year — Brian Black
8. The People Horse — Super Trooper
9. Champion Sire — Soar with Eagles (USA)
10. Champion Two-Year-Old Sire — Gharir (IRE)
11. Leading Breeder Of Two-Year-Olds on AEI — Peter J Moor
12. Leading Breeder on AEI — Peter J Moor.
mtc/mota/nhra racing awards
Open Series — Equina and Yer-Maan
Sprinter Series — On This Rock
Leading Owner — Peter Moor
Leading Trainer — Cornei Spies
Champion Jockey — Karl Zechner
Champion Apprentice — Wesley Marwin
Champion Breeder — Graystone Stud