The Always B Miki North Island Awards Night was held in the Tasman Room, at Alexandra Park, on Saturday the 1st September, with a great crowd of approximately 350 people in attendance, in what was the 26th edition of these awards.
This year’s very popular event on the Northern Harness Racing Calendar commenced with Pre-Dinner Drinks in the Lyell Creek Lounge, with patrons then moving to the Tasman Room, in the Centennial Stand, for a sumptuous 3-course dinner, while celebrating the recognition of industry achievements, with the night once again extremely well overseen by popular Masters of Ceremonies Greg O’Connor and in his second appearance southern counterpart Mark McNamara.
Notable equine award recipients were the 2-year-old pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year Supreme Dominator, the 2-year-old pacing Filly of the Year Princess Tiffany, the 2-year-old Trotter of the Year Tickle Me Pink, the 3-year-old pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year Triple Eight, the 3-year-old pacing Filly of the Year Ivana Flybye and the 3-year-old Trotter of the Year Monaro Mia. The up-and-coming young trainer Steve Telfer took out the Trainer of the Year award, while Princess Tiffany also took out the Filly / Mare of the Year category, with Speeding Spur taking out the Aged Trotter of the Year and Star Galleria the Aged Pacer of the Year.
Noteworthy human award winners were Sheridan Rapley as Groom of the Year, Benjamin Butcher as Junior Drivers of the Year, Braeden & Caroline Whitelock as Owners of the Year, Braeden & Caroline Whitelock also as Breeder of the Year, David Butcher once again as Driver of the Year and Michelle Wallis the Female Racing Accomplishment Award.
The special award for Racing Achievement was presented to John & Josh Dickie and Amanda Kiddie and the Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing Award was made to Murray & Deneece Goldsworthy who were instrumental in the establishment of the very successful Kidz Katz.
A quiz was staged amongst those in attendance with a prize of a Nespresso Coffee Machine kindly sponsored by Magness Video Ltd and there were several auctions on the night, for such items as a service fee to Sir Lincoln (donated by Lincoln Farms Bloodstock), a set of framed 2018 Harness Jewels colours signed by all the winning trainers and drivers, a fishing trip for two with Ross Johnson & Tony Herlihy and a service fee to Always B Miki (donated by Alabar & Nevele R Stud), all to raise funds for the North Island Harness Racing Awards Trust.
A full list of award winners is as follows:-
2018 ALWAYS B MIKI NORTH ISLAND HARNESS RACING AWARDS
Auckland Harness Racing Trust Premier Cadet Award: Alicia Harrison
Waikato Bay of Plenty Harness Amateur Driver of the Year: Logan Darby
Kahukuri Bloodstock – Hollis & Robertson Groom of the Year: Sheridan Rapley
Magness Video Ltd / Vid-Com Ltd Licence-to-Train/Owner-Trainer of the Year: Dave Iremonger
Mitavite Junior Driver of the Year: Benjamin Butcher
PGG Wrightson 2-year-old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Supreme Dominator
PGG Wrightson 2-year-old Filly of the Year: Princess Tiffany
Breckon Farms 2-year-old Trotter of the Year: Tickle Me Pink
Breckon Farms 3-year-old Trotter of the Year: Monaro Mia
Dunstan 3-year-old Colt or Gelding of the Year: Triple Eight
Dunstan 3-year-old Filly of the Year: Ivana Flybye
Merv & Meg Butterworth Female Racing Achievement of the Year: Michelle Wallis
Garrards Horse & Hound Owners of the Year: Braeden & Caroline Whitelock
Caduceus Club Filly/Mare of the Year: Princess Tiffany
NI Standardbred Breeders Association Breeder of the Year: Braeden & Caroline Whitelock
IRT Driver of the Year: David Butcher
Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm Trainer of the Year: Steve Telfer
Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm Broodmare of the Year: Delicata
HR Fisken & Sons Trotting Stallion of the Year: Majestic Son
Woodlands Stud Pacing Stallion of the Year: Bettor’s Delight
Harness Racing New Zealand Trotter of the Year: Speeding Spur
Auckland Trotting Club Aged Pacer of the Year: Star Galleria
Sir Lincoln at Lincoln Farms Bloodstock Racing Achievement Award: John & Josh Dickie and Amanda Kiddie
Always B Miki Alabar/Nevele R Stud Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing: Murray & Deneece Goldsworthy
Breckon Farms had a significant involvement in the night, firstly as sponsors of the 2-year-old Trotter of the Year and 3-year-old Trotter of the Year awards, then having nominations for 2-year-old Filly of the Year (as breeders of Miss Streisand and with Princess Tiffany being foaled at Breckon Farms), 2-year-old Trotter of the Year (as breeders of Tickle Me Pink – raced by the Breckon Farms – The Perfect Ten Syndicate), 3-year-old Trotter of the Year (as breeders of Girls On Film and Stress Factor), Owners of the Year (as a nominee), Filly / Mare of the Year (with Princess Tiffany being foaled at Breckon Farms), Breeder of the Year (as a nominee) and Broodmare of the Year (Goodlookinggirl).
It was great to see Tickle Me Pink take out the 2-year-old Trotter of the Year title, so CONGRATULATIONS to the Breckon Farms – The Perfect Ten Syndicate for this achievement and CONGRATULATIONS to all other award recipients.