Falbrav was today announced as the first-ever winner of the British Horseracing Board’s Horse Of The Year Award, a fitting reflection of his outstanding 2003 Flat racing campaign.
The Horse Of The Year accolade was the climax of the new BHB 2003 British Flat Racing Awards ceremony, at which BHB Chairman Peter Savill presented trophies in 15 different categories of equine and human achievement in British Flat Racing over the last year.
The Awards for the first time officially honour British Racing’s Flat champions. The equine Awards were based on and coincided with the publication of the International Classifications for three-year-olds and upwards and the European Classifications for two-year-olds, which represent the definitive benchmark by which racing performances are judged. The champion owner, trainer, jockey and apprentice jockey were also honoured.
A specially-invited audience of over 100, including owners, trainers, jockeys, senior industry figures and the media, saw Hawk Wing confirmed at the top of the International Classifications and secure the BHB Awards for both the Champion Older Male Horse and Champion Miler, earned by virtue of his eleven-length win in the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.
Each BHB Award was won by the highest-rated horse in the respective Classifications category, provided that the horse was either trained in Britain or, if trained abroad, achieved the category-topping rating on a British racecourse.
BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today: “I am proud to be launching these new BHB Awards. They give greater recognition to the official Classification winners who do so much to enhance British Flat racing. The quality of racing in this country remains the best in the world and our leading horses and connections deserve accolades for the contribution that they make.
“It is with much pleasure that the Award for Horse Of The Year is made to Falbrav, who competed in ten consecutive Group Ones – winning no fewer than five of them – over an eight-month season. This doubles his BHB awards tally as he collected the inaugural BHB Middle Distance Championship in the summer after his performances at Ascot, Sandown and York. He was talented, consistent and versatile at the very highest level and epitomised the benefits that can be reaped from keeping a top-class older horse in training.”