The public has elected Big Buck’s their Horse of the Year after the inaugural vote for the prestigious title, announced at today’s Anglo-Irish Jump Racing Awards in London.
The Champion Staying Hurdler usurped stablemate Kauto Star, last year’s winner, securing an impressive 32% per cent of over 1,500 votes cast on britishhorseracing.com and was declared the winner at the Awards by special guest James Nesbitt.
While Big Buck’s unbeaten season won over the hearts of the voting public, Imperial Commander earned his place as runner-up in the contest following his courageous performance in the totesport Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Officials from both the British and Irish Authorities decided to make the celebrated Horse of the Year Award vote public to celebrate yet another vintage season for British and Irish Jump Racing, having nominated the shortlist based on the five horses’ official rating and role in promoting the sport.
Nic Coward, British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive, commented: “With such a stellar line up of contenders for this Award, it would have been difficult to predict the winner. However, the public has spoken and with four wins to his name, including three Grade 1 victories, there is no more deserving champion than Big Buck’s.
“Thank you to all those who cast their vote on britishhorseracing.com – we are delighted at the support and number of votes received. This only goes to show that British and Irish Jump Racing continues to go from strength to strength, underlined by the sheer quality of the horses shortlisted for this Horse of the Year Award.”
The five shortlisted contenders (in the order voted by the public) were:
· Big Buck’s: Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by The Stewart Family
· Imperial Commander: Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and owned by Our Friends In The North
· Kauto Star: Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Clive Smith
· Denman: Trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by Harry Findlay and Paul Barber
· Binocular: Trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by J P McManus