Four Breeding Awards made at Mercedes Dinner

Stallions, broodmares and breeders were honoured at the Mercedes New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards presented at the Ellerslie Function Centre, Auckland on 16 August:

Dewar Stallion Trophy: Zabeel, Cambridge Stud, Cambridge
The Dewar Stallion Trophy recognises the leading New Zealand-based sire by combined Australasian progeny earnings. Zabeel has now won the title seven times in consecutive years, and is closing on his sire Sir Tristram's record of nine Dewar Trophy wins.
The Trophy was first awarded in 1965 to Kinross Stud's Summertime (GB).
Other multiple winners of the Trophy are:
Le Filou (FR), Pirongia Stud
- three times
Pakistan II (GB), Fairdale Stud
- three times
Oncidium (GB), Te Parae Stud
- three times
Zamazaan (FR), Carlyle Stud
- twice

Grosvenor Stallion of the Year: Volksraad (GB), Windsor Park Stud Ltd, Cambridge
The Grosvenor award has been made to New Zealand's leading sire on progeny earnings within New Zealand since 1991. Two-time winners have been Famous Star and Kingdom Bay, while Zabeel has won the title four times.
However, New Zealand's champion sire has been recognised since the late 19th century and notable previous winners include St Leger, Soult, Martian, Absurd, Hunting Song, Foxbridge, Ruthless, Summertime, Le Filou, Copenhagen II, Mellay, Noble Bijou and Three Legs.
This is the first time Volksraad has won the general sires' premiership, with total earnings of $924,405.

Mercedes Breeders of the Year: Peter & Philip Vela, Pencarrow Stud, Cambridge
The Velas had a fabulous season in 2001-02 as the breeders of Australian and Mercedes New Zealand Champion Stayer Ethereal, New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Vapour Trail, Group 2 winner Paolino, Group 3 winner Copper Mountain and Hoeberg, a stakeswinner in Singapore and Group 1-placed in Dubai.
The Velas won this award for the first time in 2000, and were also named Mercedes Owners of the Year for 2002.
The Breeder of the Year title was established in 1991 when it was won by Jeanette Broome, breeder of Aintree Grand National winner Seagram.
The other three finalists this year were two former winners, Garry Chittick of Waikato Stud (1993) and Susan Archer & Michael Martin, Auckland (1999), and Tom Williams from Te Parae Stud, one of the most famous names in New Zealand thoroughbred breeding history.

Mercedes Broodmare of the Year: Songline (Western Symphony-McAngus)
Songline is the dam of Sunline, winner of an unprecedented seven Horse of the Year titles in Australia and New Zealand, and recently admitted to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
The other two finalists for the award were Romanee Conti (dam of Ethereal) and Honeymoon Express (dam of Carnegie Express).
The finalists and the winner are recommended to the NZTBA Council by an independent judging panel and the award is made to the last registered New Zealand owner(s) of the winning mare. The recipients of Songline's award were therefore her former New Zealand owners Susan Archer & Michael Martin.
The Broodmare of the Year is the oldest of New Zealand's thoroughbred breeding awards and was first given in 1953 to Broiveine, the dam of Melbourne Cup winner Dalray. Songline now joins world champion broodmare Eight Carat (GB) as the only three-time winners of the title. Two-time winners have been:
Sunbride (GB), dam of Ilumquh, Straight Draw and General Command - 1961 & 1968
Taiona, dam of Sovereign Red and Gurner's Lane - 1981 & 1983
Imitation, dam of Bonecrusher - 1986 & 1987
Benediction (IRE), dam of Might And Power - 1998 & 1999
Two mares appear alongside their daughters on the New Zealand Broodmare Roll of Honour: Mrs Nancy Williams' Sunbride and Dicidiana; and the Dennis Brothers' The Pixie and The Fantasy.
However, few broodmares are likely to match the record of Mr Ralph Stuart's Dulcie who won the award in 1976. She was followed a year later by her daughter Micheline, dam of Surround, and in 1988 by her grand-daughter Belle Cherie, the dam of Beau Zam.

- Susan Archer


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