The last of the Ebbett VW New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association National Breeding Awards have been announced.
Rick Williams has been named as the Personality of the Year and Julian Corban the Mary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever.
Williams was recognised as an industry personality who has made a significant contribution to the New Zealand thoroughbred industry.
A passion for pedigrees has resulted in Williams’ involvement in the thoroughbred industry for well over 35 years, as a consultant, owner, administrator, NZTBA Councillor and for the last 20 years General Manager of The Oaks Stud.
In that time at The Oaks he has overseen the development of some exceptional racehorses and excellent stallions, including the former Champion Two-Year-Old Darci Brahma who as a sire has enjoyed a very successful season in 2019/20.
The Oaks owned Catalyst, by Darci Brahma, featured as a leading three-year-old during the year leading home a Darci Brahma quinella in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) ahead of Harlech. Catalyst went on to feature in what many say was the race of the year in Australasia, the Gr.3 C.S Hayes Stakes (1400m) with Alligator Blood, and claimed the New Zealand Three-year-old of the Year title.
Williams has served two terms as a Director of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing where he has worked tirelessly for breeders to maintain their share of the funding, and ensure their voice was heard, in his quiet determined understated way. He is a great advocate for breeders, working with them and NZTR to help shape the changes for the new Racing Bill.
His knowledge of the thoroughbred industry as whole is wide ranging and he is never short of a well thought out opinion. Williams is a true personality within the industry and well worthy of the award.
Mary Lynne Ryan is remembered for her passion for the thoroughbred industry, for education and young people.
The award named in her honour recognises the dedication and passion of a talented young person in the industry and recipient Julian Corban is a more than worthy recipient.
Corban has spent his lifetime at Cambridge Stud where his father Marcus was General Manager. His love for horses was evident from a young age and school holidays were spent working with the team on the stud. At the age 17 he joined the permanent staff under the guidance of Sir Patrick Hogan and worked initially with the broodmare team, advancing through to weanlings, yearlings, and stallions in all aspects of hands on work.
He progressed to becoming a well-known leader of colts in the sales ring for Cambridge Stud, along with leading yearlings for Coolmore Stud at the Australian Easter Sales each year.
Corban has a real affinity with horses, building up great relationships with them. In particular as dedicated groom to ill-fated stallion Burgundy, who he proudly paraded for many stud visitors. He has become an essential part of the Cambridge Stud team and is well respected and admired by his workmates who were on hand at the morning tea at Cambridge Stud when the award was presented. - NZTBA