Cape bred or based thoroughbreds well and truly shone at Tuesday night’s Equus Awards ceremony, held at the Emperors Palace Casino in Johannesburg.
Cape bred runners won no fewer than nine Equus Awards, including the coveted title of Horse Of The Year. This was won, for a second year running, by the Avontuur bred Legal Eagle, with that son of Cape sire Greys Inn, also being named the seasons Champion Miler and Champion Middle Distance Horse for a second year running.
Now a six time G1 winner, Legal Eagle, who has six Equus awards to his credit, won both the G1 LÓrmarins Queen’s Plate and H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes last season.
Breeding awards also fell the way of Cape farms, with Klawervlei Stud picking up their third title as South Africa’s Champion Breeders, while fellow Cape farm, Varsfontein Stud, landing an Equus Award as 2016-2017’s outstanding breeders. Klawervlei bred thoroughbreds picked up five awards (the unbeaten Mustaaqeem (a full brother to Highlands Stud’s new sire Rafeef) having been bred in partnership by Klawervlei with Arrowfield Stud).
Maine Chance Farms’ outstanding sire Silvano, who topped the general sires list for a second time in 2016-2017, was named Champion Stallion, while Cheveley Stud’s Royal Academy mare Mystic Spring, dam of champions Rabiya and Bela-Bela, was named Champion Broodmare for the season just finished.
It was a title well earned in Mystic Spring’s case, with the now 21-year-old (she is in foal to Dynasty –sire of Bela-Bela), having produced six individual stakes winners including the dam of G1 winners All Is Secret and The Secret Is Out.
Highlands Stud’s great sire Dynasty won a record Equus Award as the country’s outstanding sire, after a season which saw the former Horse Of The Year represented by such G1 winners as Bela-Bela, Lady Of The House, Eyes Wide Open, Just Sensual and Lady In Black. The latter pair both won Equus Awards as Champion Three Year Old Filly and Champion Two Year Old Filly respectively. (Dynasty now has six Equus champions to his credit).
Below is a list of the Cape bred Equus Award winners for 2016-2017
Champion Two Year Old Filly: LADY IN BLACK (Willem Engelbrecht Jr)
Champion Two Year Old Colt: MUSTAQEEM (Klawervlei Stud) (Bred in partnership with Arrowfield)
Champion Three Year Old Filly: JUST SENSUAL (Klawervlei Stud)
Champion Three Year Old Colt: EDICT OF NANTES (Klawervlei Stud)
Champion Older Filly/Mare: CARRY ON ALICE (Klawervlei Stud)
Champion Older Male: LEGAL EAGLE (Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm)
Champion Sprinter: CARRY ON ALICE (Klawervlei Stud)
Champion Miler: LEGAL EAGLE (Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm)
Champion Stayer: HERMOSO MUNDO (Mauritzfontein)
Champion Broodmare: MYSTIC SPRING
Champion Stallion: SILVANO
Champion Breeder: KLAWERVLEI
Outstanding Stallion: DYNASTY
Outstanding Breeder: VARSFONTEIN
Horse Of The Year: LEGAL EAGLE (Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm)