Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce that Bulldog Hanover has been voted the 2022 recipient of the Cam Fella Award.
The Cam Fella Award will be presented to the connections of Bulldog Hanover at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont.
Named in honour of world-class Standardbred horse Cam Fella, the award recognizes extreme recent meritorious service to the Canadian harness racing industry.
Bulldog Hanover adds the prestigious Cam Fella Award to a lengthy list of accolades and awards earned not only for his on-track performances during the 2022 racing season, but also as an ambassador of harness racing, generating an incredible amount of media attention, publicity and fan following for the sport.
(John Mallia, Bulldog Hanover, Dexter Dunn, Jack Darling and Brad Grant)
‘The Bulldog’ was Standardbred racing’s biggest story of the year, and no horse could match what Bulldog Hanover accomplished over the course of 2022. The Jack Darling-trained son of Shadow Play captured the hearts of harness racing fans across the continent, becoming the fastest Standardbred in the sport’s history when he stopped the clock in 1:45.4 in the William R. Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands on July 16 for driver Dexter Dunn. During the season, Bulldog Hanover won 14 races in 16 starts with more than $1.8 million in earnings for co-owners Jack Darling and Brad Grant, making him the richest Standardbred of 2022. Dexter Dunn and Jody Jamieson handled the driving duties, and his devoted caretaker was John Mallia.
Bulldog Hanover boasts an impressive resume of accomplishments including victories in the Dan Patch Stakes and Hoosier Pacing Derby at Hoosier Park, the Dayton Pacing Derby, the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Breeders Crown and the TVG Open Pace, just to name a few.
The racing community, racing fans and casual spectators were in awe of Bulldog Hanover, who would draw crowds and media to wherever he raced. Woodbine Mohawk Park honoured the winner of the Canadian Pacing Derby and Breeders Crown by hosting a retirement ceremony for him in December.
Following the end of his phenomenal season, Bulldog Hanover was retired from racing and will soon start his second year at stud at Seelster Farms in Ontario, for partners Darling, Grant and Diamond Creek Farms.
In addition to the Cam Fella Award, Bulldog Hanover is a divisional finalist for an O’Brien Award, the unanimous choice for the Dan Patch Award and will also be honoured with the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award.
Standardbred Canada established the Cam Fella Award in 1997, and fittingly its namesake was the first recipient acknowledging Cam Fella’s unparalleled contributions to the sport of harness racing. The most recent winner of the award was Anthony MacDonald in 2019. The complete list of winners is available here.
A national committee of 16 individuals representing the Standardbred community vote by secret ballot to determine the Cam Fella Award winner. A winner must receive 75 per cent of the 'Yes' votes to win.
Canadian-owned, trained and driven, Cam Fella was an outstanding racehorse in the early 1980s, winning 56 races, more than $2 million in purse money and two consecutive Horse of the Year titles in North America. As a stallion, ‘Cam’ sired numerous world champions and horses with earnings in excess of $107 million. In early 1997, Cam Fella was diagnosed with testicular cancer and was retired from breeding. He died in May of 2001 at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he had lived for several years and served as an outstanding ambassador of the Standardbred breed.
The creation of the Cam Fella Award was the harness racing industry’s way of ensuring that the horse's contribution to the sport is never forgotten.