Despite snowy driving conditions, the SBOA Awards Dinner in Guelph on Saturday, January 22 was
Greg Blanchard ably and amiably hosted the celebrations honouring the breeders of the top 2010 OSS and SBOA horses. Gorgeous crystal trophies went to the breeders of: Prodigal Seelster, Buckhams Bay, Modern Connection, Peach Martini, Mach Dreamer, Text Me, Western Silk and Random Destiny.
Lampman Cup winner was Scott Zeron and the Johnston Cup went to Bob McIntosh. In lieu of his Johnston Cup ring, McIntosh requested the monies that go towards the ring ($1,500) be donated to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS).
Broodmares Jcs Natalie and Dial Nile shared the prestigious Master Feeds Award.
Two very special citations rounded out the awards portion and, as always, were a complete surprise to each winner. Dr. Ken Grant earned the Chris Van Bussel Memorial trophy, presented by Cathy Van Bussel for exemplary service to both the SBOA and the industry. And Liz Waples received the Lloyd Chisholm Award, presented jointly by Doug Nash and Bill O’Donnell, for meritorious service.
Dr. Joan Zielinski of Chicago was the dinner speaker. Harness racing has been officially on Zielinski’s radar screen for the past 20 years. Her extensive experience developing marketing strategies for gaming and lottery operations led the USTA to commission her to study harness racing in 1991 and for a follow-up 2010 report.
She elaborated on many of the recommendations of her report and commended Ontario for being ahead of U.S. counterparts in some respects, especially concerning the Urging Rule.
“I totally applaud Ontario’s action on the whipping rule,” she said. “Our society today no longer finds that acceptable. We don’t spank our children anymore and we don’t accept whipping horses.”
All SBOA award winners and participants are pictured here, courtesy of Iron Horse Photo.