2013 Western Fair Awards Presented

The Raceway at Western Fair District held its annual awards night on Saturday, February 22 at the Carousel Room to honour its top performers from 2013.

Western Fair's top aged pacing mare Rachel Olivia was named Horse of the Year during the banquet. The daughter of Western Maverick appears to be getting better with age. Trained by breeder Daryl Roberts, this mare certainly came into her own last season winning seven of 30 and banking almost $50,000 in the process. Five of those wins coming in London, Ont. with Alfie Carroll aboard – two of them by a nose and one by a neck - she sure likes to cause lots of excitement when she wins for owner Rasa Roberts. It was a very exciting year indeed for the good race mare Rachel Olivia.

Other category winners on the night were...

Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly (Sponsored by Forest City Yearling Sale)... Little Red Chev

A little chestnut with a big motor, the Duke Of York daughter is owned by Ken Avery, Dennis Morrissey and Dr. David James Peden - with Morrissey training and doing most of the driving in 2013 as well.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly (Sponsored by Seelster Farms)... Sophie Blu

This Santanna Blue Chip filly was the winner of the $40,000 City Of London last Spring in her life-best 1:55.3 and came back to win three in a row in the Fall for owner/trainer Curt Blake of Clinton.

Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding (Sponsored by OHHA)... PC Smart Ash

This gelded son of Oaklea Julian debuted in the Spring of 2013, winning three of his first five career starts and taking a mark of 2:02.1 in London. He put together a solid record of three wins, four seconds and one third from just nine starts before shutting it down in June for owner/trainer/breeder Peter Clements.

Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding (Sponsored by Mac Lilley Farms)... Ja El Pocketrocket

The son of Santanna Blue Chip started at The Raceway six times in 2013 and picked up four victories. Among his wins were the $41,000 City Of London for boys with Scott Coulter driving in the Spring and an Ontario Sires Stakes event with Doug McNair aboard, in a career-best clocking of 1:54, in the Fall for trainer Barry Treen and owner Leonard Gamble.

Older Trotting Mare (Sponsored by Flemming Feed Mill)... Thunderaway

The Thunder Road mare began 2013 with four straight wins in London with Bruce Richardson in the sulky. A winner seven times last season from 26 starts with all victories coming at Western Fair District, she’s definitely a horse for the London course. Thunderaway is owned and bred by Martin Hossack with trainer Ron O’Neill sharing in ownership.

Older Trotting Horse/Gelding (Sponsored by Kirkton Veterinary Clinic)... CIS Buckeye

The gelding is a 12-time winner from 41 starts in 2013, with half of those wins coming at The Raceway. He was a top class threat every time he went out for owner James Morency and trainer Keith Cullen.

Older Pacing Mare (Sponsored by Ilderton Equine Services)... Rachel Olivia

Bred and trained by Daryl Roberts and owned by Rasa Roberts.

Claiming Pacer of the Year (Sponsored by HPI)... L H Lil Count

The son of Astreos began 2013 in London with five straight victories at the $6,000 claiming level with Nick Steward aboard for owner/trainer Mike Bishop.

Horse of the Year (Sponsored by Huron Tractor)... Rachel Olivia

Bred and trained by Daryl Roberts and owned by Rasa Roberts.

Caretaker of the Year (Sponsored by Western Fair District)... Angie Carroll

A new category introduced this year, The Raceway asked horse people to nominate a number of grooms and received lots of wonderful feedback. A popular choice for the award was the hard-working Angie Carroll.

Owner of the Year (Sponsored by Standardbred Canada)... James Morency

Morency is the owner of CIS Buckeye, who enjoyed a very successful campaign in London in 2013. He also owns the likes of pacers Magical Jig and Royal Sir, along with the trotter Coffee Black.

Outstanding Service (Sponsored by Walltyme Stable)... Don Beatson

Beatson is the co-owner and trainer of Monster In Law, Frequent Flyer, and Pocket Ful Of Luck, among others.

Special Recognition Award (Sponsored by Western Fair District)... Trevor Henry

Henry was the back-to-back winner of the national dash-winning driving title. He picked up career win number 5,000 in the sulky aboard Monster In Law in late October and surpassed over 400 seasonal wins for the third time in four years. Henry completed his year at The Raceway with four trips to victory lane on New Year's Eve to set his year-end total at 529 victories – just four shy of the 533 wins he'd put up in 2012. It was only fitting that the Arthur, Ont. reinsman won the final race of 2013 in London – the Auld Lang Syne Pace with R M Karisma.

(With files from Western Fair District)