Racing fans, here’s your chance to have a say in Canadian harness racing's year-end awards!
Voting for the 2021 O’Brien Awards for fans and SC members is now open! The online voting is available until Monday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. (EST).
Ballots have been sent to O’Brien Award voters across the country which includes race secretaries, track announcers, track communications staff, harness racing journalists and broadcasters.
To access the online voting package, click the following link: O'Briens Voter Documentation. Please review the eligibility criteria as there have been some changes.
There are also some changes to the 2021 Voting Process. Here’s what you need to know:
• Vote for a first and second place horse in each divisional Category
• Vote for a first and second place person from the three candidates provided for: the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship, The Armstrong Breeder of the Year, and the Future Star Award.
New This Year:
• Vote for a first, second and third place horse in the Somebeachsomewhere Horse of the Year Category.
• Vote for a first, second, third, fourth and fifth place person in the Trainer of the Year Category (Points assigned will be 5/4/3/2/1 from first to fifth).
• Vote for a first, second, third, fourth and fifth place person in the Keith Waples Driver of the Year Category (Points assigned will be 5/4/3/2/1 from first to fifth).
• There will be a Second Round of voting for the Trainer and Driver categories.
• On December 16, after the ballots have been tabulated, a shortlist of candidates to choose from for the Trainer & Driver categories will be compiled based on point totals in first round votes, to create a Second Round ballot.
• Voters in Round One will be sent a link for the Second Round ballot, and asked to select a first and second place choice in these categories.
• The Second Round ballot deadline is noon (EST) on Monday, Dec. 20.
All of the fan votes received will count for one vote towards the voting results of the O’Brien Awards. There will be a limit of one vote per person (ie. IP address or email address).
The horses/people who receive a first place vote will receive two (2) points and those that receive a second place vote will receive one (1) point. The top two point earners will be the finalists in each category. The number of first place votes will be used as a tie breaker.
The mandate given to the voters is to vote for the horses and people who MADE THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO CANADIAN HARNESS RACING IN 2021.
Eighteen O'Brien Awards will be given out for the 2021 racing season. Thirteen of these honour the premier horses over the past racing season including the most coveted trophy, Canada's Somebeachsomewhere Horse of the Year. The horse awards are divided by age, sex and gait.
In addition there are five awards for people, one each for The Keith Waples Driver of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Armstrong Bros. Farm Breeder of the Year, the O'Brien Award of Horsemanship and the Future Star Award.
Standardbred Canada has an O’Brien Committee that determines the candidates for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship, the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award, and the Future Star Award.
Here are the candidates for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship:
• Luc Blais
• Mark Etsell
• Dave Kelly
For the Armstrong Breeder of the Year, the committee has put forward the following candidates for the voters to choose from:
• Millar Farms
• Seelster Farms
• Winbak Farm
The candidates for the Future Star Award are:
• Kyle Bossence
• Samuel Fillion
• Amanda Fine
The finalists will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
The O’Brien Award winners will be announced and honoured at the 2021 Virtual Awards Gala on standardbredcanada.ca on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022.