"It's just a wow moment for me. It's probably one of the best moments I've ever had in my life in harness racing."
A two-time recipient of the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship over the past decade, Dr. Ian Moore claimed his first Canadian Trainer of the Year title at the 2023 O'Brien Awards on Saturday, Feb. 3 in his native P.E.I.
In a full circle moment, the Ontario-based Moore accepted the O'Brien Award where it all began for the 70-year-old horseman in the late 1960s.
"I've been to a lot of places and met a lot of good poeple and had the very good fortune of having a lot of good and terrific partners the last number of years with me," said Moore after the awards ceremony. "Some of them, like Ron McLellan and Gail, they've been with me for 40 years now. And that all helps. And I've been fortunate to have some nice horses along the way and some good drivers, and great grooms, I might add as well. In spite of the labour shortage across North America in the horse racing business, the last few years for me, it's been fantastic -- the people I've had surrounding me -- and I couldn't do it without any and all of those so it feels great. I'm very honoured and very humbled."
Moore achieved a career milestone by surpassing $3 million in seasonal purse earnings for the first time in 2023. Just one of many highlights of an exceptional season for Moore was winning the Canadian Pacing Derby, courtesy of older pacing stallion Tattoo Artist, an O’Brien Award divisional winner himself who put together a million-dollar campaign while boosting his career bankroll to $3.2 million before being retired to stud. Moore also trained O’Brien Award divisional winner Stockade Seelster, who was one of the sophomore pacing colt standouts in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program in addition to putting forth strong top finishes in some marquee stakes events in the U.S. Moore also trained Storm Shadow and Clever Cody, two-year-old pacing colt Sires Stakes champions in Ontario and Ohio, respectively. Moore’s 51 victories in 2023 represent the second-highest seasonal performance of his career.
Moore revealed his biggest highlights and surprises of the season and discussed plans for his stable stars this year in addition to noting the O'Briens Awards Black Tie Gala's best dressed in an interview with Standardbred Canada's John Rallis and Jeff Porchak. The third post-O'Brien Awards interview in a series sponsored by Horse Racing Alberta appears below.