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Association Honours Darling, Leifso

Published: January 8, 2015 9:49 am ET

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The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association's Annual Awards Banquet will take place on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre.

Located at 601 Scottsdale Drive, the Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel and Conference Centre once again offers a well-appointed central location for this year’s event. The Annual Banquet showcases the accomplishments of the breeders of the outstanding Ontario Sires Stakes performers of 2014.

The evening will also recognize the achievements and contributions of some of the industry’s most dedicated individuals. This year’s recipient of the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award is Jack Darling. Jack’s continued meritorious service to the harness racing industry is significant. In 2014, Jack spearheaded the fundraising efforts for establishing a fund for the family of the late Mark Austin. In addition, Jack was instrumental in initiating a fundraising effort to support telecasts of the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug.

The recipient of this year’s Chris Van Bussel Memorial Award is Dean Leifso. Dean has contributed greatly to the Ontario and Canadian Standardbred breeding industry having served as President of the International Trotting Association and Chair of Standardbred Canada. He has also served as a director of Standardbred Canada and Equine Canada.

The achievements of the father/son duo Gregg and Doug McNair will be recognized. In 2014, Gregg was the winner of the Johnston Cup, which is awarded yearly to the leading trainer in the Ontario Sires Stakes. This will be the third consecutive year that Gregg has held this title. As the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes in 2014, Doug McNair is the recipient of the Lampman Cup.

The accomplishments of Ontario’s outstanding broodmares will also be recognized with the Masterfeeds Award. Sanfrancine, a 16-year-old daughter of Artsplace is the recipient of the pacing broodmare award. Owned by Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, Sanfrancine’s leading performer in 2014 was the outstanding two-year-old Ponder colt Go Daddy Go p, 2, 1:51.1 –’14 ($398,216), a winner of the Battle Of Waterloo Stake and eliminations of the Breeders Crown and the Metro Pace.

On the trotting broodmare side, the accomplishments of Gramolas Image, a 16-year-old daughter of Balanced Image, will be recognized. Owned by Doug Millard Farms, Gramolas Image is the dam of the top two-year-old Kadabra filly Juanitas Fury 2, 1:57.1s –’14 ($300,154). A winner of two OSS Gold events last season, Juanitas Fury was also stakes placed in both the Peaceful Way Stakes and the Goldsmith Maid Stakes.

An impressive line-up of Ontario’s leading stallions has been assembled for this year’s Stallion Auction. A full listing of stallions can be viewed online on the SBOA's website. In addition, the ever-popular Silent Auction is sure to have something for everyone.

The evening will begin with Cocktails at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Annual General Meeting at 6:00 pm and Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 each and can be reserved from Aimee Adams at [email protected] or by calling (519) 833-2861.


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