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O'Brien Awards Eligibility Changes

Published: November 12, 2019 10:49 am ET

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Standardbred Canada’s Board of Directors approved changes to O’Brien Award Eligibility policies for Horse Awards and the Future Star Award at its most recent Board meeting.

Ballots will be sent out to O’Brien Award voters in early December. The voters' mandate is to vote for the horse or person in each division they felt made the greatest contribution to Canadian harness racing over the past season.

Here are the updated eligibility policies:

O'Brien Award Eligibility Criteria – Horses

For horses to be eligible for consideration for an O'Brien Award, the horse must have had a minimum of three (3) starts in Canada between January 1st and November 30th, in addition to any Breeders Crown starts, when the Breeders Crown is hosted in Canada. The type of race (stakes, overnight) is irrelevant and schooling and qualifying races do not represent a start.

(the change is that Breeders Crown starts, when the Breeders Crown is hosted in Canada, are now not included in the three-start minimum requirement)

Future Star Award

For candidates to be considered, the criteria changed from ‘must be within three full- time years’ to ‘must be within five full-time years of the person’s career as either a trainer or driver.’

In addition the Future Star Candidates will be determined by the O’Brien Award Nominating Committee. This committee also determines the candidates for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and the Armstrong Breeder of the Year Award. O’Brien Award voters cast first and second place votes on the shortlist of candidates provided by the committee.

The 2019 O’Brien Awards will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale In Mississauga, Ontario.

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