Los Angeles, California: Top French-bred Arabian horse Valiant Boy Sbfar was named the 2014 Horse of The Year at the 28th annual Darley USA Awards sponsored by the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival late on Friday.
Raced by Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the seven-year-old son of Darweesh was unbeaten in four US starts before finishing a close second in the $1m (Dh3.67) Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night on March 28.
Valiant Boy Sbfar also topped the Best Older Horse category, with Ms Dixie claiming the Best Older Mare trophy for Quarter Moon Ranch at a gala ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
RB So Rich claimed the three-year-old colts and geldings award for owner Garrett Ford, with Love To Dance winning the fillies’ equivalent for owner Mark K. Powell.
RB Champagne Taste landed the four-year-old colts/geldings award for the Rosebrook Farm LLC and Our Princess was voted winner of the four-year-old fillies award for Cre Run Enterprises LLC.
Kristen Swan won the Best Jockey award, Lynn A. Ashby the Best Trainer Trophy, Dianne K. Waldron the Best Breeder Award and Guy Neivens the Best Owner.
In the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards, American Denise Gault was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Trophy in reward for her contribution to the development and promotion of the Arabian racing industry.
Australian Nadine Frampton was voted the best photographer of 2014 having photographed major Arabian races in Australia and other parts of the world.
The Best Breeder Award went to Catherine de Robert Labarthe from France, who saddled the winners of the Qatar Arabian World Cup (G1) and other top finishers in Group 1 races.
Turkey’s Deniz Kurtel was named best owner of 2014 following a successful campaign, which saw her win 63 races.
Leading Dutch trainer Karin van den Bos won a second consecutive Best Trainer Award after saddling nine winners with a strike rate of 30 per cent during 2014.
The Best Jockey Trophy went to the UK’s Stefania Gandola, winner of seven races and placed in nine events from 20 starts with a strike rate of 35 per cent during the year.
French filly Lorra did the better work in the four-year-old fillies category. The Mawood filly achieved a record strike rate of 75 per cent and earned £100.000 (Dh545,625) in 2014.
Moroccan filly Youjiza was named the best three-year-old filly after earning £137,185 from seven wins in 13 starts for owner Sedrati Mohammad.
French TV Presenter Fanny Hubard-Salmon, a seasoned world traveller with more than 20 years’ experience, was voted the best TV presenter.
In endurance, 22-year-old Marijke Visser from Netherlands landed the Best Endurance Rider Award.
The UAE endurance team was also honoured with the Best Spirit Award for their great performances.
Special awards were also presented to Lulwa Awadhi and Wadoda Badran for their strong support to women’s sports.
Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the Shaikh Mansour Festival, thanked Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Al Nahyan, Wife of the late President Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for their far-sighted vision and directives, without which nothing would have been achieved.