Day At The Track

British Columbia Awards Night

02:59 AM 09 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Gord Abbott, harness racing Shirley Waite, harness racing
Gord Abbott accepts the award for Horseperson of the Year. The evening’s host, Dan Jukich, looks on.
Samantha Anderson Photo
Shirley Waite was awarded the Doug Gillespie Award for superior leadership and service excellence. To her right, Dan Jukich, the evening’s host.
Samantha Anderson Photo

Outstanding standardbreds, harness racing trainers, drivers and owners were honoured last Tuesday (Feb. 27) at the 2017 BC Standardbred Industry Awards.

The evening was held at Cloverdale’s Fraser Downs racetrack — the only remaining standardbred racetrack in B.C. The awards are hosted annually by Harness Racing BC, an organization that represents trainers, drivers, owners, breeders and grooms in the industry.

More than 100 people came out to recognize the hard work that each and every person — and horse — puts in at Fraser Downs. Trainers, drivers, grooms, standardbreds and more were honoured, highlighting the range of talents needed to make the track successful.

Awards were given to both racing veterans with decades of experience and promising up-and-comers, a nod to the industry’s past, present and future in B.C.

Horseperson of the Year, awarded for horsemanship, success on the track, integrity, and an outstanding dedication to community involvement, went to Gordon Abbott.

Breeder of the Year was given to the team of Douglas Neyhart, Erik Neyhart and Donna Scrannage. Douglas Neyhart went on to win Owner of the Year as well, and Donna Scrannage was awarded the Pat Brennan Memorial Award for her years of exemplary service to the BC standardbred racing industry.

Shirley Waite took home the Doug Gillespie Award, given in recognition of the original food services manager at the Cloverdale and Sandown Raceway and awarded to a person who demonstrates superior leadership and service excellence. Wayne Pinette won the Hy Class Award, for his significant contributions to the racing industry.

The driver and trainer awards went to the following:

  • Driver of the Year (20–100 starts): Kelly Hoerdt
  • Driver of the Year (101–250 starts): Serge Masse
  • Driver of the Year (over 250 starts): Jim Marino
  • Driver Dash Winner: Jim Marino
  • Rookie Driver of the Year: Robert E. Scrannage
  • Trainer of the Year (20–100 starts): Serge Masse
  • Trainer of the Year (101–250 starts): Rod Therres
  • Trainer of the Year (over 250 starts): Jim Marino
  • Trainer Dash Winner: Jim Marino
  • Rookie Trainer of the Year: Blaine Chappell
  • Groom of the Year: Annie Chappell
  • Backstretch Award: Debra Dalton

For the full results of the evening, including the awards given to the standardbreds themselves, visit harnessracingbc.com.

By Samantha Anderson

Reprinted with permission of The Surrey Now-Leader

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