Australian Horse of the Year – Weekend Hussler
Horses and members of the Australian horse racing industry were honored in an awards ceremony on Monday, 1 September 2008, where Weekend Hussler was named the Australian Horse of the Year. The Australian awards ceremony immortalized eleven names, and some did not come as a surprise for the industry. Achievements and magnificent performances delivered by Weekend Hussler over the last year made his selection as Horse of the Year an anticipated announcement, while others were veterans of the industry to whom the honor was long overdue.
Weekend Hussler has won six Group 1 horse racing events, which has included the Caulfield Guineas, the George Ryder Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap, Randwick Guineas and the Ascot Vale Stakes. These achievements place him on par with the racing record set by Kingston Town. Internationally, he has become known as the best miler in the world and was voted second to Sacred Kingdom as the top sprinter. Receiving eighty percent of the votes secured Weekend Hussler’s Horse of the Year title, an honor that seldom goes to three year old horses. In fact, the last three year old to be given the title was Octagonal, the 1995-1996 Horse of the Year. Over and above this magnificent award, he also walked away with the award for champion colt or gelding in the three year old division. Sired by Hussonet, out of the mare Weekend Beauty, Weekend Hussler has now won nine of his thirteen career starts and has earned over AU$2.3 million.
The other awards given on Monday, went to Corey Brown (Group 1 Jockey), Ross McDonald (Group 1 Trainer), Takeover Target (International Performer), Some Are Bent (Jumper), Encosta de Lago (Leading Sire), Sebring (Champion Two Year Old), Heavenly Glow (Champion Three Year Old Filly), Apache Cat (Champion Sprinter), El Segundo (Champion Middle Distance Performer) and Efficient (Champion Stayer). One name received a standing ovation during the proceedings, namely Bart Cummings, as he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. The awards ceremony was an evening of elegance, recognition and dedication to the horses and the people who contribute to the horse racing industry.