Denman Honored as Horse of the Year
In 2006, the British Horseracing Board and the Irish Turf Club joined forces to present an awards evening that honored the performances and contributions that top horses have made in the sport of jump racing. A panel of judges, made up of members of both the Irish Turf Club and the British Horseracing Board, is selected to vote for the horses that they believe made deserving efforts during a racing season. For the 2008 Anglo-Irish Jump Awards, the honors went to some of the big names in jump racing, and most were as much deserved as they were expected.
At the Anglo-Irish Jump Awards, Denman was awarded the title of Horse of the Year, but also walked away with the Champion Three-Mile Chaser award. Denman, who is owned by Paul Barber and Margret Findlay, and trained by Paul Nicholls, stunned the racing community with outstanding performances in the Aon Chase, the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and the Lexus Chase. And just to show that he has what it takes to be a star performer, he beat stable mate and long time favorite, Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Nicholls, who has a great love for both horses, said that he had rejoiced in the victory of Denman at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but was devastated for Kauto Star at the same time.
Kauto Star is still a magnificent horse, and even though owner Clive Smith walked away with no less than four awards for his prized horse last year, Kauto Star still walked away with the Order of Merit award and the Two-and-a-Half Mile Chaser award. Another of Smith’s horses, Master Minded, was awarded the Two Mile Chaser title. Inglis Drever, a horse that has shown courage and strength throughout his racing career and is a three time Cheltenham Hurdle champion, was honored with the Two-and-a-Half Mile Hurdler Award.
Complete results for the Anglo-Irish Jump Awards, were as follows:
Champion Novice Hurdler: Jered
Champion Novice Chaser: Tidal Bay
Champion Two-Mile Hurdler: Sizing Europe
Champion Two-Mile Chaser: Master Minded
Champion Two-and-a-Half Mile Plus Hurdler: Inglis Drever
Champion Two-and-a-Half Mile Chaser: Kauto Star
Champion Three Mile Plus Chaser: Denman
All the horses that were recognized for their performances and abilities were deserving of them, and owners and trainers glowed with pride as their horses were immortalized in the history pages of the prestigious awards.