European Horse Of The Year Nominees
Since the year 1991, the European Horse of the Year award, has fallen in with the hosting of the Cartier Racing Awards, and is seen as one of the most prestigious awards to be bestowed on a horse competing in Europe. In the last ten years, the European Horse of the Year award has been given to Bream Well (1998), Daylami (1999), Giant’s Causeway (2000), Fantastic Light (2001), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Dalakhani (2003), Ouija Board (2004), Hurricane Run (2005), Ouija Board (2006) and Dylan Thomas (2007). This year, the nominations include a magnificent group of horses and have been recently released, with the awards ceremony just around the corner.
The awards were established to recognize horses that have performed above expectation and that have shown exceptional talent and racing ability throughout the year. There are eight categories in the Cartier Racing Awards and the awards are allocated by way of voting. Forty percent depends on the points earned, another forty percent is based on the votes cast by racing journalist and twenty percent of the votes added to the total are collected from readers. Winners in the categories are therefore determined through the highest number of votes.
Nominations for the European Horse of the Year award are made up of the Duke of Marmalade who has won five Group 1 racing events during the season; Henrythenavigator who has won four Group 1 events and claimed a second place finish in the Breeder’s Cup Classic; Zarkava the amazing filly that won the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe; New Approach with his three Group 1 victories and Raven’s Pass, the Breeders’ Cup Classic champion. Nominations for the Cartier Two Year Old Colt are Naagoos, Crowded House, Mastercraftsman, Bushranger and Donativum, while Proportional, Rainbow View, Again, Serious Attitude and Aspen Darlin were nominated for the Cartier Two Year Old Filly category. The top five three year old colt contenders are Raven’s Pass, Henrythenavigator, New Approach, Conduit and Paco Boy, while the fillies that made the list are Zarkava, Goldikova, Lush Lashes, Halfway To Heaven and Natagora. Yeats, Coastal Path, Septimus, Allegretto and Georgieland were nominated for the Cartier Stayer Award; Equiano, Marchand D’Or, African Rose, Kingsgate Native and Borderlescott made the grade for the Cartier Sprinter Award and the Cartier Older Horse nominations consist of Youmzain, Duke of Marmalade, Yeats, Marchand D’Or and Darjina.
The nominations this year will most definitely make the selection and voting process difficult as all the horses are deserving of the honor. Grosvenor House Hotel in London will be the venue for this invitation-only event that is set to be a glamorous awards ceremony.