IGUGU, whose name means ‘jewel’ in Zulu, lived up to her name winning the Horse Of The Year award at the Equus Awards Banquet on Thursday night. She also walked away with the title of Champion three year old Filly and Champion Middle Distance Horse.
In addition Mike de Kock was named Trainer Of The Year after having won his sixth national title during the 2010/11 racing season.
Igugu, by Galileo out of the Aga Khan bred mare, Zarinia (Intikhab), was bred by the Kia Ora Stud in New South Wales. She was part of their draft at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, where champion breeder, Mick Goss, snapped her up for $65000. He in turn resold her at the Ready To Run Sale, where she was purchased by owner Andre MacDonald for R1 million and sent to De Kock. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum of Dubai partnered in her ownership with Macdonald late last year.
With earnings of R3.9 million, Igugu has only been beaten twice (into second) in ten starts. The filly, who had not seen a race track at the start of the season, ended it as the joint highest rated horse in the country. Along the way, she became the first filly in history to win the Triple Tiara, successful in the Grade 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas (1600m), the Grade 1 SA Fillies Classic (1800m) and the Grade 2 SA Oaks (2450m).
She followed the Triple Tiara with a decisive win in the Grade 1 Woolavington Stakes (2000m) and then the pinnacle of the South African racing season, the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban
The list of awards is:
CHAMPION TWO YEAR OLD FILLY
CHAMPION TWO YEAR OLD COLT/GELDING
CHAMPION THREE YEAR OLD FILLY
CHAMPION THREE YEAR OLD COLT/GELDING
CHAMPION OLDER FILLY/MARE
CHAMPION OLDER MALE
Val De Ra
CHAMPION MIDDLE DISTANCE HORSE
HORSE OF THE YEAR
CHAMPION STALLION AWARD
Jet Master – Mr and Mrs Devine
OUTSTANDING STALLION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Captain Al – Klawervlei Stud
BROODMARE OF THE YEAR
Sunshine Lover – Mr W J Engelbrecht
BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Graystone Stud – Mr S D Gray
BREEDER AWARD – EXCEPTIONAL INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
and EQUUS AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT
JJ the Jet Plane – (Breeder – Mr Devine) and Gypsy’s Warning – (Breeder – Rathmor Stud)
WORK RIDER AWARDS
Bizu Mjokwa – Western Cape
Abram Makhubo – Gauteng
Print – Robyn Louw
Television – Aiden Lithgow
APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
JP van der Merwe
Mike de Kock
OWNER OF THE YEAR
Ingrid and Markus Jooste
Photo: Igugu (Anthony Delpech up), with Mathew de Kock and owner Andre Macdonald.