MIKE de Kock’s stable received three awards at South Africa’s annual Equus Awards Ceremony at Emperors Palace on Wednesday night.
Mathew de Kock accepted the Champion Trainer Award on behalf of his dad and was also on hand for the trophy awarded to Vercingetorix, Champion Three-Year-Old Colt. The unbeaten son of Silvano is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
Mathew de Kock.
Sporting Post reported on Thursday: “Mathew de Kock delivered a great speech. The young man asked the audience to remember the passing of Abram Mahkubo, before thanking his entire team, grooms, work riders, transporters, owners and the support of Mary Slack. A very accomplished speech, all round!”
The third award was for sprinter Shea Shea, who performed with distinction in Dubai and the UK, won the Equus International Achievement Award for owners Brian Joffe and Myron Berzack.
Glorious moments in Dubai for Shea Shea and connections. (Andrew Watkins).
Variety Club, owned by Ingrid and Markus Jooste, was named Horse Of The Year for the second year running. He also claimed the Equus Champion Miler and the Champion Older ale prizes.
Heavy Metal, winner of both the Grade 1 President’s Champions Challenge and the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July, claimed the coveted Champion Middle Distance Horse award.
Another popular equine winner on the night was the diminutive Beach Beauty, who was the sole nominee for the Champion Mare award.
Heavy Metal’s owner Chris van Niekerk received a Special Achievement Equus, having won the July two years in a row. Another Special Achievement statuette went to Snaith Racing Stables for its record-breaking feats through the season.
Among the breeding awards, new stallion Judpot won an Outstanding Achievement award, and Klawervlei Stud an Exceptional International Achievement award for Shea Shea’s feats.
The full list:
International Achievement Award: Shea Shea
Champion 2 year colt (distance immaterial): Kochka
Champion 2 year filly (distance immaterial): Along Came Polly
Champion 3year old colt (distance immaterial): Vercingetorix
Champion 3 year filly (distance immaterial): Cherry On The Top
Champion older male (distance immaterial): Variety Club
Champion older filly / mare (distance immaterial): Beach Beauty
Champion sprinter (1000-1200; age/gender immaterial): What a Winter
Champion Miler (1400-1600; age/gender immaterial): Variety Club
Champion middle distance horse (1400-2200; age/gender immaterial): Heavy Metal
Champion stayer (2400 and up; age/gender immaterial): Jeppe’s Reef
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Chris van Niekerk, Snaith Racing Stables
CHAMPION STALLION: Silvano – Maine Chance Farms
CHAMPION BROODMARE: Akinfeet – Lammerskraal Stud
CHAMPION BREEDER: Summerhill Stud
OUTSTANDING STALLION ACHIEVEMENT: Judpot – Varsfontein Stud
BREEDER AWARD – EXCEPTIONAL INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Shea Shea – Klawervlei
MEDIA AWARDS: Print – David Thiselton; Television – Jimmy Lithgow
APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR: Nooresh Juglall
CHAMPION JOCKEY: Piere Strydom
CHAMPION TRAINER: Mike de Kock
OWNER OF THE YEAR: Ingrid and Markus Jooste
HORSE OF THE YEAR: Variety Club