Rhino Buster capped a consistent season of racing when he was crowned the Country Racing Association Horse of the Year, held at International on the Water in Ascot, on Friday 27 October.
In an exciting finish to the 2016-17 racing season, Rhino Buster, prepared by Rod ‘Freddo’ Brown in Kalgoorlie, defeated the Natalie Burke-trained Bernadini Genie by one point.
Rhino Buster, a five-year-old son of Danehill Express, clinched the title after an eight-start campaign in Esperance netted the gelding five wins, two seconds and a third placing.
He won at distances from 1100m to 1600m and ended the year running a close second to On The Ropes, beaten ¾ of a length, in the $70,000 Esperance Cup (2000m).
Darryn Pateman took out Leading Trainer after 21 wins, 26 seconds and 28 thirds from his 195 starters, defeating runner-up Tom Pike by 21 points.
A feature race highlight for Pateman was the Junction Cup (1900m) in August when his gelding, Tell Me This, scored a comfortable 2 ¼ length win.
Colin Haddon won Jockey of the Year from Peter Farrell after winning 20 races and placing on 49 occasions from his 154 rides.
Chelsi Forder and Shelby Colgate fought out an exciting conclusion to the Leading Apprentice title, with honours going to the former by two points.
Forder rode 10 winners and 41 placings from 149 rides at Esperance, Dongara, Laverton, Leinster, Leonora, Mt Magnet and Pingrup.
Roseanne Pimm won the RWWA Achievement award, recognising her tireless efforts as Collie Race Club treasurer since 1983.
Pimm was one of the first females to hold a West Australian trainer’s license and her late husband Bob, was the club’s inaugural chairman.
Rebecca Nadge’s ‘Unsung Heroes, the lifeblood of racing’, published in the Kalgoorlie Miner, was named Country Thoroughbred Racing Best Feature Story.
The South Western Times’ Sports Editor, Mitchell Woodcock, was named Country Thoroughbred Racing Media Personality.