Veteran Hastings Park jockey Chris Loseth has been named the recipient of the 2001 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The award, sponsored by the Ontario Jockey Club, is given annually to a Canadian-born, Canadian-raised, or regular rider in the country for more than five years who has made significant contributions to the sport.
The award is named in honor of the jockey who died from complications after a riding accident during the running of the 1980 Canadian Oaks at Woodbine. Past winners include Johnny Longden, Ron Turcotte, Sandy Hawley, and Don MacBeth. The award was first presented in 1984.
"I am extremely thrilled to win this award," said Loseth, 46. "I had the pleasure of riding with Avelino in 1976 at Greenwood. He was certainly a character and one of a kind. It was a great honor to have known him and to win this award in his name."
Loseth began riding at Hastings Park in 1974 and has won the riding title there a record eight times. He is also the all-time stakes-winning rider at Hastings with 186. He became the fourth Canadian-born rider to win 3,000 races when he passed that milestone in 1996. He has won Sovereign Awards as Canada's outstanding apprentice rider and outstanding journeyman, becoming the first to win both. He was inducted into the British Columbia Thoroughbred Hall of Fame in 1992.
Loseth also serves as the Jockeys' Benefit Association of Canada president.