With an unprecedented three Breeders' Cup Challenge victories by his majestic homebred Novellist, Christoph Berglar has won the third annual John Deere Award as outstanding breeder of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series and Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The John Deere Award, presented by Breeders' Cup Limited and NTRA Advantage, emphasizes the contributions of breeders to the Breeders' Cup program. The industry's breeders fund the purses for the World Championships through annual nominations of foals and stallions.
The John Deere Award goes to the breeder who received the highest number of points based upon graded/group first-place finishes in the 67 Breeders' Cup Challenge races and the 14 Breeders' Cup World Championships races held this year.
Novellist earned 30 points for Dr. Bergler by winning three consecutive Breeders' Cup Challenge races in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot, and the Grosser Preis von Baden (Ger-I) at Baden Baden. No horse had ever won three Breeders' Cup Challenge races in a single year since the series started in 2007.
Novellist is a 4-year-old son of Monsun out of Night Lagoon, by Lagunas. Trained by Andreas Wohler, Novellist was scheduled to start in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) in October but was withdrawn from the race due to fever and did not start again in 2013.
NTRA Advantage and John Deere will present a John Deere TS Gator Utility Vehicle to Berglar's son Peter, who manages Stonereath Farm near Paris, Ky.
"We are delighted to receive this award from John Deere," Berglar said. "For us, Novellist was a great blessing and blessings teach us powerful lessons. Novellist taught us joy, humility, and gratitude."
The John Deere Award point system was based on wins in Challenge/Championships stakes races for U.S. and Canadian graded events and international group events in which victories in grade/group I races were worth 10 points, grade/group II races six points, grade/group III races four points, and ungraded races two points.
Dr. Berglar finished 10 points in front of six other breeders, tied with 20 points each. The other breeders are as follows: John and Carole Rio, breeders of Mucho Macho Man, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I); Morton Fink, breeder of Wise Dan, who won the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) and the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (gr. I); London Thoroughbred Services Ltd., breeders of Dank, winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I) and the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I); Clarkland Farm, breeder of Beholder, who won the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) and the Zenyatta Stakes (gr. I); Watership Down Stud, breeders of The Fugue, who won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (gr. I) and the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes (gr. I); George Strawbridge, who bred Moonlight Cloud, winner of the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le Buffard - Jacques Le Marois (gr. I) and the Qatar Prix de la Foret (gr. I); and Gary Rocks, breeder of Points Offthebench, winner of the Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) and Santa Anita Sprint Championship (gr. I).
"We congratulate Dr. Berglar on the accomplishments of his outstanding homebred, Novellist, in winning the John Deere Award," said Heather Higgins, Breeders' Cup vice president of corporate partnerships, in a release. "John Deere continues to be an outstanding Breeders' Cup partner and its expanded role with NTRA Advantage emphasizes the essential importance of our breeders to the Breeders' Cup program."
In 2011, Ken and Sarah Ramsey won the inaugural John Deere Award as breeders of Stephanie's Kitten. Morton Fink, breeder of Wise Dan, received the award last year.
"At John Deere we strive for excellence, and recognize the excellence displayed by others," said Dwight Ange, John Deere corporate account manager, in a statement. "We are proud to provide the John Deere Award to Dr. Christoph Berglar for the excellence displayed by Novellist in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Challenge series."