By Sarah Whitelaw
Legislate was named South Africa's Horse of the Year at a glittering awards ceremony in Johannesburg Aug. 13. The Equus Awards annually honors South Africa's equine and human horse racing stars and the 2014 event was once again well attended by members of the racing fraternity from all around the country.
From the yard of champion trainer Justin Snaith, Legislate enjoyed a successful season in 2014. The bay colt, owned by Newbury Racing in partnership with Drakenstein Stud and Jack Mitchell, reeled off four wins on the trot, culminating in a victory (albeit on disqualification of original winner Wylie Hall) in the grade I Vodacom Durban July.
The colt, who pulled up lame after his July win, was also named champion 3-year-old colt and champion middle distance horse for the South Africa racing season of 2013-2014. Legislate is currently enjoying a break and will be aimed at the Western Cape's top races for older horses in 2015. His sire Dynasty, himself South Africa's Horse of the Year in 2002, is also the sire of Equus champion older female Beach Beauty, and was given a special Outstanding Stallion Achievement award.
South African racing history was made on Wednesday night when S'Manga Khumalo became the first black jockey named champion jockey. Khumalo, fresh off riding at Ascot in the Shergar Cup, scored 185 wins to claim the title, and finished 40 wins clear of runner up Richard Fourie on the jockeys table.
The soon-to-be wed Snaith became the first Cape-based trainer to become champion in 24 years when named the country's top conditioner. Snaith, trainer of Equus champions Legislate and In The Fast Lane, sent out runners to win 194 races last season with his horses earning over R19.49 million (US$1,843,077) in prize money.
Markus and Ingrid Jooste, whose runners include Champions Mile winner Variety Club as well as Equus champion Yorker, were named the country's leading owners for a seventh consecutive year, while Klawervlei Stud was top breeder by prize money won.
EQUUS AWARD WINNERS 2013-2013
2YO Colt: Harry's Son
2YO Filly: Majmu
3YO Colt: Legislate
3YO Filly: In The Fast Lane
Older Male: Yorker
Older Female: Beach Beauty
Sprinter: Via Africa
Miler: Capetown Noir
Middle Distance Horse: Legislate
Exceptional Breeding Achievement: Beaumont Stud (Variety Club) & Klawervlei Stud (Vercingetorix)
Outstanding Breeder Award: Carl and Amanda de Vos
Outstanding Stallion Award: Dynasty
Broodmare Of The Year: Star Of Arcole
Stallion: Jet Master
Special Achievement Award: Variety Club
Media (print): David Mollett
Media (television): Andrew Bonn
Breeder Of The Year: Klawervlei
Apprentice: Aukash Aucharuz
Jockey: S'Manga Khumalo
Trainer: Justin Snaith
Owner: Markus and Ingrid Jooste
Horse Of The Year: Legislate