The Niarchos Family, racing under the Flaxman Holdings name, has won the fourth annual John Deere Award as outstanding breeders of the 2014 Breeders' Cup Challenge Series and the 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, which is funded by breeders through the annual nominations of foals and stallions.
The award winner is determined by the breeder who received the highest number of points based upon graded/group first-place finishes in the 71 Breeders' Cup Challenge races and the 13 Breeders' Cup World Championships races held this year, as follows: grade/group I, 10 points; grade/group II, 6 points; grade/group III, 4 points; ungraded, 2 points.
The Niarchos Family/Flaxman Holdings earned 54 points in Breeders' Cup Challenge and World Championships races, accumulated by four horses which they bred or were co-breeders: Main Sequence, Karakontie, Tapestry, and John F. Kennedy. NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award a John Deere TS Gator Utility Vehicle to the Niarchos Family.
Trained by Graham Motion, Main Sequence won the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and two grade I Breeders' Cup Challenge races, while 3-year-old Karakontie earned 10 points for his victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). The Niarchos Family also earned 10 points as co-breeders with Oppendale in Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) winner Tapestry, trained by Aidan O'Brien, and four points earned by Tapestry's full brother, 2-year-old John F. Kennedy, also trained by O'Brien, winner of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial (Eng-III) at Leopardstown.
In addition to Main Sequence and Karakontie, the Niarchos family also bred and owned two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Miesque (1987, '88) and 1997 Mile winner Spinning World. They also owned 2002 Mile winner Domedriver and 2003 Mile winner Six Perfections.
"Over the years, the Niarchos Family has enjoyed outstanding success at the Breeders' Cup World Championships and has been tremendous supporters of the event since its beginnings," Breeders' Cup chief executive officer and president Craig Fravel said in a statement.
"Flaxman Holdings Limited is delighted to have earned the outstanding breeder of the Breeders' Cup, and thanks very much to John Deere for their generous sponsorship of this award," said Maria Niarchos-Gouaze.
"At John Deere, we understand that long-term excellence comes from day-to-day commitment," said Ken Taylor, John Deere vorporate business division manager. "This commitment to excellence has been displayed by the Niarchos Family in the remarkable victories of their racing offspring, so we are proud to present them with the John Deere Award."
Juddmonte Farms finished second in this year's John Deere Award competition with 30 points.
In 2011 Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey won the inaugural John Deere Award as breeders of Stephanie's Kitten. Morton Fink, breeder of two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, received the award in 2012. Dr. Christian Berglar, breeder of Novellist, won the 2013 honor.