La Sorpresa took the award for top older mare.

La Sorpresa took the award for top older mare.

Coady Photography

New Mexico Breeders Honor Best of 2011

Longtime breeder Sam E. Stevens of Texas among those awarded at annual banquet.

The New Mexico Horse Breeders' Association honored its 2011 Thoroughbred champions during its Zia Awards Banquet at the Marriott Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque Jan. 26.

The banquet, which was emceed by Chris Lincoln, celebrated the association's 50th anniversary and featured a special golden anniversary video presentation produced by Susan Hunter, owner of Hunter Creek Farm in Roswell.

Longtime breeder Sam E. Stevens of Lamesa, Texas, was honored with the 2011 Julep Cup by The Blood-Horse. Stevens is the owner of Rama Lassie, the 2011 NMHBA Thoroughbred Broodmare of the Year. An 11-year-old daughter of the Clever Trick stallion Hadif, Rama Lassie is the dam of That's Who, a gelding by Quinton's Gold who was honored as the NMHBA champion 2-year-old Thoroughbred colt or gelding.

That's Who races for Stevens and his wife, Latane. The gelding won four of seven starts last year, including two stakes, and earned $220,770.

Other NMHBA Thoroughbred awards went to La Sorpresa (top older mare), owned by Gallegos Del Norte, bred by Miguel L. Gallegos; Chuchuluco (older horse or gelding), owned by West Texas Racing Partners, bred by Johnny L. and Mary Paiz; Rose's Desert (3-year-old filly), owned and bred by Joe R. Peacock Sr.; Desert Hennessy (3-year-old colt or gelding), owned by Cleber J. Massey, bred by Sharon and Thomas J. Monsen; and Our Flying Angel (2-year-old filly), owned by Leslie and Pierre J. Amestoy Jr. and Mike C. Abraham, bred by Leslie and Pierre J. Amestoy Jr..

Also, Desert God, owned by H. Joseph Allen, was honored as the top Thoroughbred stallion for 2011. The Way Home, owned by The Way Home Partnership, was the year's top freshman Thoroughbred stallion.