Edited release from Texas Thoroughbred Association
The Texas Thoroughbred Association will present the T.I. "Pops" Harkins Award to Texas owner and breeder Nelson Bunker Hunt during a June 25 luncheon at the Arlington Wyndham Hotel in Arlington, Texas. Hunt will be honored for his lifetime achievements as an owner and breeder, both nationally and internationally.
Hunt, a Dallas resident, won the Eclipse Award as leading breeder three times and campaigned four champions himself or in partnership. Among his top horses were Exceller, who defeated Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park; Dahlia, a winner of 10 group or graded races and the first female Thoroughbred ever to earn $1 million; and Vaguely Noble, the Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner who sired both Exceller and Dahlia.
Hunt left the sport in 1988 but made a surprise return at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale. Last year, he captured leading owner titles at Fair Grounds and Sam Houston Race Park. His horses won 68 races and earned nearly $2 million.
Hunt's involvement in the sport goes back more than 50 years and includes four years on the TTA board of directors.