Persian Punch, honored in Great Britain.

Persian Punch, honored in Great Britain.

Trevor Jones

Award Ceremonies Honor Horses, People in Britain

Three British awards ceremonies within a week honored people and horses from this year and the past.

The Racehorse Owners' Association/Racing Post Awards, announced on the evening of Dec. 11, demonstrated the British penchant for sentimentality with the Horse of the Year award going to 10-year-old gelding Persian Punch, a determined and consistent racehorse who enjoyed a great season in staying races.

Persian Punch, who also won the Older Horse of the Year Award, has won 20 races but none at the group I level.

The Aga Khan's Dalakhani took the 3-year-old Colt of the Year Award with his owner also being named the Owner of the Year. Russian Rhythm was voted the 3-year-old Filly of the Year, with the 2-year-old Colt and Filly Awards going respectively to Milk It Mick and Carry On Katie. Cheltenham, the home of British jump racing, beat off two flat courses -- Goodwood and York -- to be named ROA/Racing Post Racecourse of the Year.

All the categories were voted for by ROA members with Racing Post reader joining in for Horse of the Year.

The Derby Awards, organized by the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association three days earlier, concerned people. Sir Michael Stoute won the Flat Trainer of the Year Award with Kieren Fallon taking the Flat Jockey Award.

Pascal Bary, the French trainer who sent out Six Perfections to win the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), was given the accolade of International Trainer of the Year while owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah was commended for Services to International Racing.

The Journalist of the Year Award was a tie between BBC broadcaster Clare Balding and Doug Moscrop of the Newcastle Journal while The Racing Post's Edward Whitaker was voted Photographer of the Year.

The special George Ennor Award went to Pat Eddery, one of the most successful British-based flat jockeys ever who has just retired from race riding.

Eddery also won this year's Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust Award for a lifetime's contribution to the sport of horseracing, following in the footsteps of Her Majesty The Queen (2002), Vincent O'Brien (2001), Lester Piggott (2000), Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1999), Dick Hern (1998) and the Marquess of Hartington (1997).