At a time when the resilience of the industry is being severely tested, two achievements stood out on another outstanding evening at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, host venue for the 2018 Equus Awards.
One equine and one human, the evening proved historic for two special athletes. Oh Susanna won the Equus Horse of the Year after a smashing season including victories in the Sun Met and Woolavington Stakes as a 3 year old filly. The star filly took in the boys in that historic Sun Met and was duly crowed at the awards. She took home another two awards with that, including Champion 3yo filly and and Champion Middle Distance horse, the latter award partially providing a clue to the upcoming Horse of the Year announcement as racings elite awaited the result.
The other major achievement was that of Lyle Hewitson, a once in a lifetime achievement of becoming Champion Apprentice and Champion Jockey in the same season. Few have done it and all have gone on to become jockey superstars including Champion British Rider, Muis Roberts.
Hewitson credited Riding Master Robert Moore for his guidance and teaching, as with all great performances the teamwork by so many was highlighted by the affable Hewitson.
Do It Again must have come close to Horse of the Year honours as he won the Champion 3 Year old Colt and won the highly prestigious Vodacom Durban July this year. His somewhat inconsistent year did leave that Horse of the Year title open for Oh Susanna, who hardly put a foot wrong in her campaigns.
Justin Snaith dominated the season and was humble in his acceptance of speech acknowledging his team and the horses he trained. He dominated the awards as well with stars for his winning year.
Champion Two-year-old Colt
Champion Two-year-old Filly
Champion Three-year-old Colt
Do It Again
Champion Three-year-old Filly
Champion Older Male
Champion Older Filly/Mare
Champion Middle Distance
It’s My Turn
Horse of the Year
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Mike de Kock