O'Brien Award winning horsemen Travis Cullen and Kelly Hoerdt earned more accolades on Saturday night at the annual Alberta Standardbred Horse Association (ASHA) Awards banquet at Edmonton’s Northlands Park while filly Crackers Hot Shot was named Alberta Horse of the Year.
Cullen was named Alberta’s Driver and Horseperson of the Year, and shared Trainer of the Year honours with Hoerdt.
Cullen, 21, earned 159 driving wins in 2013 while banking $619,750 in purses. As a trainer, he sent out 120 winners from his stable and banked $407,682 and was the nation’s leading percentage trainer with an average of .433. Both of his driving and training win totals topped the charts at Alberta Downs and Northlands Park. Cullen campaigned 2013 ASHA Award winning claiming horses Fancy Camelot and Da Terror. The young Edmonton-based horsemen also received the first ever Future Star Award at last weekend's national O'Brien Awards.
Hoerdt, 47, scored 82 training wins during the 2013 racing season and earned $623,245 in purses -- $438,100 at Alberta Downs to make him the season's leader. Among his stable stars were two-time ASHA Award divisional winner Premium Attaction and first-time winner National Debt -- both of which he shares ownership of with the Corbeils. The resident of Beaumont, Alberta also won this year's O'Brien Award of Horsemanship.
Owner of the Year honours were awarded to Rod Starkewski, who campaigned Alberta's Horse of the Year Crackers Hot Shot. The Camcracker filly earned seven of her eight sophomore wins in stakes action while banking $131,232 in purses. She also finished third in the Alberta Super Final and was a runner-up in the season-ending Northlands Filly Pace.
Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark also had lots to celebrate on Saturday as his stable had multiple divisional winners, including the repeating Beren Hanover and Credit Card Junkie, as well as Shark Festival and Contesta Hanover.
Here is a look at the complete list of the 2013 ASHA Award winners:
Shark Festival, owned by Keith Clark, Harvey and Ann Jaeger
Two-Year-Old Alberta Sired Filly
Nighttraintovegas, owned by Dick Schneider, David Halmosi
National Debt, owned by Kelly Hoerdt, Blair and Erna Corbeil
Two-Year-Old Alberta Sired Colt/Gelding
Comes Home First, owned by JJJ Stables
Contesta Hanover, owned by Keith Clark, Robert Jones
Three-Year-Old Alberta Sired Filly
Crackers Hot Shot, owned by Rod Starkewski
Beren Hanover, owned by Keith Clark, Robert Jones
Three-Year-Old Alberta Sired Colt/Gelding
Premium Attaction, owned by Kelly Hoerdt, Blair Corbeil
Credit Card Junkie, owned by Keith Clark, Doris McDougall, Verne Rea
Smooth Criminal, owned by Willie Wychopen, Walter Moroz
Fancy Camelot, owned by Travis Cullen, Keith Hannah, Jason Hannah, Dwayne Taylor
Da Terror, owned by Travis Cullen, Trevor Williams
Groom of the Year
Trainer of the Year - Under 200 Starts
Driver of the Year - Under 200 Starts
Driver of the Year
Horseperson of the Year
Owner of the Year
Breeder of the Year
Meridian Farms - Bill Andrew
Horse of the Year
Crackers Hot Shot
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca