Day At The Track

Northern Ireland Standardbred Awards

07:51 PM 16 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Carmel Stewart
Carmel Stewart for the time and effort she puts into the sport form taking entries to showing the racing on Annaghmore videos her efforts are greatly appreciated by all.

The Dunsilly Hotel Antrim played host to the 2015 Northern Ireland Standardbred Awards on Sat 12th March. Unusually the dinner attracted more attendees than anticipated with harness racing organiser Alec Patterson whisking in an extra table like that scene from ‘ Goodfellas ‘

The committee asked compere Dan Carlin to publicly acknowledge the achievements of 2 Northern Ireland owned horses namely Meadowbranch DJ and Vichy de Voem. DJ was unlucky to fall sick on the big stage ( happily on the mend we believe ) while Portrush owned Vichy de Voem looks set to do a coals – to – Newcastle job in his native France.

2016 was certainly The Year of The Small Stable. Aside from the achievements of President at Portmarnock – Annaghmore saw stellar performances from O’ Riordan Stables, the Eugene Hanson yard, first season driver Simon Duggan and the Donegal Wonder ; End Of The Line, these were applauded on the night.

To the business of the awards ; Martin Loughran from Omeath dominated proceedings in the manner of Willie Mullins over jumps. Leading Owner, Trainer, Driver and Horse went the way  of the Omeath men. Martin has won many admirers with his ‘ never say die ‘ attitude when driving. The family’s Belmont Stables topped of an unbeatable season at Annaghmore with a sweet double at the big Dundalk meeting – all the more enjoyable as the Multi Million pound facility is less than 10 miles from their Cooley base. The Horse of The Year award went to the much improved Lakeview Rapido ( Judge Cam oo Coalford Sky ) who is only 5 this season.

The awards were tasteful Crystal Tablets and North Lucas of Comber looked delighted to pick up ‘ Trotter of The Year ‘ for Lucas and Moore’s Verdi de Crouay. An old fashioned stamp of a trotter Verdi performed admirably from the opening meeting to the last, seeming to thrive on his racing. Verdi was imported as part of the Le Trot initiative.

Carmel Stewart ( video producer and tweeter of results extraordinaire ) was a popular recipient of a Special Achievement Award. Backroom boy Ivan Swindle also gained an honour – as did Yours Truly ( Special Contribution ) nice to know that somebody reads this stuff.

Your compere was delighted to be asked. It was a pleasure to help Alec, Kevin and  their hardworking committee. A few short speeches paid tribute to the Annahgmore team. The venue re-opens in mid – May with the full complement of pacing, French trotting, non French trotting and a big pot for the coloured horses. Entries are welcome from Dublin, Cork and GB. NI Members are happy to provide stabling for visitors, and the lightning fast oval is a great place to hang a Lifetime Best on a mare or stallion.



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