Day At The Track

Jim Hurley winner - Ryan Hryhorec

06:29 PM 06 Nov 2017 NZDT
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Ryan Hryhorec, harness racing
Ryan Hryhorec presented with his Award

An emotional harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec was overwhelmed by the announcement he had won the Jim Hurley Medal for 2016/2017.

A strong family man, Hryhorec’s first thought was for his father Jon who passed away about 12 months ago aged 71, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“I would love to be able to show the Medal to Dad,” Hryhorec said, “I’m sure he would be so proud. “He was such a strong influence on my life and I owe him so much.”

The Jim Hurley Medal, was introduced by Harness Racing South Australia for a trainer or driver who performed consistently at a high level throughout the racing season.

Hryhorec said he had not given a thought to winning the Hurley Medal.

“To be honest I wasn’t going to attend the awards day because things were very busy at home. However, Dave Battye had a talk with me about the importance of industry participants supporting awards presentations, and I agreed, and so we came along. “This is an amazing honour.

“I knew of Jim Hurley as a trainer and driver when I was a kid and by the time I was starting my career he had scaled right down but everyone talked of him in legendary terms.”

The medal is named after Jim Hurley who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing. He was still training at age 90 until his passing in March, 2016. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner.

Hryhorec had a very successful 2016/2017 season winning the SA Trainers premiership with 72 winners and finishing second on the SA Drivers premiership with 129 winners.

He paid tribute to Victorian owner Paul Brumby.

“Paul has been a massive supporter of mine since I took up training and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for him and his group of friends I would not have been able to set myself up as I have.”

The Hurley medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting.

Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia.

Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances.

Graham Fischer

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