Valley figures in country racing awards
THE Clarence Valley has figured prominently in the 2005 Racing NSW Country Awards for Excellence, held at Randwick Race Course on Friday night.
The Clarence River Jockey Club's premier race the Grafton Cup took out the Most Popular Feature Race Meeting award and Daily Examiner sports writer Tony White won the Media Award.
In addition former CRJC stalwart Stan Hayes received the prestigious Nivison Award for his service to country racing.
Hayes served on the board of Racing NSW Country for more than 10 years, was the inaugural chairman of the Country Racing Council, served on the committee of the Clarence River Jockey Club for 14 years and has held the position of Chairman of the Northern Rivers Racing Association for the past 12 years.
The awards were presented by host Andrew Bensley during the night with four Special Appreciation Certificates awarded to John Sinclair, Barry Lawson, Bob Spletter and Ian Reid for outstanding contributions to country racing.
For the first time ever the four Awards in the race club categories carried significant sponsorship.
Each of the race club category winners received a $10,000 hire voucher from Pages Equipment Hire and either a Sky Channel Live hosting or a Sky Channel package worth more than $5,000.
White, who attended the award ceremony said the gala evening was enjoyable.
"Stan (Hayes) was a popular choice for the Nivison Award," he said.
The award winners were:
nMurrumbidgee Turf Club ? TAB Race Club of the Year.
nCommunity Race Club of the Year ? Broken Hill St Patrick's Racing Club.
The Best Innovation by a Country Race Club was awarded to Gunnedah Jockey Club for its Owner for a Day promotion.
Takeover Target was named Country Trained Horse of the Year for her win in the Group 1 Salinger at Flemington.
A special appreciation certificate was awarded to Precise Timing as the Best Country Performed Horse.
Kathy O'Hara capped of an exciting year with a win in the Apprentice Jockey of the Year Award.
Country Jockey of the Year Award, Matthew Cahill.
Mark Mason was named Country Trainer of the Year.