Equus 2020 – Saluting The Stars!

Mary Slack's Lifetime Achievement Award

Despite never having taken on the boys, the Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein-bred undefeated SA Triple Tiara winner of last term, Summer Pudding, was crowned SA Horse Of The Year at the unique virtual Equus Awards hosted by the Desch attired veteran broadcasters Neil Andrews and Nico Kritsiotis on Tellytrack on Sunday evening.

On a big evening for a dominant South African breeding dynasty, Mary Slack was acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein were voted outstanding SA Breeder.

Mary Slack

Mary Slack – Lifetime Achievement Award

In an outcome that went largely according to expectations, Sporting Post readers were on the button in the Horse Of The Year debate, after voting 41% in favour of Summer Pudding, with Joey Soma’s Got The Greenlight (12%) and Hawwaam (11%) next best in the poll.

A winner of all of her seven starts, Summer Pudding earned R1 413 500, excluding her Tiara bonus, and proved the darling of the SA racing public in a testing season, with an heroic final effort when launching from what looked a beaten position to win the Gr1 Woolavington 2000 in dazzling style. She also, unsurprisingly, picked up the Champion 3yo Filly title.

SA Horse Of The Year – Summer Pudding (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Summer Pudding is by champion sire Silvano (Lomitas)  out of the seven-time winning stakes winner Cherry On The Cake(Strike Smartly) – the latter a half sister to SA Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top (Tiger Ridge).

Her anticipated major threat for top honours, Joey Soma’s smashing 4yo Got The Greenlight, didn’t walk away unheralded and was crowned Champion 3yo  Male and Champion Middle Distance after an extended season where he won the Gr1 SA Classic, Gr1 Daily News 2000 and ran second to Belgarion in the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July.

Champion 2yo male – Tempting Fate (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

The Avontuur-bred Tempting Fate, the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe winning son of Master Of My Fate was crowned Champion 2yo Colt, while Var’s smashing daughter Anything Goes received the fairer sex equivalent.

Many may have felt that another of Master Of My Fate’s offspring in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes winner Sentbydestiny, who beat the males in a thriller, may have swung the judges in her favour.

New Drakenstein stallion One World, who probably did his Horse Of The Year aspirations no favours by retiring after the Sun Met, clinched a hotly contested Champion Older Male category.

Captain Al was again to the fore when Five times SA Champion Sean Tarry saw his Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint winner Celtic Sea lift the silverware in the Champion Older Filly/Mare slot.

Milnerton trainers Candice Bass-Robinson and Adam Marcus celebrated in the Champion Sprinter and Champion Miler division, when Russet Air and Vardy were adjudged tops, respectively.

Vardy also gave Avontuur’s evergreen champion Var two Equus winners.

Klawervlei were crowned Champion Breeders, with their supremo John Koster generously dedicating the award to all of his fellow winners.

Well done to the organisers and all the nominees. A superb effort in trying times!

Here are all the winners-

Champion Two-year-old Colt

  • Tempting Fate (Master Of My Fate)


  • Erik the Red (Captain Al)
  • Mount Pleasant (Aus)
  • Nourbese (Futura)

Champion Two-year-old Filly

  • Anything Goes (Var)


  • Sentbydestiny (Master Of My Fate)
  • Vernichey (Vercingetorix)

Bernard Fayd’herbe & Joey Soma – after dual Equus Champion Got The Greenlight’s Gr1 Daily News victory (Candiese Lenferna)

Champion Three-year-old Colt

  • Got The Greenlight (Gimmethegreenlight)


  • Golden Ducat (Philanthropist)

Champion Three-year-old Filly

  • Summer Pudding (Silvano)


  • Missisippi Burning (Captain Al)

Champion Older Male – One World (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Champion Older Male

  • One World (Captain Al)


  • Belgarion (Dynasty)
  • Hawwaam (Silvano)
  • Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World)
  • Vardy (Var)

Champion Older Filly/Mare

  • Celtic Sea (Captain Al)


  • Clouds Unfold (What A Winter)
  • Queen Supreme (Ire)
  • Ronnie’s Candy (King Of Kings)
  • Temple Grafin (Duke Of Marmalade)

Champion Sprinter – Russet Air (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

 Champion Sprinter

Russet Air (What A Winter)


  • Celtic Sea (Captain Al)
  • Rivarine (Var)
  • Van Halen (Oratorio)
  • Warrior’s Rest (What A Winter)

Champion Miler

Vardy (Var)


  • Hawwaam (Silvano)
  • Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World)

Champion Middle Distance

  • Got The Greenlight (Gimmethegreenlight)


  • Belgarion (Dynasty)
  • Golden Ducat (Philanthropist)
  • Hawwaam (Silvano)
  • One World (Captain Al)
  • Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World),
  • Summer Pudding (Silvano)

Champion Stallion

  • Silvano

Champion Breeder

  • Klawervlei Stud

Champion Broodmare

  • Halfway To Heaven (Mary Slack and Jessica Jell)

Outstanding South African Breeder Award

  • Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein

 Lifetime Achievement Award         

  • Mary Slack

Champion Apprentice

  • Luke Ferraris

Pure Winning Form! Warren Kennedy (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Champion Jockey

  • Warren Kennedy

Champion Trainer

  • Sean Tarry

Chris van Niekerk

Champions – Trainer Sean Tarry & Owner Chris van Niekerk

Champion Owner

  • Chris van Niekerk

Horse of The Year

  • Summer Pudding

Special Award to the Groom of the Horse of the year

  • Patrick Mankwe

Congratulations to all the winners!

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