Highfield Princess crowned Yorkshire's Horse of the Year
The brilliant sprinter, trained at Malton by John Quinn, lit up the late summer when she won the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, York’s Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes and the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh – all in the space of 35 days.
The five-year-old, owned and bred by John Fairley, also had wins at Newcastle and York earlier in the campaign and rounded off her globe-trotting season with fourth place in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Keeneland.
Speaking at the Tote-sponsored Go Racing In Yorkshire Awards Lunch held at York Racecourse, Fairley said: “She’s having a little holiday right now and then will go back to John (Quinn) when he tells me the time is right.
"She has a wonderful custom mind that just wants to win races and we’re thinking about the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.”
Other winners from the Flat included the county’s top trainer – Great Habton’s Tim Easterby who struck 67 times across Yorkshire tracks – including 22 at Ripon alone.
Thirsk-based Royal Ascot-winning jockey Danny Tudhope was Yorkshire’s leading rider with 48 victories and he was also the leading rider at York, Pontefract and Wetherby.
With four victories, Ryan Sexton, based in Malton with Adrian Keatley won the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series, sponsored by White Rose Saddlery.
He competed in eight of the 11 races in the series, amassing an impressive 75 points.
Sexton said: “I’m delighted to win this award and my highlight of the season was winning on Look Out Louis at Chester for Julie Camacho.”
National Hunt’s Champion Jump Jockey, Brian Hughes, was also the White Rose’s number one with 26 winners across the county’s three jump courses, Catterick, Doncaster and Wetherby. Dan Skelton took the trainer’s equivalent with 25 wins.
In addition, five trainers and riders were recognised for reaching personal milestones during the course of the year.
Alex Frost, Chief Executive of the Tote presented awards to Middleham’s Mark Johnston for passing the 5,000 winner-mark; Stillington’s Ruth Carr and Paul Midgley of Westow, who both hit the 500 career-winner mark, Brian Hughes for riding his 1,500th winner and Flat jockey Kevin Stott for achieving his 500th.
A special presentation was made to John Sexton, who retired after nine years as chairman of Go Racing In Yorkshire back in 2021.
Ben Warn, his successor, said: “Having missed the last two award lunches due to Covid, it was a great opportunity to get everyone together to celebrate all that is good about racing in Yorkshire.
“As a sport we have a great deal to be proud of in the county and we look forward to more incredible performances and supporting the continued success of our athletes, both equine and human, in 2023.”