Australian arabian racing enthusiast Maureen Milburn has received a lifetime achievement award at the 2011 Darley Champion awards in the US.
Milburn was behind the return of arabian horse racing to Australia, with the country hosting the first arabian horse race in more than a decade, the $20,000 Shadwell Mile for purebred Arabians, at Caulfield last November.
The lifetime achievement award was among six newly instilled awards, sponsored by Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak. These special Darley Awards recognize the woman breeder, owner, trainer, and jockey who most distinguished themselves in Arabian racing during 2011, as well as an award to honor the Mare of the Year.
The Darley Awards, held annually, were founded in 1987 to honor the best in Arabian horse racing, and this year is the 25th anniversary. The distinguished ceremony recognizes the most outstanding racehorses, jockeys, owners, trainers and breeders of the Arabian horse racing community in the USA.
US arabian racehorse TM Fred Texas was been named the 2011 Darley Champion Horse of the Year at the awards, on March 4 at the JW Marriott in Houston, Texas. Dignitaries and guests from the USA and around the globe including Arabian race enthusiasts from Canada, Mexico, Australia, England, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, and UAE were present.
Omar Al Shamshi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C. welcomed the gathering on behalf of the United Arab Emirates, and was on stage to present many of the awards. The glittering ceremony was capped by the ARC’s Annual Stallion Auction Fundraiser, headed by Patrick Buckley representing Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and Bill Smith, a noted trainer and UK Hall of Fame Steeplechase Jockey.
Arabian Racing Cup, owner of the Darley Awards program, was chartered in 1983, founded by Dr Sam Harrison and governed by a Board of Stewards. The Cup is dedicated to the promotion of Arabian Racing by expanding public awareness and creating prestigious programs to highlight the Arabian racing industry.
Chosen from 5 nominees in each category, these individuals were crowned the “Darley Champions of 2011 in the USA”:
HORSE OF THE YEAR: TM Fred Texas
3 YEAR OLD COLT OR GELDING: Born To Boogie MC
3 YEAR OLD FILLY: Golden Odessy
4 YEAR OLD COLT OR GELDING: T M Fred Texas
4 YEAR OLD FILLY: Sanddpiper
OLDER HORSE: Grilla
OLDER MARE: TM Super Bird
BREEDER: Todd Moak
OWNER: Sam Vasquez
TRAINER: Ron Martino
JOCKEY: Ricardo Santana
HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Awards:
BEST BREEDER – Dianne Waldron, USA
BEST OWNER – Margreet de Ruiter-Floor, The Netherlands
BEST JOCKEY – Azhar Bint Saif Al Wardi, Oman
BEST TRAINER – Gill Duffield, Great Britain
BEST MARE – Dixies Valentine
BEST LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT -Maureen Milburn, Australia