Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Queenslanders dominate Australian Horse of the Year Awards

23 April 2024

Share this page

Share on a platform

Or copy the page link

A duo of Queensland stars have been acknowledged for their stellar 2023 seasons at this morning’s Australian Horse of the Year Awards.

Modern day champion Leap To Fame has been officially crowned Australia’s premier standardbred, taking out the 2023 Australian Harness Horse of Year Award.

Leap To Fame’s historic season was cemented by his breathtaking victory in the Group 1 Inter Dominion Pacing Championship at his home track Albion Park in December.

Authoritative victories in both the Sunshine Sprint and The Rising Sun, alongside placings in the Blacks A Fake, Victoria Cup, and the inaugural running of The Eureka, topped off a near impeccable CV in his four-year-old season.

From 16 starts, Leap To Fame claimed a remarkable 12 wins and three placings, along with more than $1.2 million in prize money.

As a result, he was also crowned both Australian Pacer of the Year and Aged Horse of the Year.

This morning’s awards are the latest recognition for Leap To Fame’s record-breaking year, where he also claimed a second successive Queensland Harness Horse of the Year title as well as the HRA Grand Circuit Champion.

“Leap To Fame has transcended the harness racing code in Queensland, and is already laying claim to being one of our all-time greats alongside the likes of Blacks A Fake,” Racing Queensland CEO Jason Scott said.

“You only had to be at Albion Park for the Inter Dominion Championships when the packed crowd let out an almighty roar as Larry turned for home to understand what he means to the sport.

“His 2023 season will go down as one of the great individual performances we’ve seen, and if his first few months of the current season are anything to go by, he may yet reach heights we once thought unimaginable.”

Elsewhere, promising young trotter Not As Promised was bestowed the honour of Australian 3YO Trotting Colt/Gelding of the Year.

After making the switch to the Graham Dwyer stable mid-way through the year, the young gun claimed eight of a possible nine victories.

Forming a near unstoppable partnership with the nation’s premier driver Nathan Dawson, Not As Promised went on to claim a pair of Group 1 features in the Haras Des Trotteurs Derby at Maryborough and the 3YO Breeders Crown at Melton.

“The 2023 season has been a history-making and record-breaking year for the code in Queensland,” Mr Scott said.

“Not As Promised is set to announce himself as one of Australia’s premier open-age trotters, and we look forward to seeing him make his presence felt in the up-coming Queensland Constellations.

“Queensland can currently lay claim to having both the nation’s best horse and best driver – we’re incredibly proud to see our local stars receive their well-deserved national recognition.”

Not As Promised and Nathan Dawson