Racing Queensland has today announced the finalists for the 2022 Queensland Harness Awards.
Staged at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Sunday, February 19, the Queensland Harness Awards will acknowledge the Sunshine State’s outstanding standardbreds and participants throughout 2022.
A stellar crop of pacing stars are in the hunt for the 2022 Queensland Harness Horse of the Year, headlined by three-time Derby winner Leap To Fame, alongside Albion Park track record holder Blacksadance, and the ever-consistent Turn It Up.
Leap To Fame stunned the harness racing world by becoming just the fourth horse behind Paleface Adios, Courage Under Fire and Captain Joy to claim the Queensland, NSW and Victoria Derby treble, with victory at Melton in October sealing the trifecta for driver and trainer Grant Dixon.
Six-year-old star Blacksadance is also a strong contender, taking out the AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup, along with the Group 3 Garrards Be Good Johnny Sprint, whilst also setting a new Albion Park record at a blistering 01:49.02 mile rate.
Turn It Up rounds out the finalists for the major award, with eight wins netting more than $140,000 in prize money for the eight-year-old last season.
“The Queensland Harness Awards is always a fantastic evening for the industry to celebrate the accomplishments of our equine and human participants, and I look forward to seeing everyone there,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“The harness code continues to reach record-breaking levels in the Sunshine State, headlined by significant prize money increases and a surge in returns to participants.
“The finalists across the board for this year’s Awards are testament to the strength of the code at present, as a number of our top line standardbreds continue to shine both locally and inter-state.”
In total, close to 40 Awards of distinction will be presented to Queensland’s outstanding achievers including Horse of the Year, Trotter of the Year, Trainer of the Year and Driver of the Year, as well as Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg club awards.
For the first time, the Mini Trotting Driver of the Year award will be handed out for the three clubs, along with the Queensland Off-The-Track (QOTT) Acknowledged Retrainer of the Year award.
There will also be two new Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame inductees announced on the evening.
Click here for more information on the 2022 TAB Queensland Harness Awards.
2022 Harness Awards Finalists
Queensland Harness Horse of the Year
Blacksadance – trained by Chantal Turpin
Season 2022: 23 starts for six wins, seven placings and $95,365 in prize money.
Highlights: Winner of the AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup, Group 3 Garrards Be Good Johnny Sprint, and Garrards Horse & Hound Open Pace.
Leap To Fame – trained by Grant Dixon
Season 2022: 12 starts for nine wins, three placings and $451,231 in prize money.
Highlights: Winner of the Group 1 Queensland Derby, Group 1 New South Wales Derby, Group 1 Victoria Derby and Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge C&G 3YO Final.
Turn It Up – trained by Shane Graham
Season 2022: 18 starts for eight wins, nine placings and $141,308 in prize money.
Highlights: Winner of the AQWA Constructions Open Pace, runner up in the Group 2 AQWA Constructions Queensland Cup, third in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake and Group 1 Garrards Sunshine Sprint.
Queensland Aged Pacer of the Year
- Big Wheels
- Turn It Up
Queensland Trotter of the Year
- Global Fight
- Majestic Harry
- Van Sank
- Wee Man Trouble
Queensland Filly or Mare of the Year
- Cheer Leader
- Magical Maya
- Racy Roxy
Queensland 3YO Pacer of the Year
- Leap To Fame
- Teddy Disco
- Tims A Trooper
Queensland 2YO Pacer of the Year
- Cheer Leader
- For Real Life
- Hold Onto Ya Bling
Queensland Broodmare of the Year
- Bangkok Dancer
- Lets Rocknroll
- Washington Lass (NZ)
Queensland Breeder of the Year
- Burwood Stud
- Jeff and Le-Ann Wallace
- Solid Earth Pty Ltd
Queensland Owner of the Year
- Raboki Pty Ltd
- Solid Earth Pty Ltd
- Tumby Park Pty Ltd
QOTT Acknowledged Retrainer of the Year
- Amanda Chant – Equine-Konected
- Giuditta Crisci – Ditta’s Equine Services