Peter McMullen made it back-to-back victories in the Queensland Driver of the Year category, notching 266 wins over the 2022 season, to go with a second straight Australian Drivers’ title.
Meanwhile, Jack Butler has continued his ascension up the training ranks in recent years, claiming his first ever Queensland Trainer of the Year title after preparing 163 winners in 2022 at a strike rate of 17%.
Young gun Angus Garrard was named the Queensland Concession Driver of the Year for the second consecutive season following another standout year that saw the 19-year-old finish third in the State Drivers Premiership standings with 160 wins – a third centurion tally in as many years.
This year’s ceremony also saw the introduction of a new award, as Giuditta Crisci was crowned the inaugural Queensland Off-The-Track Retrainer of the Year.
Since the inception of the QOTT Acknowledged Retrainers Program in January 2022, Giuditta has successfully retrained and rehomed 14 standardbreds from industry into a range of rewarding and varied post-racing career pathways.
Finally, the evening also saw champion pacer Henry Luca and legendary industry participant Vic Frost both inducted into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Henry Luca will be remembered as one of the state’s most consistent pacers, notching up 53 victories and 41 placings from only 153 starts, headlined by his 1987 Group 1 Queensland Pacing Championship.
Vic Frost has prepared over 1,000 winners since data was collated, with half of those registered during his time racing on Queensland tracks.
The multiple Group 1 winner took home a raft of titles including the 1970 Miracle Mile, Australian Derby, Australian and Queensland Pacing Championships, as well as the 1992 Inter Dominion with superstar Westburn Grant.
“There are no more deserving Hall of Fame inductees than both Vic Frost and Henry Luca,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“Now at 82 years of age, Vic is still training winners with his partner Gail Geeson, and will forever be remembered as the man behind champions like Westburn Grant, Lucky Creed and Chandon.
“Importantly, he has also played a huge role in developing many young drivers including the likes of Luke McCarthy, Shane Graham, and Matt Elkins.
“Meanwhile, Henry Luca was a mainstay on Queensland tracks throughout the 80s, with an unbelievable strike rate that saw him win one in every three races he contested.”
In total, more than 50 awards of distinction were presented at this evening’s Awards.