As the 2021 O’Brien Awards draw near, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Standardbred Canada prepare for the annual event. The two organizations have most recently informed that they will continue to partner for the Outstanding Groom Award for this year’s edition of the 2021 O’Brien Awards which will be held in February 2022.
The announcement from the horse racing institution and the Crown corporation means that this will be their sixth time of partnership for the award. The Outstanding Groom Award was first presented six years ago at the 2015 O’Brien Awards Gala. And who will be the winner of this year’s edition will be revealed in February.
Applications Now Accepted
Standardbred Canada has now informed that it will be accepting nominations for this year’s edition of the award. The deadline for the submissions is set to January 7, 2022. According to SC, the perfect candidate would be dependable, a good sportsman, with exceptional work ethic, treats horses with respect and kindness, and is based in the country.
The organization urges everyone who knows a good groom from the racing industry to nominate them for the award. In order for candidates to be considered for the award, they must be at least 19 years of age. Also, the institution said that the grooms’ efforts go under the radar of the racing industry, and their work is critical for the success of any horse.
Starting from 2015, the past winners of the recently introduced Outstanding Groom Award, include Cindy Action in 2015, Teesha Symes in 2016, Chantel Gillis in 2017. Then in 2018, the honor was shared between Scott Lecain, and Trevor Forgie, followed by Rachel Dupuis who snatched the award in 2019. And in 2020, the winner was Brady Jackson.
After the submission period ends on January 7, 2022, a selection committee will review and assess all nominations. Then two finalists will be revealed on January 13, 2022. The winner will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Virtual Gala which will be taking place on Sunday, February 6, 2022. Submissions can be sent to Kathy Wade Vlaar at [email protected].
Changes to the O’Brien Award
In the summer of 2021, Standardbred Canada revealed that it will be making some alterations to the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. After the successful passing of a motion in an August meeting by the organizations’ Board of Directors, SC announced that changes have been approved. to the conditions that determine the winner of the prestigious award.
SC stated that after the changes the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship will recognize a trainer who represents the highest standard of horsemanship. The award is in honor of legendary trainer Joe O’Brien. Now, Canadian horse people will be now assessed on conditions that emphasize the development of young horses under their wing for the duration of a year. Additionally, the award is now open to both large and small operations form of horse racing from the country.
Source: “OLG Partners With SC On Groom Award”, Standardbred Canada, December 17, 2021