Sizing John honoured at ceremony for British jumps breeding
Quartet of Kayf Tara's progeny also recognised for their achievements
Another stellar year for British jumps breeding was toasted at the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association's National Hunt celebration dinner at the Mount Pleasant Hotel near Doncaster on Monday evening.
Bryan and Sandra Mayoh of Eskdale Stud, breeders of Sizing John, were awarded the Overbury Stud Trophy for leading chaser. Sizing John, a son of the much-missed Midnight Legend bred by the couple out of the Northern Crystal mare La Perrotine, proved to be a revelation for stepping up in trip to staying distances. Under the care of master trainer Jessica Harrington, Sizing John won a trio of top-level events, the Irish Gold Cup, Cheltenham Gold Cup and rounded his season off with a display filled with class and guts to land the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Bryan and Sandra also collected the Midnight Legend Trophy for leading hurdles mare, with Kayf Tara's Listed-winning daughter Lifeboat Mona landing the prize.
The Highflyer Trophy for leading hurdler went the way of Bill Bromley of Wood Farm Stud, breeder of Yanworth. The son of Norse Dancer, who is out of the Galetto mare Yota, landed four races last season, most notably a brace of Grade 1s in the Christmas Hurdle and Liverpool Stayers Hurdle.
Robin and Scarlett Knipe's hugely exciting Thistlecrack was honoured with the Shade Oak Stud Trophy for leading novice chaser. The son of Kayf Tara lit up the early part of the jumps season with some scintillating rounds of jumping, including when trouncing the opposition in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day, before going down by just a head after a titanic duel with Many Clouds in the Cotswold Chase.
The Knipes bred the nine-year-old out of the Ardross mare Ardstown.
The Eric Gillie Special Award went the way of Special Tiara's breeder D E M Young. The hearty ten-year-old Kayf Tara gelding made it fourth time lucky when landing the Queen Mother Champion Chase during the Cheltenham Festival.
Another son of Kayf Tara, Betfair Hurdle hero Ballyandy, was also recognised, with Pleasure Place Racing picking up the Birch Farm Stud and DGS Horse Transport award for leading novice hurdler.
King's Theatre made his presence felt on the evening, when his daughter Briery Belle’s breeders Simon and Helen Plumbly were given the Beech Tree Stud prize for leading chase mare. As did Black Sam Bellamy, whose unbeaten son Sam Brown saw TC Frost handed the Yorton Stud Trophy for leading bumper horse.
Also recognised were Petticoat Tails - a daughter of Presenting, whose breeder Goldford Stud collected the Mill House Stud prize for leading bumper mare, and Augusta Kate - a daughter of Yeats, bred by Graham Wylie who picked up the Mickley Stud Trophy for leading novice hurdle mare.