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34th Annual Darley Awards to Crown the Best in USA Arabian Horse Racing

With continued precautions concerning COVID-19 for in-person events, the Arabian Racing Cup (ARC) Board of Stewards has organised a team of presenters in four different continents who have broadcasted horse racing’s biggest events – from the Kentucky Derby to the Epsom Derby to the Dubai World Cup to the Amir Sword Festival to the Darley Award Stakes – to recognise the best in Arabian horse racing in the United States through the 34th Annual Darley Awards.

Presented by the Arabian Racing Cup and sponsored by the Texas Arabian Breeders Association (TABA), the Darley Awards broadcast will allow viewers from around the world to participate in the online live event from the comfort of their own homes. Guests will enjoy a presentation from ARC Chief Steward, Jon Henningsgard; event team members; a decorated team of well-known international presenters; a presentation of several additional awards to outstanding community members; and, of course, the anticipated reveal of each Darley Champion for the 2020 racing year, including the 2020 Darley Horse of the Year. In fact, the finalists for Horse of the year – Dance With Me BW, Paddys Day, and Uptown Sandy Girl – have already collectively won a whopping eleven Darley Awards in previous years and are truly legends in the sport.

Banner for the 2021 Darley Awards Virtual Event

The Darley Awards Virtual Broadcast is scheduled to begin Friday 19 March at 8pm CT, and will be streamed simultaneously on both the ARC YouTube Channel and the Arabian Jockey Club Facebook page. Viewers may choose their preferred viewing platform.

Darley Award Nominees and category presenters
Even with COVID-19 lurking, Arabian racing in 2020 offered many memorable moments and hints of greatness across all categories. Here are the Darley Award nominees for the 2020 racing year, along with the presenter of each category:

  • Three Year Old Colts/Geldings: California Sand JS, First Classs, RB Game Over. The winner will be presented by Mark Johnson, commentator of five Kentucky Derbies, five Epsom Derbies, and five The Amir Sword Festivals
  • Three Year Old Fillies: Consider Thess, RB Lara, Uptown Lady Arabella. The winner will be presented by Jim Byers, track announcer at Lone Star Park
  • Four Year Old Colts/Geldings: Kissour, RB Rich Lyke Me, Zachs Travelln Man AA. The winner will be presented by Chris Griffin, track announcer at Sam Houston Race Park
  • Four Year Old Fillies: Amys Little Diva AA, Big Purity, RB Kinetic. The winner will be presented by Laura King, presenter for the Dubai Racing Channel and previous Sheikha Fatima Award recipient
  • Older Horses: Paddys Day, Quick Sand AA, Uptown Cruisedirector. The winner will be presented by Michael Wrona, race caller at Los Alamitos Race Course and previously called the Darley Award Stakes at Santa Anita Park
  • Older Mares: Dance With Me BW, Iridesse, Uptown Sandy Girl. The winner will be presented by Victoria Shaw, race caller in Australia and previous Sheikha Fatima Award recipient)
  • Owners: Cre Run Enterprises LLC, Jon and Krista Henningsgard, Rosebrook Farms LLC. The winner will be presented by Greg Thompson, broadcaster for StallioneSearch and TABA
  • Breeders: Krista and Jon Henningsgard, Alan Kirshner and Deborah Mihaloff, Dianne Waldron. The winner will be presented by Evie Tubbs Sweeney, Darley Awards event coordinator, Arabian Jockey Club Marketing Director, and previous Sheikha Fatima Award recipient
  • Trainers: The ARC Chief Steward elected not to award a 2020 Trainer of the Year, and instead produce a special video compilation recognising the accomplishments of each trainer who won races in 2020.
  • Jockeys: Carol Cedeno, Jose Angel Garcia, Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez. The winner will be presented by Joe Nevills, analyst for AJC TV and Eclipse Award-winning journalist for the Paulick Report
  • HORSE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES: DANCE WITH ME BW, PADDYS DAY, UPTOWN SANDY GIRL. The winner will be presented by your Darley Awards host, Jonathan Horowitz, and his wife, Ashley Horowitz.

The winners of each category will be revealed during the 34th Annual Darley Awards Virtual Broadcast on Friday 19 March at 8pm CT.

The Darley Award with the Darley Double cocktail

Darley Distaff and Darley Sprint Live Coverage
The pair of $30,000 featured races – the Darley Distaff Sponsored by Lufthansa Cargo and Darley Sprint Sponsored by Lufthansa Cargo – will be featured on AJC LIVE Friday evening, 19 March, directly preceding the Darley Awards Virtual Broadcast… A perfect way for guests to begin their Darley Award evening! Both races have historically drawn impressive fields and included several Darley Award nominees; this year will likely be no different. Hosted by Jonathan Horowitz with Ashley Horowitz, viewers will enjoy candid, live footage and sneak peeks of all the action at Sam Houston Race Park. The AJC LIVE broadcast is made possible by the generous support of the Texas Arabian Breeders Association.

Live coverage from Sam Houston of the Darley Distaff and Darley Sprint on Friday 19 March will begin at approximately 6.30pm CT.

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Limited in-person viewing event at Sam Houston Race Park for race connections only
The ARC will be offering a casual, in-person dinner and viewing of the Darley Award Virtual Broadcast at Sam Houston Race Park on Friday evening, 19 March. This event is free of charge and will follow all health and safety precautions as outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). However, it is strictly limited to the connections (owners, trainers, and grooms) of the horses running the Darley Distaff and/or Darley Sprint. Additionally, those planning to attend must RSVP by Friday 12 March, no exceptions. Click here to RSVP for the Darley Awards In-Person Dinner.

The Darley Award statue

Ten world-class stallions offered in the 2021 ARC Stallion Auction!
We are very pleased to announce that the annual ARC Stallion Auction will be hosted this year on an enhanced auction platform that offers dedicated app-bidding, text notifications, bidding by text, Buy-It-Now options, and more! The auction will open Friday 12 March at 5pm CST and end Friday 19 March at 10pm CST, directly following the Darley Awards Virtual Broadcast. Click here to view auction and register to bid. You can also download the mobile bidding app here for easy bidding. Additionally, this year’s ARC Stallion Auction will be offered for one week rather than just one day, as in years past. Here are the stallions proudly being offered:

  • Al Mouwaffak, donated by Al Shaqab
  • Easter Man, donated by Allegro Arabians
  • Gazwan, donated by Al Shahania Stud
  • Grilla, donated by Billie Glosser
  • Hilal Al Zaman, donated by Al Nujaifi Racing
  • Majd Al Arab, donated by Umm Qarn
  • Mared Al Sahra, donated by Al Shahania Stud
  • Nizam, donated by Umm Qarn
  • Seraphin Du Paon, donated by Al Asayl Racing
  • Sir Bani Yas, donated by Al Asayl Racing

Darley Awards official cocktail encourages Darley watch parties and photos on social media
The Darley Double – a bourbon-based cocktail that stands as the official cocktail of the Darley Awards – was inaugurated in 2019 as part of the Darley Awards’ first all-virtual presentation. Devised as a fun way to create community, even virtually, the ARC encourages viewers to post photos on social media of their Darley Double cocktails during the Darley Awards using the hashtag #DarleyDoubleTrouble. Click here for the Darley Double recipe.

The Darley Double is the signature cocktail of the Darley Awards

Darley Awards virtual broadcast and Darley Race coverage sponsored by the Texas Arabian Breeders Association
Special thanks to the Texas Arabian Breeders Association (TABA) for generously sponsoring the 34th Annual Darley Awards Virtual Broadcast and Race Coverage.

Since the State of Texas offers pari-mutuel wagering on Arabian races with racetracks around the state hosting races for our breed, the Arabian horse is written into the Texas Racing Act as a racing breed along with the Thoroughbred, Quarter horse, Appaloosa, and Paint. TABA is the organisation mandated by the Texas Racing Commission to oversee the Accredited Texas Bred Program (ATB) for Arabian racehorses, a breeder incentive programme.

Even in challenging conditions of the horse industry over the last decade, Texas Arabian racing has performed quite well. We have continued to strengthen both the Arabian breed’s position in the racing industry and the popularity of the racing discipline within the purebred Arabian market. We are optimistic about increasing purse monies for the Arabian breed at the racetracks and will continue to make good progress for more racing opportunities. With a solid platform for growth, Arabian racing’s innovative leaders are on track to attract more Arabian racing participants and fans of the sport.

To learn more about why it pays to race in Texas, visit www.TexasArabianRacing.com.

Arabian Racing Cup logo
The Arabian Racing Cup is a non-profit corporation founded in 1983 by Dr Sam Harrison and run by its distinguished Board of Stewards. The Cup is dedicated to the national and international promotion of breeding and racing purebred Arabian horses. Launched in 1987, the Darley Awards are the crowning jewel of the Arabian Racing Cup, recognising the most outstanding racehorses, jockeys, owners and breeders of the Arabian horse community in the United States. For more information, visit www.ArabianRacingCup.com.

For more performance news from The Arabian Magazine, click here.


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