Honeysuckle, the history-making champion mare bred here in the Blackmore Vale, broke new records at the Thoroughbread Breeder’s Association (TBA) annual Awards evening on 4th August when she won a pair of trophies.
Honeysuckle, who ended the season the highest rated hurdler on either side of the Irish Sea, retained her ‘Leading Hurdler Mare’ title (Mickley Stud Trophy), whilst also making history as the first mare ever to be crowned ‘Leading Hurdler’ (Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy).
A thrilled Doug Procter of the Glanvilles Stud picked up the award.
Seven-year-old Honeysuckle is from Glanvilles Wootton, just outside Sherborne, bred by Dr Geoffrey Guy and Guy’s co-owners and managers of The Glanvilles Stud, Doug and Lucy Procter. She ended the 2020-21 season unbeaten.
Doug and Lucy Procter attended the award ceremony and Doug – representing Dr Geoffrey Guy – accepted the Highflyer Bloodstock Trophy. In a warm acceptance speech for the Mickley Stud Trophy, Doug explained that the award was recognition for the whole stud team.
“For people working on the studs, in the middle of winter when there’s very little daylight… you know, it’s bloody hard work.
But everyone who works at our stud can walk into a pub and say ‘we bred Honeysuckle’. It means a lot.”
When I spoke to Doug the next day, he explained that the recognition from the industry of what they have achieved as a stud meant a great deal; not just to his own family, but to the extended family of the whole Glanvilles Stud.
“We’re absolutely delighted!” he said, admitting that the party continued long in to the night.
The annual TBA National Hunt (NH) Breeders Awards are the highlight of the annual awards calendar for the TBA.
The dinner, held in Doncaster, celebrates British-bred success on the racecourse from the previous National Hunt Season.
Horses are long-listed according to their form through the season, and that long list is reduced to a three horse shortlist for each category.
The shortlist is then voted on in a secret ballot by the NH Committee. The committee have three votes – a five, a three and a one – and are asked to select the horse whose results during the season have, in their opinion, most enhanced the prestige of British NH Breeding.
The aggregate score for each horse is calculated, and the winner is the one with the highest score.
By: Laura Hitchcock