Adelaide, January 31 - Mill Park graduate Happy Trails was crowned South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders' Horse of the Year for the 2014 calendar year at a glittering awards presentation at Adelaide's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday night.
The seven year-old son of Cornerstone Stud based Good Journey (USA) was selected as the top performer from a list of 12 finalists including Group I winners Bounding, Kushadasi, Moment of Change, Fawkner and Go Indy Go, the latter two also given the benefit of an upbringing at Mill Park.
Bred by Brenton and Liz Parker, Happy Trails was sold to trainer Paul Beshara for $11,000 at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale through the draft of Mill Park.
The gelding was one of the stars of last year’s VRC Melbourne Cup Carnival and scored an impressive and thrilling win in the Group I VRC LKS Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day.
The Parkers and Happy Trails' connections, Adelaide's Dickmann family, were on hand to receive their respective awards at the function, presented by Tattsbet. In excess of 260 guests attended the function hosted by Sam Hayes and Richard Zachariah.
"The family is so honoured to have won this prestigious award," owner Erica Dickmann said. "We've come close to winning it a couple of times and to finally have got the nod is very special.
"Happy Trails is a very special horse to us and we're looking forward to his autumn campaign which will commence soon."
Brenton and Liz Parker, the proud breeders, were thrilled with the latest award for the star they bred.
"Madame Flurry has been a special mare to us. She has also produced another stakes performer and a Sydney winner and we have a couple more to come through," Brenton Parker said.
"We know Happy Trails is such a popular horse and Liz and I are thrilled he has been recognised again. He's won a Group One during the past three seasons and we hope there's more to come!"
The popular chestnut is working well and will head to the Orr Stakes on the way to a crack at the Group I VRC Australian Cup at Flemington - the scene of his three Group I victories to date.
Leading breeder Harry Perks made a number of visits to the presentation area - his awards including Claude Haigh Memorial Leading Broodmare for Elegant Eagle, Finniss Lodge Leading 2YO for Go Indy Go and the Newmarket Insurance Brokers Leading SA Breeder by Stakes Performers.
His Bernardini (USA) filly Go Indy Go, from Elegant Eagle, was raised at Mill Park and won the Group I ATC Champagne Stakes last autumn in Sydney.
Mill Park would like to congratulate all award winners on their success and look forward to another year of outstanding success for SA breds!