Source: THE TIMES timesofmalta.com Thursday, February 16, 2012
The first Malta Horse Racing Awards were launched this week by the Malta Racing Club during a media call at the Marsa racetrack.
The meeting was attended by high officials from the racing organisation and the Kunsill Malti għall-iSport (KMS) who are backing the club’s initiative to reward the sport’s main protagonists throughout the year.
Club president Matthew Brincat said the awards will be a step-up from the brief ceremonies held traditionally at the end of championship finals or other popular events at the racetrack.
“We have always recognised the feats of our drivers and owners at Marsa during the club’s regular meetings,” he said.
“However, the short presentations held between races will be done away with and the awards will now be presented during a special night. We’ll be doing this with the aid of various entities, not least the Kunsill Malti għall-iSport.”
The first Malta Horse Racing Awards will be staged at the Dolmen Hotel, in Qawra, on Friday, February 24.
KMS chairman Bernard Vassallo said his organisation has always been at the forefront in promoting such events.
“These are initiatives we support wholeheartedly,” he said.
“Horse racing is very popular on our islands and we feel the awards are the most appropriate way for the racing club to honour its members.”
Driver of the Year Noel Baldacchino, Rodney Gatt, best apprentice, Ramon Grima, best jockey, and the owners of Major Chaleonnais and Ollie Fliptrik, the most consistent horses at the racetrack last year, will be among those receiving awards on February 24.
There will be other honours at stake and in some cases, the winners will be determined by a poll of regular horse racing reporters at Marsa.
During the show, a special tribute will be given to Charles Clifton and George Schembri, two very successful drivers who passed away recently.
Kenneth Vella, a keen horse racing enthusiast and a KMS director, is the main co-ordinator of the show. He was also one of the prime movers of the inaugural horse racing awards.
Besides KMS and Dolmen Hotel, the MRC also have the backing of Assikura Insurance, Marindex Trophies, Emotions, Print It and Valletta Fund Management, to stage the awards night.