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JCC – Sovereign Awards

February 11, 2021

Special Sovereign Award Winner, Outstanding Groom and Media Finalists Announced

The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce that Sam-Son Farm will be presented with the Special Sovereign Award during the 46th Annual Sovereign Awards Virtual Ceremony. Selected by the Jockey Club of Canada’s Stewards, the Special Sovereign Award honours those who have accomplished outstanding achievements and made a significant contribution to the Thoroughbred Industry in Canada.

Sam-Son Farm is a Canadian Thoroughbred breeding and racing operation founded in 1972 by Ernie and Liza Samuel. In 1975 Ernie purchased two racing prospects, No Class and Loudrangle, at the Woodbine Sale. Together they became the foundation of Sam-Son Farm’s extraordinary broodmare band. No Class is the dam of four champions including Classy ‘n Smart, whose daughter, the brilliant Dance Smartly, won the 1991 Canadian Triple Crown. Celebrating almost 50 years in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing business, Sam-Son has been the recipient of an impressive four Eclipse Awards, 13 Hall of Fame Awards and 84 Sovereign Awards. Since its inception, Sam-Son Farm has enjoyed five Queen’s Plate winners, eight Woodbine Oaks winners and 60 Graded Stakes winners.

The Jockey Club of Canada is proud to present Michelle Gibson with the 2020 Outstanding Groom Award. Michelle has worked on the Woodbine backstretch for more than 20 years. She is currently employed by Robert Tiller and is the groom of Pink Lloyd a multiple graded stakes winner, Sovereign Awards winner and the 2017 Horse of the Year. Michelle is dedicated and hard-working making sure the horses in her care are her number one priority.

The Jockey Club of Canada is also pleased to announce the finalists for the 2020 Sovereign Awards Media categories. Judging for the Media Award categories is no longer performed by the Professors of the Journalism Program at Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. This year’s entries were evaluated by media professionals within the industry selected from across North America. A 4-2-1 points system was used to determine the first, second and third place finalists in each category.

Listed in alphabetical order, the Media finalists are:

Digital Audio/visual and Broadcast Category:

  • Santino Di Paola – Dear Horse Racing
  • Horse Racing Alberta – Canadian Derby Year of the Mask
  • Woodbine Entertainment Group – The Queen’s Plate

Photograph Category:

  • Rusty Barton – The Race Goes on a Year Without Fans
  • Michael Burns – Training Before Dawn
  • Lisa M. Thompson – One Rider Two Horses
  • Will Wong – Mambointheforest

Writing Category:

  • Muriel Lennox – Northern Dancer: A virile stable genius
  • Chris Lomon – The Pep-Talking Groom, Willy, and a Queen’s Plate Crown
  • Bruce McDougall – Riding for Freedom

The Jockey Club of Canada will announce the winners of all the Sovereign Awards at the 46th Annual Awards Ceremony that will be held virtually in April, 2021.

Current Sovereign Award Sponsors:

Platinum Plus: Woodbine Entertainment Group         

Platinum: HBPA Ontario

Gold Sponsors:
Ontario Racing   

Silver Sponsors: Assiniboia Downs

Bronze Sponsors: Anderson Farms | Cavalier Transportation | Josham Farms Limited

The Jockey Club of Canada was founded in 1973 by E.P. Taylor to serve as the international representative of the Canadian Thoroughbred industry. The mission of The Jockey Club of Canada is to promote and maintain a high standard for Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada at a level which is recognized internationally for the benefit of all those interested in the sport including the general public by operations and services such as, but not limited to: evaluating all Graded, Listed and Black-type races in Canada annually; conducting the annual Sovereign Awards for outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in Canada; maintaining a field office in Canada for the Jockey Club of the United States and the Jockey Club Registry Service; and by representing Canada as a Member of the IFHA.