THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 5 March 2014, Wednesday
Philtobo’s Gintong Lahi Awards
The 16th Gintong Lahi Awards (GLA), which honors excellence in the sport of Thoroughbred horseracing and its auxiliary activity, breeding, was held last Feb. 23 at Metro Manila Turf Club (MMTC) racecourse in Batangas.
The GLA, the industry’s only recognition program, is staged annually by the Philippine Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Organization (Philtobo).
In the Equine Category, the winners are:
2YO Colt: Emmanuel Santos’s Kid Molave; 2YO Filly, Ruben Dimacuha’s Up And Away; 3YO Colt, Dimacuha’s Be Humble; 3YO Filly, a tie between SC Stockfarm’s Balbonic and Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Cat’s Silver;
Older Horse, Abalos’s Hagdang Bato; Older Mare, Herminio Esguerra’s Arriba Amor; Sprint Horse, Abalos’ Tiger Run; Import, Marlon Cunanan’s Crucis; and Horse of the Year, Hagdang Bato.
In the Human Category: Horseowner of the Year, Benhur Abalos; Trainer of the Year, Ruben Tupas; and Jockey of the Year, Jeffril T. Zarate.
In the Breeding Category: Breeder of the Year, Esguerra’s Herma Farms and Stud; Stallion of the Year, Quaker Ridge (of Herma Farms); and Broodmare of the Year, She’s No Princess.
Philtobo also awarded the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), represented by its general manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II, with a plaque of appreciation for PCSO’s staunch support of racing through the decades.
Rojas praised Philtobo for sustaining the Gintong Lahi Awards in the face of economic challenges and other constraints.
“[The GLA],” he said, “is both an incentive for and monument to the perseverance with which horseowners, breeders, jockeys, and trainers work hard to attain victory and excellence.
“For these reasons and more, the Gintong Lahi Awards fulfills an important role in the racing and breeding industries toward their promotion and upliftment.”
Philtobo President Bienvenido “Nonoy” Niles Jr. was pleased at the success of the event and vowed to continue the GLA as long as they are able.
“We’re doing this for the industry,” said Niles. “It has great potential, and we in Philtobo will do what we can to support it.”
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Are horseowners looking to merge their forces into one banner organization?
According to longtime horseman Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr., horseowners are thinking of doing just that in order to better serve the industry as the “Thoroughbred Owners of the Philippines”, along the lines of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC).
Around 12 years ago, then-TOC president John Van de Kamp gave a speech at the University of Kentucky where he argued that horseracing as an industry should be horseowner-driven, because horseowners are the biggest investors in the sport.
Former Santa Anita Park president Ron Charles is in town and presented the California case to horseowners last night.
Local horseowners are studying the points Van de Kamp made and that Ron Charles elaborated on to see how they can be applied to the Philippine situation.