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The Equus Awards, historically held in August, post the KZN racing season, is an evening of glitz and glamour celebrating horseracing’s finest Equine and human athletes.

This year, this prestigious event will be hosted by Cape Racing at the iconic Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Thursday, 15 August.

The Equus Awards organising committee have begun in earnest with preparations for the South African Horseracing’s premier awards.

The categories include equine awards, breeders’ awards, and human awards.

These are awarded each year based on a combination of the following two elements:

  • Pattern Race Points System
  • Expert Panel Rating

A panel of judges decides the equine categories’ winners. The esteemed panel uses points tables calculated on the season’s results to guide their decision-making. The judges’ panel comprises seasoned campaigners in the South African horseracing industry.

The 2024 expert judges panel is:

  • Graeme Hawkins (Chair)
  • Deez Dayanand
  • Vicky Minott
  • Nico Kritsiotis
  • Rouvaun Smit

The human awards’ winners are primarily determined by official statistics, according to the NHRA.

The Equus Committee is pleased to announce that we will feature the media award category again.

The three categories of Equus Media Awards are written material (print and electronic), broadcasting (television and internet), and still photography.

The judging panel will be Tarquin Norval, Liesel King and Alistair Cohen, and the criteria for this category will be released in due course.

Enquiries regarding the 2024 Equus Awards can be directed to Vicky Minott at, or for more information on categories, nominees, and logs, visit

Follow the Equus Awards 



2024 Equus Awards Categories

Racing Awards:

  • Champion 2 YO Colt
  • Champion 2 YO Filly
  • Champion 3 YO Colt
  • Champion 3 YO Filly
  • Champion Older Male
  • Champion Older Filly/Mare
  • Champion Sprinter
  • Champion Miler
  • Champion Middle Distance Horse
  • Champion Stayer

Breeding and Human Awards:

  • Champion Breeder
  • Champion Stallion
  • Champion Broodmare
  • Outstanding Breeder
  • Outstanding Stallion
  • Champion Apprentice Jockey
  • Champion Jockey
  • Champion Owner
  • Outstanding Trainer
  • Print Media Award
  • Broadcast Media Award
  • Still Photography Media Award
  • Horse of the Year
  • Special Award to Groom of Horse of the Year

2024 Equus Awards Criteria

Equine Categories

The basis for awarding the equine categories for the Equus Awards from the 2024/2024 season has been slightly altered from the past year. The pattern race points system remains intact. The tables will be updated after major race meetings and are being updated by the NHRA. The final list of nominees for each award will be derived from the final points standings amongst the relevant categories. The panel of judges will then use the tables derived from the points system as a guide when making their final decision. There will no longer be a public vote.


How the Points System Works

Points are accumulated by each horse during the season in Graded races, with an exception made for the Champion Stayer category, where Listed performances are also to be included. The points system ensures that South Africa’s best races are awarded the most points in each category. Each horse nominated to the final voting list has demonstrated potential Champion status.

Grade 1 races will carry more points than Grade 2 races, Grade 2 more than Grade 3. Open races carry more points than restricted races (by age or sex), and WFA or fixed-weight races have more points than conditions or handicap races of the same grading. Additionally, certain races have been designated “Super Status” in their respective grading to acknowledge their enhanced importance in the graded race pattern throughout the season. These races will carry the most points in each category and grading.

Points will accumulate for the first four finishers in the Grade 1 and the first three in the Grade 2 and Grade 3 races. Listed races that carry points towards the Champion Stayer category will be awarded for the first three finishers except in races restricted to fillies and mares, where only the first two will be awarded points. All graded performances in the season will carry points towards the Horse-of-the-year, age-group, and male/female categories. However, the four distance-related categories (Champion Sprinter, Miler, Middle Distance, and Stayer) will EXCLUDE performances in Age-Group restricted races, and points for these categories will only accrue from races where all ages may participate.

Six races at Grade 1 and 2 at the Grade 2 level have been designated “Super Status” and will carry enhanced points. All these Super Grade 1 races are WFA races, while the two Super Grade 2 races are WFA plus penalties.