2021 Longines / IFHA International Award of Merit presented to the Niarchos family – Horse Racing News

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Left to right: Brittany Garcia, US Brand President at Longines, Maria Niarchos-Gouazé, Drew Fleming, President & Chief Executive Officer, and Jim Gagliano, President & COO, The Jockey Club and IFHA Vice-Chair



The Niarchos family received the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit 2021, which recognizes outstanding riders for their lifelong contribution to thoroughbred sport, at a ceremony on Friday November 5th in Del Mar during the Breeders’ Cup World Championship weekend .

Maria Niarchos-Gouazé accepted the award on behalf of the family and representatives from Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) as well as the Breeders’ Cup and The Jockey Club attended the ceremony.

“On behalf of my brothers and me, I would like to thank Longines, the IFHA, the Breeders’ Cup and the Jockey Club for this great honor,” said Niarchos-Gouazé. “I would also like to thank all of our horses, the jockeys who mainly found the winning post, our trainers, our veterinarians and farriers and everyone who worked on the stud farms and in our training yards.

“In particular, I would like to thank my home team, Alan Cooper and Karen Clark, who have been with us from the start, for their dedication and loyalty, as well as Jamie McCalmont and Bill Oppenheim and those who have worked with them. Last but not least, I would like to thank my father Stavros for his vision. “

As the official partner and official watch of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), the Swiss watch manufacturer Longines and IFHA jointly launched the International Award of Merit in 2013 to honor public figures for their outstanding contribution to horse racing. Longines is also the official partner, official timekeeper and official watch of the Breeders ‘Cup and title sponsor of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, Turf and Distaff.

“We are excited to celebrate tonight the Niarchos family, whose strong commitment and dedication to thoroughbred sport has been rewarded by so many notable achievements over the years,” said Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing. “The family history shows that equestrianism is a passion, a passion Longines has shared for a century and a half. Today we are partners of some of the major international institutions, including the IFHA, and make our timekeeping expertise available at renowned events around the world in the disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing and of course horse racing. “

Past winners of the International Award of Merit include John Messara, owner and chairman of Arrowfield Stud in Australia; the Magnier family and trainer Aidan O’Brien, the driving forces behind Coolmore and the Ballydoyle Racing Stable in Ireland; Yutaka Take, legendary Japanese jockey; the Romanet family, long-standing leaders in both the French and international world of horse racing; Jim Bolger, Irish Leading Trainer, Owner and Breeder; Alec Head, former champion trainer and patriarch of the well-known Haras du Quesnay stud; Seth Hancock of the historic Claiborne Farm in America; and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, former chairman of the South American Organization for the Promotion of Thoroughbreds (OSAF).

“I would like to congratulate the Niarchos family on receiving this year’s Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit,” said IFHA Chairman Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges. “When I think about the meaning and values ​​associated with this award, I am impressed by the success that the Niarchos family has achieved in almost every part of the world, over several generations.

“The Niarchos family would be worthy recipients of this award on the racetrack alone, but their unwavering support for our industry distinguishes them. Your unwavering partnership and development of international racing and international breeding is a special achievement that must be celebrated. “

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The late Stavros Niarchos served as a Greek naval officer during World War II and made his fortune in shipping. He first got involved in thoroughbred sports in the 1950s, took a break, and returned at full speed in the 1970s. Its first big winner was Pipe of Peace, which won the Middle Park Stakes in 1956.

After his death in 1996, his daughter Maria took over the family business for thoroughbreds and Alan Cooper acts as the family race director. More than 125 Group or Class 1 winners have been bred and / or promoted under their banner and are long-time supporters of the Breeders’ Cup.

The Niarchos family has won seven Breeders’ Cup races with six self-bred colts and mares. Six of these victories were achieved in the Class 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile: Miesque (1987, 1988), Spinning World (1997), Domedriver (2002), Six Perfections (2003) and Karakontie (2014). In addition, Main Sequence won the G1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2014. This record as owner-breeder at the Breeders’ Cup makes the Niarchos family one of the most successful participants in the event.

A selection of other notable international victories for the family owner or breeder also include Bago (2004 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe), Divine Proportions (2005 Prix de Diane), Light Shift (2007 English Oaks), Ulysses (2017 Eclipse Stakes and International Stakes, son of Light Shift), Alpha Centauri (2018 Irish Horse of the Year), Study of Man (2018 Prix du Jockey Club), War of Will (2019 Preakness Stakes) and Circus Maximus (2019 St James’s Palace Stakes) and 2020 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot).


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