03/13/2018 12:43PM

World Approval named Florida-bred Horse of the Year

Barbara D. Livingston
World Approval won several awards for his 2017 season at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association's annual banquet.

Eclipse Award champion World Approval added more hardware to his collection, including the award for Florida-bred Horse of the Year, as the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association recognized its Florida-bred champions for 2017 at its annual awards banquet and gala Monday night in Ocala. 

Breeders’ Cup Mile winner World Approval, a son of Northern Afleet bred and campaigned by Charlotte Weber's Live Oak, was also named Florida-bred champion older male, champion turf male, and champion male sprinter. Live Oak was honored as Florida's owner of the year and breeder of the year. World Approval was the second Eclipse champion produced by Win Approval, who garnered honored as Florida’s Broodmare of the Year. 

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Fellow Eclipse Award winner Caledonia Road was named outstanding Florida-bred 2-year-old filly. Caledonia Road capped her season with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Her trainer, Ralph Nicks, was recognized at the banquet as the leading trainer of Florida-breds by earnings, and with the Bruce Campbell Award as the Newsmaker of the Year, as presented by The Florida Horse magazine. Kathleen O’Connell was named the leading trainer of Florida-breds by wins and stakes wins. 

Caledonia Road's counterpart as outstanding Florida-bred 2-year-old male of 2017 was Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire. He is from the first crop of Pleasant Acres stallion Poseidon's Warrior, who was recognized as the state's leading freshman sire by earnings at the banquet. Northwest Stud stallion Gone Astray was recognized as Florida's leading juvenile sire by earnings, while Double Diamond Farm’s First Dude was recognized as Florida's leading active general sire.  

Other equine honorees were Faypien (champion 3-year-old filly, female sprinter), Three Rules (3-year-old male), Starship Jubilee (older female, turf female)

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Two Sharp Hats was given the Joseph M. O’Farrell Memorial Award, which is presented annually by the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company to the original consignor of the year’s richest Florida-bred racehorse who is also a graduate of an OBS auction. Two Sharp Hats consigned top sprinter X Y Jet to the 2013 August yearling sale. 

William and Lyn Rainbow were presented with the 2017 Needles Award, which honors small Florida breeders. Under the banner of The Acorn Farm, the Rainbows posted Florida-bred earnings of $592,849 during the year. Among their stars were stakes winners Starship Bonita, winner of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Susan’s Girl division, and Surprise Wedding, winner of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes City of Ocala Stakes.