TORONTO, Canada, CMC – Barbadian jockey Rey Williams has picked up Canada’s prestigious Sovereign Award for the leading apprentice jockey.
The 19-year-old was received the honour on Friday night at the annual awards ceremony, beating out challenges from Trinidadian Ridge Balgobin and Brandon A. Duchaine.
Williams was an overwhelming winner, receiving 158 votes while Balgobin attracted 67 and Duchaine, 56.
A member of the heavily Caribbean influenced colony at Northlands in Edmonton, Williams notched 28 wins and a further 13 at Century Downs in Calgary, to finish with 41 victories overall last year.
At Northlands, he also copped 41 second place finishes and 31 third places from 201 rides, as he finished sixth in the jockey standings with CAN$462 939 in earnings.
In the short six-week Autumn meet at Century, Williams finished second with 13 wins alongside Jamaican Dane Nelson.
Williams enjoyed two notable added-money wins when he captured the $50 000 Alberta Oaks with Piper Rose and also scored in the $50 000 Red Diamond Express Stakes with Mister Jangles.
Fellow Barbadian Rico Walcott, who won a record seventh consecutive title at Northlands and another at Century Downs, missed out on the honour for the Most Outstanding Jockey which was won by Brazilian Eurico Rosa Da Silva.
Walcott finished third with 24 votes as da Silva racked up 164 to top the category. He won the Woodbine title with 203 wins.
The 28-year-old Walcott finished the four-month campaign at Northlands with 94 wins, $1.1 million in earnings and an outstanding 30 per cent win rate.
The Sovereign Awards are hosted by the Jockey Club of Canada and rewards outstanding performances in the horse racing industry across the country.