Simon Munir’s consistent four-year-old Une Artiste became the first winner of the OLBG- sponsored Mare of the Month award in November, claiming her prize for her victory in the Listed OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at Wetherby.
The debut success of the season for the Nicky Henderson-trainee came on the back of consecutive victories at Cheltenham last spring, in the Grade 3 Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at the Festival and the Listed TBA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle the following month.
The awards series, which will run throughout the 2012/13 jumps season, was devised by sports betting community OLBG in association with the TBA to help to stimulate the demand for National Hunt mares in training.
Each month, a panel consisting of OLBG representative Stefanie Reeve, TBA Chief Executive Louise Kemble and Nick Luck, a newly-appointed member of the TBA’s National Hunt Committee, will decide which mare has posted the most notable performance during that time. The mare’s trainer will be presented with a memento while staff at the yard where she is trained will receive a prize of £1,000. At the end of the season, the trainer who has won the largest number of races with mares through the season will receive free use of a two-berth Equi-Trek horsebox for 12 months.
Stefanie Reeve, who presented Nicky Henderson with his prize at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting, said: “We all agreed that Une Artiste was the easy winner of the first OLBG Mare of the Month Award. She has been remarkably consistent and, at the age of four, already has three black-type wins to her name.
“Following our sponsorship last season of the Grade 2 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, we’re delighted to be sponsoring this series and extending our backing of mares’ race through this season.”
The next OLBG Mare of the Month Award will be presented at Cheltenham on December 14.