2022 News

January 11, 2022


Winners of the 2021 JRA Awards announced

On Jan. 11, Efforia was announced as a double winner for the JRA Awards for 2021. Efforia won both the Japan Racing Association's Horse of the Year for 2021 and Best Three-Year-Old Colt award. In the voting for the Horse of the Year award, Efforia received 277 votes out of 296.

The Horse of the Year title is the highest honor given to JRA-registered race horses and is selected by the Horse of the Year Selection Committee represented by journalists of various dailies and magazines.

Note: All information, including ages and race performances, are as of December 31, 2021, unless otherwise indicated.


Horse of the Year and Best Three-Year-Old Colt

Efforia (JPN)

3-Year-Old, Bay, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Katies Heart (Heart's Cry)
Owner Carrot Farm Co. Ltd.
Trainer Yuichi Shikato
Jockey Takeshi Yokoyama
Breeder Northern Farm
Wins / Starts in 2021 4 / 5
Earnings in 2021 719,347,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1)
Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1)
Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1 - English) play
Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1 - English) play
Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1 - English) play

Comments from the horse's connections

Owner: Hiroaki Akita, President & CEO of Carrot Farm Co. Ltd.
“Thank you very much for having presented me with this most prestigious award. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to, of course, Efforia, and to all those people who have been involved with him. In 2021, he won four of his five races and was only beaten in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) by the slightest of margins. As is apparent, he is a horse that gives it his everything in a race, something that one can easily imagine would take a great toll on him physically. Yet, and most importantly, he has suffered no serious injury and he has seen out the year safely. Above all, I am overjoyed for that and wish to lavish him with sincere and open praise. It is my sincere hope that he will be able to race safely again this year as well.”

Trainer: Yuichi Shikato
“I am most honored to be chosen to receive this splendid and prestigious award. I think that this is all thanks to, first of all, the owner, all those at the farm, the stable staff, and the fans. Of course, I have nothing but gratitude for Efforia. With this, I will keep to do my best this year. Thank you very much for your support.”

Jockey: Takeshi Yokoyama
“I am very happy that Efforia has been selected as Horse of the Year. That is an inspiring and sobering experience for me. I have been given the opportunity to share many experiences with this horse and I am deeply grateful to, of course, Efforia, as well as to all the people connected with him. From here on, I will strive to work with him in such a way that will not bring disgrace to his name as Horse of the Year.”


Best Two-Year-Old Colt:

Do Deuce (JPN)

2-Year-Old, Bay, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Heart's Cry
Dust and Diamonds (Vindication)
Owner Kieffers Co. Ltd.
Trainer Yasuo Tomomichi
Jockey Yutaka Take
Breeder Northern Farm
Wins / Starts in 2021 3 / 3
Earnings in 2021 95,274,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1)

Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1 - English) play

Best Two-Year-Old Filly:

Circle of Life (JPN)

2-Year-Old, Bay, Filly
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Sea Breeze Life (Admire Japan)
Owner Masatake Iida
Trainer Sakae Kunieda
Jockey Mirco Demuro
Breeder Chiyoda Farm Shizunai
Wins / Starts in 2021 3 / 4
Earnings in 2021 102,573,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1)

Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1 - English) play

Best Three-Year-Old Filly:

Sodashi (JPN)

3-Year-Old, White, Filly
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Buchiko (King Kamehameha)
Owner Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. Ltd.
Trainer Naosuke Sugai
Jockey Hayato Yoshida
Breeder Kaneko Makoto Holdings Inc.
Wins / Starts in 2021 2 / 5
Earnings in 2021 202,769,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1 - English) play

Best Older Colt or Horse:

Contrail (JPN)

4-Year-Old, Brown, Horse
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Deep Impact
Rhodochrosite (Unbridled's Song)
Owner Shinji Maeda
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi
Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga
Breeder North Hills Co . Ltd.
Wins / Starts in 2021 1 / 3
Earnings in 2021 399,184,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Japan Cup (G1)

Japan Cup (G1-English) play

Best Older Filly or Mare:

Loves Only You (JPN)

5-Year-Old, Bay, Mare
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Deep Impact
Loves Only Me (Storm Cat)
Owner DMM Dream Club Co. Ltd.
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi
Jockey Yuga Kawada
Breeder Northern Farm
Wins / Starts in 2021 4 / 6
(Overseas 3 / 4)
Earnings in 2021 666,243,700 Yen
(Overseas 575,199,700 Yen)
Principal Wins in 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Hong Kong, G1)
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (USA, G1)
Hong Kong Cup (Hong Kong, G1)

Best Sprinter or Miler:

Gran Alegria (JPN)

5-Year-Old, Bay, Mare
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Deep Impact
Tapitsfly (Tapit)
Owner Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Kazuo Fujisawa
Jockey Christophe Lemaire
Breeder Northern Farm
Wins / Starts in 2021 2 / 5
Earnings in 2021 353,598,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Victoria Mile (G1)
Mile Championship (G1)

Victoria Mile (G1-English) play
Mile Championship (G1-English) play

Best Dirt Horse:

T O Keynes (JPN)

4-Year-Old, Chestnut, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Sinister Minister
Maxim Cafe (Manhattan Cafe)
Owner Tomoya Ozasa
Trainer Daisuke Takayanagi
Jockey Kohei Matsuyama
Breeder Yanagawa Bokujo
Wins / Starts in 2021 4 / 5
(NAR 1 / 2)
Earnings in 2021 240,319,000 Yen
(NAR 78,000,000 Yen)
Principal Wins in 2021 Champions Cup (G1)
Teio Sho

Champions Cup (G1 - English) play

Best Steeplechase Horse:

Oju Chosan (JPN)

10-Year-Old, Bay, Horse
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Stay Gold
Shadow Silhouette (Symboli Kris S)
Owner Chosan Co. Ltd.
Trainer Shoichiro Wada
Jockey Shinichi Ishigami
Breeder Naoyoshi Nagayama
Wins / Starts in 2021 1 / 3
Earnings in 2021 83,150,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2021 Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1)

Nakayama Daishogai (J-G1) play


*Best Trainer (races won): Yoshito Yahagi (63 wins)
*Best Trainer (winning average): Mitsumasa Nakauchida (0.186%)
*Best Trainer (money earned): Yoshito Yahagi (2,516,153,500 Yen)
*Best Trainer (training technique): Yoshito Yahagi

JRA Best Jockey (races won): Christophe Lemaire (199 wins)
JRA Best Jockey (winning average): Yuga Kawada (0.285%)
JRA Best Jockey (money earned): Christophe Lemaire (4,427,684,000 Yen)
**MVJ (Most Valuable Jockey): Christophe Lemaire (52 points)
Best Steeplechase Jockey: Kazuma Mori
Best Jockey (newcomer): Daito Ozawa

*Trainers’ figures include National Association of Racing (NAR; Racing by Local Governments) and overseas race results.

**The MVJ is determined by points allotted a jockey for his or her ranking in four different categories for designated JRA, NAR and overseas races. The four categories are “number of wins,” “win average,” “earnings,” and “number of rides for the year.” The MVJ award is bestowed upon the jockey with the highest total points.


■JRA Equine Cultural Award

Winning work
Horse Brain, Human Brain -- The Neuroscience of Horsemanship

Award recipients
Janet L. Jones, Ph.D. (author)

Janet Jones is a cognitive scientist who incorporates neuroscience into horse training and rider instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Jones trained horses at a large stable for many years and later launched her own training business. She has also participated in a variety of equestrian competitions.
Chizuko Amacho (translator)
Hiroyuki Mochida (editorial advisor)
Pan Rolling Inc. (publisher)

Synopsis of winning work
Drawing on the author’s personal experience in horse training and riding, the book explores from a perspective of neuroscience how people working with horses may learn to better communicate and build trust and bonds with horses, and acquire true horsemanship.

Reason for recognition
Equine behavior is analyzed from a new perspective of cognitive science and easy-to-understand instructions give priority to the horse in teaching people how to become true horsemen and women. The author’s personal experiences add to the convincing content.

  Janet L. Jones, Ph.D. Chizuko Amacho Hiroyuki Mochida


■JRA Equine Cultural Award, Special Award

Winning work
Uma to Kodai Shakai”
Horses and Ancient Society

Award recipients
Kenichi Sasaki
Akio Kawajiri
Kazuhiko Kurozumi

Synopsis of winning work
Based on the latest academic research and investigative reports, the role of horses in ancient society is presented from a variety of perspectives and fields, including historical documents and archeology. The work brings together the efforts of a number researchers in helping to further shed light on ancient equine culture.

Reason for recognition
It is a meticulous composition on ancient equine culture brimming with diverse content from a wide range of fields. The work’s condensed form, the result of intense research, and its ability to give the reader a full understanding of the great variety and depth of equine culture makes this book deserving of recognition.

  Kenichi Sasaki  Akio Kawajiri Kazuhiko Kurozumi

The JRA Equine Cultural Award recognizes those persons (or organizations) that have contributed to the development of equine culture through such mediums as literature, critique, art, film and music, photography and performance.


Results of the 2021 JRA Awards (Total Votes: 296)

Horse of the Year
Place Horse Votes
1 Efforia 277
2 Loves Only You 18
3 Marche Lorraine 1
Total   296

Best Two-Year-Old Colt
Place Horse Votes
1 Do Deuce 251
2 Killer Ability 44
3 None 1
Total   296

Best Two-Year-Old Filly
Place Horse Votes
1 Circle of Life 294
2 None 2
Total   296

Best Three-Year-Old Colt
Place Horse Votes
1 Efforia 296
Total   296

Best Three-Year-Old Filly
Place Horse Votes
1 Sodashi 234
2 Akaitorino Musume 56
3 Uberleben 3
3 None 3
Total   296

Best Older Colt or Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 Contrail 282
2 T O Keynes 10
3 None 3
4 Cafe Pharoah 1
Total   296

Best Older Filly or Mare
Place Horse Votes
1 Loves Only You 251
2 Gran Alegria 31
3 Chrono Genesis 11
4 Marche Lorraine 2
5 Akai Ito 1
Total   296

Best Sprinter or Miler
Place Horse Votes
1 Gran Alegria 284
2 Pixie Knight 10
3 Danon Smash 1
3 None 1
Total   296

Best Dirt Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 T O Keynes 240
2 Marche Lorraine 47
3 Cafe Pharoah 8
4 Omega Perfume 1
Total   296

Best Steeplechase Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 Oju Chosan 166
2 Meisho Dassai 127
3 None 3
Total   296