2023 News

January 10, 2023


Winners of the 2022 JRA Awards announced

On Jan. 10, Equinox was announced as a double winner for the JRA Awards for 2022. Equinox won both the Japan Racing Association's Horse of the Year for 2022 and Best Three-Year-Old Colt award. In the voting for the Horse of the Year award, Equinox received 282 votes out of 288.

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, 2022, unless otherwise indicated.


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

Equinox (JPN)

3-Year-Old, Brown, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Kitasan Black
Chateau Blanche (King Halo)
Owner Silk Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Tetsuya Kimura
Jockey Christophe Lemaire
Breeder Northern Farm
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 4
Earnings in 2022 761,168,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1)
Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1)

Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1 - English) play
Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) (G1 - English) play

Comments from the horse's connections

Owner: Masashi Yonemoto, CEO of Silk Racing Co., Ltd.
“Allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude for having been selected for this distinguished award. Last year, Equinox impressed upon me just how much he had matured in all his races, and each and every time, his performance was magnificent. He was especially impressive in the Tenno Sho (Autumn), with his sharp turn of foot and powerful final drive down the stretch, and then in the Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix), as he rounded the final turn brimming with energy and pulled away in the straight. I believe he still has some growing to do and I am very much looking forward to this year’s races. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank everyone involved with his care, at the stable and on the farms, and to all the fans who have given us their constant support.”

Trainer: Tetsuya Kimura
“It is an honor to receive the prestigious award for Horse of the Year. This would not have been possible without, firstly, the owner and stable staff, and the support of all those connected with the horse, including the fans and their encouragement. Thank you very much.”

Jockey: Christophe Lemaire
“Equinox gradually improved over the past year. Especially from the autumn, when he had matured into an adult, he gave us some brilliant performances, such as in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Arima Kinen. I am very much looking forward to this year as well.”


Best Two-Year-Old Colt:

Dolce More (JPN)

2-Year-Old, Bay, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Ayusan (Deep Impact)
Owner Three H Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Naosuke Sugai
Jockey Ryusei Sakai
Breeder Shimokobe Farm
Wins / Starts in 2022 3 / 3
Earnings in 2022 111,540,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1)

Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes (G1 - English) play

Best Two-Year-Old Filly:

Liberty Island (JPN)

2-Year-Old, Bay, Filly
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Yankee Rose (All American)
Owner Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida
Jockey Yuga Kawada
Breeder Northern Racing
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 3
Earnings in 2022 85,432,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1)

Hanshin Juvenile Fillies (G1 - English) play

Best Three-Year-Old Filly:

Stars on Earth (JPN)

3-Year-Old, Dark Bay, Filly
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Southern Stars (Smart Strike)
Owner Shadai Race Horse Co. Ltd.
Trainer Mizuki Takayanagi
Jockey Christophe Lemaire
Breeder Shadai Farm
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 5
Earnings in 2022 384,554,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1)
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1)

Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) (G1 - English) play
Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) (G1 - English) play

Best Older Colt or Horse:

Titleholder (JPN)

4-Year-Old, Bay, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Mowen (Motivator)
Owner Hiroshi Yamada
Trainer Toru Kurita
Jockey Kazuo Yokoyama
Breeder Okada Stud
Wins / Starts in 2022 3 / 5
Earnings in 2022 475,652,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1)
Takarazuka Kinen (G1)

Tenno Sho (Spring) (G1-English) play
Takarazuka Kinen (G1-English) play

Best Older Filly or Mare:

Geraldina (JPN)

4-Year-Old, Bay, Filly
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Gentildonna (Deep Impact)
Owner Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Takashi Saito
Jockey Cristian Demuro
Breeder Northern Racing
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 7
Earnings in 2022 339,658,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1)

Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1-English) play

Best Sprinter or Miler:

Serifos (JPN)

3-Year-Old, Chestnut, Colt
Dam (Sire of Dam)
Daiwa Major
Sea Front (Le Havre)
Owner G1 Racing Co. Ltd.
Trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida
Jockey Damian Lane
Breeder Oiwake Farm
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 4
Earnings in 2022 290,704,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Mile Championship (G1)

Mile Championship (G1-English) play

Best Dirt Horse:

Cafe Pharoah (USA)

5-Year-Old, Bay, Horse
Dam (Sire of Dam)
American Pharoah
Mary's Follies (More Than Ready)
Owner Koichi Nishikawa
Trainer Noriyuki Hori
Jockey Yuichi Fukunaga
Breeder Paul P. Pompa
Wins / Starts in 2022 2 / 3
(NAR 1 / 1)
Earnings in 2022 183,486,000 Yen
(NAR 60,000,000 Yen)
Principal Wins in 2022 February Stakes (G1)
Mile Champion Ship Nambu Hai

February Stakes (G1 - English) play

Best Steeplechase Horse:

Oju Chosan (JPN)

11-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 2022 1 / 4
Earnings in 2022 76,370,000 Yen
Principal Wins in 2022 Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1)

Nakayama Grand Jump (J-G1) play


*Best Trainer (races won): Yoshito Yahagi (64 wins)
*Best Trainer (winning average): Mitsumasa Nakauchida (0.195)
*Best Trainer (money earned): Yoshito Yahagi (1,916,755,400 Yen)
*Best Trainer (training technique): Tetsuya Kimura

JRA Best Jockey (races won): Yuga Kawada (143 wins)
JRA Best Jockey (winning average): Yuga Kawada (0.259)
JRA Best Jockey (money earned): Yuga Kawada (3,157,091,000 Yen)
Grand Prize: Yuga Kawada
**MVJ (Most Valuable Jockey): Keita Tosaki (47 points)
Best Steeplechase Jockey: Shinichi Ishigami
Best Jockey (newcomer): Seina Imamura

*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
“Kiso Uma to Ikiru; Kaze Wataru Sato, Kaida Kogen” (Living with the Kiso Horses; the Windy Village of Kaida Highland”

Award Recipient
Asahi Broadcasting Nagano Co., Ltd.

Recipient Description
Asahi Broadcasting Nagano Co., Ltd.
A TV Asahi-affiliated broadcaster with Nagano Prefecture as its broadcasting target area

Overview of winning work
The work is a documentary series following the horses of Kiso Horse Village in the Nagano Prefecture town of Kaida Kogen. The series, while touching on the area’s history amid the beautiful backdrop of the local nature, follows, over the span of a year, the horses and the activities and lives of the people working to preserve Japan’s indigenous Kiso horse.

Reason for recognition
The work won acclaim for raising viewers’ awareness of the native horses through not only the heart-warming scenes of the people living together with the Kiso horses like family, but also through the work’s raw and thought-provoking depiction of the harshness of life.


■JRA Equine Cultural Award, Special Award

Winning work
“Happy People Make Happy Horses; Kazuo Fujisawa’s Last 400 Days as Trainer”

Award Recipients
(Production and writing) NHK and Express Sports
(Production) NHK Global Media Service

Recipient Descriptions
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
Japanese broadcasting station, a special corporation responsible for public broadcasting

Express Sports Co. Ltd.
Production company specializing in the broadcast and distribution of sports-related programs

NHK Global Media Services, Inc.
An NHK-affiliated organization producing mainly news and international programs

Overview of winning work
A program taking a closeup look at Kazuo Fujisawa, a renowned trainer who has left a great mark on Japanese horse-racing. The program conveys not only Fujisawa’s horse-oriented training methods founded on his own beliefs, but also his kind and humane treatment of horses.

Reason for recognition
The work won acclaim for its thorough and detailed story of how Fujisawa brought from England a way of working closely with horses, how he got results with his training methods based on his own convictions, and how he refused to be shaken from others. Adding to the acclaim is the recognition of the significance the story carries for people working in the industry, as well as the work’s ability to convey not only the story but also the charm of the man himself.


Results of the 2022 JRA Awards (Total Votes: 288)

Horse of the Year
Place Horse Votes
1 Equinox 282
2 Titleholder 6
Total   288

Best Two-Year-Old Colt
Place Horse Votes
1 Dolce More 279
2 Dura Erede 7
3 Derma Sotogake 2
Total   288

Best Two-Year-Old Filly
Place Horse Votes
1 Liberty Island 288
Total   288

Best Three-Year-Old Colt
Place Horse Votes
1 Equinox 285
2 Do Deuce 3
Total 288

Best Three-Year-Old Filly
Place Horse Votes
1 Stars on Earth 286
2 Stunning Rose 2
Total   288

Best Older Colt or Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 Titleholder 280
2 Vela Azul 6
3 Shahryar 1
3 Panthalassa 1
Total   288

Best Older Filly or Mare
Place Horse Votes
1 Geraldina 239
2 Sodashi 32
3 Songline 6
4 Win Marilyn 5
5 Shonan Nadeshiko 3
5 None 3
Total   288

Best Sprinter or Miler
Place Horse Votes
1 Serifos 156
2 Naran Huleg 36
3 Sodashi 34
4 Gendarme 26
5 Songline 18
6 None 11
7 Stars on Earth 2
7 Danon Scorpion 2
7 Meikei Yell 2
10 Dancing Prince 1
Total   288

Best Dirt Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 Cafe Pharoah 184
2 Jun Light Bolt 94
3 T O Keynes 3
3 None 3
5 Dancing Prince 2
6 Shonan Nadeshiko 1
6 Chuwa Wizard 1
Total   288

Best Steeplechase Horse
Place Horse Votes
1 Oju Chosan 138
2 Nishino Daisy 137
3 None 8
4 Hokko Mevius 5
Total   288