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How Are Horses Eligible For Hall Of Fame?

What are horses hall of fame
Horse eligible for hall for fame

Hall of Fame for horses can be found in major countries where horse racing takes place.  The Australian Racing Hall of Fame is part of the Australian Racing Museum which documents and honours the horse racing legends of Australia.

The museum officially opened in 1981 and created the Hall of Fame in 2000. Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame tells the history of horse racing in Australia, with a particular focus on Flemington Racecourse and the Melbourne Cup, which is held there every November. The museum houses a collection of fine and decorative arts, paintings, trophies, photographs, colours, riding equipment, a horse drawn jockey ambulance and ephemera.

How are horses eligible for hall of fame?

What are horses hall of fame
Hall of Fame

In Australia horses are eligible into the Hall of Fame based on their performance at the highest level of racing. This includes both, Australian and foreign bred horses. There is no restriction on age, sex, or number of starts. Even those horses that arecurrently racing are also eligible and also the trainers licensed by a principal club in Australia who have consistently performed well are eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame.

There are many that have made an outstanding contribution to the success of Australian horse racing and make it to the list every year. These licensed jockeys that have performed well over the years are also honoured with an induction into the Hall of Fame every year. This includes both flat racing and jump racing as well. Also the breeders, owners, journalists, bookmakers, and administrators that have made a significant contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry are given due credit in the Hall of Fame.

How are they nominated?

Nomination for horse
Nomination for horse

Nominations are scrutinised by a selection panel consisting of ten members from the thoroughbred industry. The panel consists of members with expertise in racing drawn from state representatives and members of the Australian Racing Museum. Nominations are accepted prior to the year of induction and are reviewed by the selection panel that then moves on to make the final selection.

The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to glorify the achievements of both humans and equine associated with the great sport.

Selection Panel

The selection panel is made up of individuals who represent the thoroughbred racing industry covering the major states in Australia. They have been selected to the panel as their knowledge of racing is highly regarded and they are respected individually by their peers.

Within the panel, Racing Australia appoints a Chairman who is responsible for ensuring that the panel acts with integrity when making and presenting their selections. The Chairman’s role is to oversee the voting and integrity process and has a casting vote in the event of a tie. 

Racing Australia’s ARHOF Selection Panel comprises representatives of the Australian thoroughbred racing industry who are highly respected individuals by their peers. Their inclusion on the Panel draws on their unique knowledge of racing.

The Chair of the Selection Panel, Brendan Parnell, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Racing Queensland, was appointed in April 2019 and is responsible for overseeing the voting and integrity process.

The Australian Racing Hall of Fame will be held in Perth on Thursday, 5 October 2023 and hosted by Racing & Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).

What is the criteria for selection?

Criteria for horse nomination
Rules for selection

There are four categories within the Hall of Fame – Horses, Trainers, Jockeys and Associates.

According to Australian racing hall of fame in Australia following is the criteria for selection.

For horses the criteria includes:

  • Any horse (flat or jumping) which has raced on Australian racetracks this includes Australian or foreign bred horses which has excelled at the highest level
  • Any horse which has had an exceptional influence on Australian racing
  • Horses which have raced in Australia and excelled overseas will also be considered
  • Horses still racing are eligible
  • Note that eligibility is not restricted by age, sex, number of race starts or ownership

For trainers the criteria includes:

Any trainer who has been licensed by a principal club/principal racing authority in Australia, and has made an outstanding contribution to enhancing the reputation of Australian racing. Also the trainer should have consistently achieved results at the highest level (flat or jumping)

It is not necessary that the trainer is born in Australia. The trainer should be an active trainers.

For jockeys the criteria includes:

Any jockey who has been licensed by a principal club/principal racing authority in Australia and has made an outstanding contribution to enhancing the reputation of Australian racing

He or she should have consistently achieved results at the highest level (flat or jumping)

It is not necessary that the jockey is born in Australia. The jockey should be an active jockey.

For associated the criteria includes:

Any person outside those set aside for trainers or jockeys who have made an outstanding contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry. This category includes breeders, owners, administrators, media, bookmakers and anyone else who has made such a contribution. Candidates may still be active in their profession and need not reside in Australia or be Australian.

For legends the criteria includes:

Achieving legend status in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is the ultimate honour bestowed upon participants in Australian thoroughbred racing. Those elevated to Legend status will come from the list of current Hall of Fame members.

What is the selection process?

Nominations are received by Racing Australia prior to the year of induction
These nominations are included in the Hall of Fame dossier which consists of nominations received in previous years.

Nominations are received by Racing Australia prior to the year of induction.

These nominations are included in the Hall of Fame dossier which consists of nominations received in previous years. The dossier is forwarded to the selection panel for review prior to their first meeting. Members of the selection panel are also eligible to forward any nominations to the Hall of Fame administration provided it is done so before the first selection panel meeting.

The selection panel meet to discuss their selections for each category and according to odds, with each member presenting a case for their selections. Minutes of this meeting are then circulated to each member for review.

The selection panel meet a second time approximately one month after the first meeting and are given a final opportunity to present a case for their selections and to comment on any points risen following the first meeting.

Each member is then asked to submit their selections for the first four categories (Horse, Jockey, Trainer and Associate) on a 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 vote and one vote for their chosen legend noting that this honour may not be bestowed each year.

In the event that there is a tie in any of the categories the selection panel Chairman shall have a deciding vote.

Inductees into the hall of fame

As said above the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is an integral part of the Australian Racing Museum that was officially opened in 1981. The Hall of Fame was added to the museum in 2000, a place where champion horses, jockeys, trainers, and associates are honoured for their contribution to horse racing in Australia.

The first batch of inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2001 included champion horses Carbine, the mighty Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch, and Kingston Town. Trainers that were honoured in the first batch were Bart Cummings, T. J. Smith, and Colin Hayes.

Jockeys Scobie Breasley, Roy Higgins, Tom Hales, Darby Munro, and George Moore were among the first riders to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sir Chester Manifold, Chairman of the Victoria Racing Club from 1951-1962, was largely responsible for the creation of the Totalisator Agency Board (TAB). He was also a successful owner and breeder honoured in the first list of inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Also inducted was race caller Bill Collins, and Banjo Paterson, Australia’s greatest writer on racing.

The museum holds special exhibitions and events which are of great interest even to those who aren’t the gambling type. As Melbourne cements is status as the thoroughbred capital of Australia, the Australian Racing Museum is an important landmark in the city today.

From an inaugural inductee in the Hall of Fame, Phar Lap was elevated to the status of Legend. Bart Cummings also gained the status in 2008, followed by Scobie Breasley in 2009.

The numbers in brackets after each name indicates the year of induction into the Hall of Fame.

These horses are all inductees. The “Sport of Kings” is well represented at the Australian Racing Museum in Melbourne. The colour and heritage of the Australian turf is well documented at the museum, which also honours Australian racing’s champion horses, trainers, jockeys, owners and associates who are inducted into the Hall of Fame every year. The “Sport of Kings” is well represented at the Australian Racing Museum in Melbourne. 

For more information you can contact at arhof@racingaustralia.horse The hall of Museum is located at 400 Epsom Road Flemington and contact them at 1300 139 407.

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