The Melbourne Cup might be the race that stops a nation, but Winx was the horse that brought Australia to a standstill during her record-breaking career.
An historic 33 consecutive wins, including a world record 25 Group 1 races, four Cox Plates, the Epsom/Doncaster double, and three Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Winx thrilled racegoers and captured the attention of sports fans across Australia.
The ‘Spirt of Sport’ Award will be presented to Team Winx at the sold-out Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s 35th Induction and Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, 10th October, 2019.
Team Winx comprises Winx, trainer Chris Waller, jockey Hugh Bowman, managing owners Peter and Patricia Tighe of Magic Bloodstock Racing, along with owners Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke.
Waller, Bowman and Keptis will be joined in accepting the award at the dinner next week by Andrew Williams and James Tighe (representing their parents Peter & Patricia Tighe) and Rick Treweeke (representing his father Richard Treweeke).
Winx’s record breaking achievements are best described by Sport Australia Hall of Fame member and selection committee member Bruce McAvaney OAM in the citation to be delivered alongside the award.
“She strode onto the stage – through the tunnel, onto the track, under the gaze of a pulsating crowd of blue and white,” McAvaney writes.
“In the theatre of the horse, the Prime Minister strained for a glimpse of her, thousands peered through the fence to see her into the starting stalls. Some had travelled thousands of miles from interstate and overseas to see Winx in the flesh – just once. Others had never missed a performance.”
“Through the generosity of her owners, the trainer and jockey and stable staff, we were welcomed into the Winx family. We shared the anticipation, the performance and, with them, were elevated by her achievement.”
“It’s a story that goes beyond sport, embraced by young and old; one that will be told for generations to come,” McAvaney says.
Owner Debbie Kepitis on behalf of all connections said: “It is a wonderful honour for Team Winx to be recognised by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame with the Spirit of Sport award and to be enshrined alongside just six other incredible achievements in Australian sport that have been deemed to have captured the hearts of the nation.”
“The historic journey Team Winx was swept into was amazing. Winx started her racing life as a horse with ability but soon captured everyone’s imagination. She never let us down. We are all the better for having Winx in our lives.”
Presented for just the seventh time since its inception in 2005, Team Winx joins two other thoroughbreds, Black Caviar and Makybe Diva and their connections in receiving the ‘Spirit of Sport’ Award. They follow Luke Beveridge who was acknowledged in 2016 for his generosity, mateship and modesty in giving his AFL premiership medal to injured Western Bulldog Robert Murphy.
The award acknowledges extraordinary sporting achievements and performances that capture the hearts of the nation.
When the Sport Australia Hall of Fame introduced the award in 2005 it was not intended to be given annually but to be granted, at the Board’s discretion, for a performance that is very special and destined to be part of Australian sporting history.
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame – Spirit of Sport Award
AFL – Modesty, Generosity and Mateship
Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson
Act of bravery and mateship
Horse Racing – Unbeaten Record
Sailing Solo around the World
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Horse Racing – 3 successive Melbourne Cups
In addition to the Spirit of Sport Award, seven inductees will be bestowed the highest honour in Australian sport.
Matt Cowdrey OAM will join broadcaster Dennis Cometti AM, shooter Russell Mark OAM, cyclist Robbie McEwen AM, swimmer Stephanie Rice OAM, former Matilda Cheryl Salisbury and triathlete Emma Snowsill OAM with induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Australian sport’s ‘Night of Nights’ – the 35th Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, 10th October at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.
Established in 1985, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame exists to preserve and celebrate the history of Australian sport and to inspire all Australians to achieve their potential both in sport and life.
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame plays a vital role in preserving and perpetuating Australia’s rich sporting heritage, whilst promoting the values of courage, sportsmanship, integrity, mateship, persistence, and excellence, all underpinned by generosity, modesty, pride and ambition.
Along with the seven new inductees, the Scholarship and Mentoring Program recipients will be presented. In addition, the 41st Legend of Australian sport will be celebrated.