The Jockey Club of Canada is pleased to announce that Dale Saunders will be presented with the E. P. Taylor Award of Merit during the 48th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony on the evening of Thursday, April 13, 2023 in Vaughan, Ontario. Selected unanimously by the Jockey Club of Canada’s Stewards, the E. P. Taylor Award is a lifetime achievement award honouring those who have made significant contributions to the Thoroughbred Industry in Canada and accomplished outstanding individual achievements in Canadian thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Dale Saunders has been dedicated to the sport of thoroughbred racing for over 50 years. With 2,177 wins from 12,915 starts and $17.4 million in earnings, “Colonel” Saunders has achieved as much as any other trainer in Alberta. His passion for thoroughbred racing was bred into him, with his father and his cousins all keen horsemen and avid thoroughbred breeders and owners. Dale has won countless stakes races and was Alberta Trainer of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1987 – 1989, 1996 – 1999 and 2013. He was also honoured in 2012 as the Horseperson of the Year at the Alberta Thoroughbred Awards.

The Jockey Club of Canada is proud to present Amber Hutchinson and Ricardo Nicholson with the 2022 Outstanding Groom Award sponsored by OLG. Both Amber and Ricardo are spoken of very highly by their nominators, trainers Mike Doyle and Ian Black, respectively.

This year marks Amber’s 16th season with Mike Doyle who describes her as dependable, diligent, cheerful, unfailingly kind, and having earned the respect of her coworkers.

Ian Black began his training career 19 years ago, and Ricardo has been with him the entire time. Known for his race day outfits which are catered to match each owners’ silks and the saddlecloth colour, “Ricky” has groomed such horses as multiple graded stakes winners Seductively and Southdale.

The Jockey Club of Canada is also pleased to announce the finalists for the 2022 Media Sovereign Awards categories. Judging for the Media Awards is performed by media professionals within the industry selected from across North America.

Listed in alphabetical order, the Media finalists are:

Digital Audio/Visual and Broadcast Category

Peter Gross – Down the Stretch Podcast 146

Horse Racing Alberta – The Canadian Derby Feature – Above and Beyond

Woodbine Entertainment Group – The Queen’s Plate

Photograph Category

Allan de la Plante – The Catch


Lisa Thompson – Belcarra Park (Jumping for Joy) Canadian Thoroughbred

Julie Wright – On Cloud Nine – 2022 EP Taylor Champions

Writing Category

Ivan Bigg – Brandon Greer’s Quiet Success

Dave Briggs – Why Can’t Horse Racing Partake in Ontario’s Sports Betting Boom –

Ron GierkinkQueen’s Plate Feature Sunday Aug. 7 n/a

Chris LomonMike Keogh: Canada’s Gentleman Horseman Calls it a Career

George WilliamsDerby Winner has a Manitoba Mother

Winnipeg Free Press –

The winner in each of the three Media Award categories will be announced, along with the other Sovereign Award winners and Canada’s Horse of the Year during the 48th Annual Sovereign Awards Ceremony on the evening of Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ontario.