OUTSTANDING pacer McWicked became the oldest pacer to be named USTA Horse Of The Year at a grand function today.
Receiving harness racing’s top honour, the seven-year-old stallion beat former Australian-trained mare Shartin, 86-27, to claim the trophy.
Atlanta, which was named Trotter Of The Year, finished third with eight votes.
Earlier during the evening, McWicked was named Pacer Of The Year, 95-31, over Shartin.
McWicked is owned by Ed James’ SSG Stables and trained by Casie Coleman, with the son of McArdle bred by Andray Farm.
McWicked led the sport in earnings last season, with $1.57million to become the oldest campaigner in 43 years to top the prize money standings.
Successful at 12 of his 19 starts for the term, McWicked capped his season with a five-race win streak.
The previous oldest pacer to be named Horse Of The Year was Good Time, which was six when he claimed the title in 1952.
Earlier this month, McWicked was named Canadian Horse Of The Year.
“We’ve been fortunate to have three Horses Of The Year in Canada, and to get it done here is pretty awesome,” Coleman said.
“Winning a double (Horse of the Year) with him, and doing it with a horse that’s seven, it’s not often that it happens.
“Now we have to hope he can do it again this year. I see no reason why he shouldn’t be just as good in 2019. We’ll see what happens.”
McWicked’s victories included the Breeders’ Crown, Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, TVG Series Open championship, Dan Rooney Invitational, and Allerage Farms Open.
McWicked paced the second-fastest race mile in history when he stopped the clock in 1:46.2 in the Allerage.
- KEN WEINGARTNER