2023 Sovereign Awards: Fev Rover named Canadian Horse of the Year

Grade 1 winner Fev Rover was crowned 2023 Canadian Horse of the Year, and her conditioner, Mark Casse, won for outstanding trainer for the 16th time during the 49th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony Thursday at the Paramount Eventspace in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge.

Owned by Tracy Farmer, Fev Rover had a brilliant 2023 campaign, highlighted by victories in two Grade 1 fixtures, the E.P. Taylor and Beverly D. She received 90 points in the Horse of the Year voting, putting her well ahead of other finalists Paramount Prince (44) and Elysian Field (32).

Fev Rover has been working at Woodbine this spring. According to Casse, the Irish-bred 6-year-old mare could make her season debut in an allowance or the June 29 Nassau, a Grade 2 stakes that she won last year over 2022 Horse of the Year Moira.

Casse trained five other 2023 champions – Paramount Prince, Elysian Field, Lucky Score, My Boy Prince, and Witwatersrand. All five are owned by Gary Barber, who garnered outstanding owner honors for the first time.

Co-owned by Michael Langlois, Paramount Prince captured the prestigious King’s Plate and Plate Trial Stakes. He prevailed as champion 3-year-old male by a wide margin of 144 to 70 over Patches O’Houlihan. Touch’n Ride ranked third with 47 points.

Co-owned by Team Valor International, Woodbine Oaks winner Elysian Field, the runner-up in the King’s Plate, beat out Solo Album by a margin of 149 to 60 as champion 3-year-old filly. Fashionably Fab was third with 45 points.

My Boy Prince (156) took champion male juvenile honors in a landslide over Babbo (59) and Two Ghosts (39). My Boy Prince could be regarded as the early favourite for this year’s King’s Plate.

Witwatersrand (132) was another easy winner, for champion 2-year-old filly, beating out Tripolina (41) and Living Magic (32).

In one of the tightest votes among all categories, Lucky Score edged My Boy Prince by a margin of 96 to 88 for champion male turf horse. Another Casse charge, Palazzi, ranked third (30). Barber has two partners in Lucky Score – Pantofel Stables and Wachtel Stable.

Fev Rover (148) topped Moira (95) and Our Flash Drive (17) for champion female turf horse.

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