2024 Equus Awards



The basis for awarding the equine categories for the Equus Awards from the 2023/2024 season has been slightly altered from the past year. The pattern race points system remains intact. The tables will be updated after major race meetings and are being updated by the NHRA. The final list of nominees for each award will be derived from the final points standings amongst the relevant categories. The panel of judges will then use the tables derived from the points system as a guide when making their final decision. There will no longer be a public vote.

Pattern Race Points System

Expert Panel Rating


Points are accumulated by each horse during the season in Graded races, with an exception made for the Champion Stayer category, where Listed performances are also to be included. The points system ensures that South Africa’s best races are awarded the most points in each category. Each horse nominated to the final voting list has demonstrated potential Champion status.

Grade 1 races will carry more points than Grade 2 races, Grade 2 more than Grade 3. Open races carry more points than restricted races (by age or sex), and WFA or fixed-weight races have more points than conditions or handicap races of the same grading. Additionally, certain races have been designated “Super Status” in their respective grading to acknowledge their enhanced importance in the graded race pattern throughout the season. These races will carry the most points in each category and grading.

Points will accumulate for the first four finishers in the Grade 1 and the first three in the Grade 2 and Grade 3 races. Listed races that carry points towards the Champion Stayer category will be awarded for the first three finishers except in races restricted to fillies and mares, where only the first two will be awarded points. All graded performances in the season will carry points towards the Horse-of-the-year, age-group, and male/female categories. However, the four distance-related categories (Champion Sprinter, Miler, Middle Distance, and Stayer) will EXCLUDE performances in Age-Group restricted races, and points for these categories will only accrue from races where all ages may participate.

Six races at Grade 1 and two at the Grade 2 level have been designated “Super Status” and will carry enhanced points. All these Super Grade 1 races are WFA races, while the two Super Grade 2 races are WFA plus penalties.

The points outlined above are summarised in the table below:

Category 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Super Grade 1 48 24 12 6
Durban July 40 20 10 5
Grade 1 Open WFA 40 20 10 5
Grade 1 Open Hcp 32 16 8 4
Grade 1 Age restricted 32 16 8 4
Grade 1 F&M 32 16 8 4
Super Grade 2 24 12 6
Grade 2 Open WFA(+P) 20 10 5
Grade 2 Open Hcp 16 8 4
Grade 2 Age restricted 16 8 4
Grade 2 F&M 16 8 4
Grade 3 Open WFA(+P) 10 5 3
Grade 3 Open Hcp 8 4 2
Grade 3 Age restricted 8 4 2
Grade 3 F&M 8 4 2
2400m+ only
Listed Open Conditions 6 3 1
Listed Open Handicaps 4 2 1
Listed Open F&M 3 1


The Graded races designated Super-status are:

  • The King’s Plate (Gr 1), the Cape Met (Gr 1) and the Green Point Stakes (Gr 2) in the Western Cape
  • The Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr 1) and the Champions Challenge (Gr 1) on the Highveld
  • The Gold Challenge (Gr 1), the Champions Cup (Gr 1) and the Drill Hall Stakes (Gr 2) in KZN


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