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It’s not often you see Shark Hanlon but after Hewick captured the Eclipse Award for Champion Steeplechaser of America he struggled to hold back the tears.
Though he ran only once in the U.S., Hewick made the most of the opportunity, running away with American Steeplechasing’s top prize, the Grand National at Far Hills in October. And a few minutes ago, the Irish-bred, bargain-basement $900 purchase was crowned the sport’s 2022 champion, taking home the Eclipse Award for owner TJ McDonald and trainer John “Shark” Hanlon.
Hanlon was in attendance to accept the award for his now eight-year-old star known as “The Peoples’ Champion,” who was ridden to an 11-length victory in the Grand National by Jordan Gainford.
In a brief, but deeply emotional speech, Hanlon choked back tears and called the award “the best moment of my life.”
Hewick wins the Steeplechase Horse Eclipse Award.@NTRA pic.twitter.com/kjcPrIDDxm
— John Hanlon Racing (@jhanlonracing) January 27, 2023
The two other finalists for the award were Bruton Street-US’ Snap Decision, the only two-time Grade 1 winner of the season, and the magnificent mare, Joseph Fowler’s Down Royal, who beat males twice last year.