BRIDPORT-BASED trainer-driver Grant Hodges has taken a handy lead in the 2012-13 Halwes Medal count.
Hodges accrued 24 points after the first ten of 85 harness meetings scheduled for this season.
Reinsman Ricky Duggan and popular trainer-driver Rohan Hillier are next on 15 votes followed by Troy Hillier on 13 and Tim Maine and Gareth Rattray are on the next line with 12 votes.
The Halwes Medal is sponsored by BOTRA Tasmania and prominent harness form analyst and owner Jamie Cockshutt.
The award recognises excellence in horsemanship and operates under the following format:
· A panel of 12 members is rostered to vote throughout the harness season (September 2012 to August 2013). Panel members are Jamie Cockshutt, Peter Cooley, Matt Jordan, Geoff Lucas, Greg Mansfield, Kevin Neilson, Matt Robertson, Rick Puccinelli, Davis Sales, Damien Seaton, Peter Staples and Shane Yates
· Two panel members vote on each meeting and have 10 votes each.
· The 10 votes can be allocated at the panel member’s discretion with a maximum of five votes for any trainer or driver.
· Only Tasmanian registered licensed persons are eligible to receive votes.
Hodges, who is the states leading trainer of the last two seasons and is leading both the trainers and drivers premierships for 2012/2013, gained a maximum of five votes from each judge for a total of 10 votes at Launceston on 4 November. He drove four winners from five drives.
Hodges was awarded a total of seven votes at Launceston on 21 October after three wins and a second from six races.
At Hobart on 30 September he was allocated six votes after winning two races from the three races that contained runners from his stable.
His horses finished second and third in the other race.
Troy Hillier gained 10 votes after driving four winners from four drives at Launceston on 21 October. Tim Maine scored 10 votes after driving a long priced double at Hobart on 28 October.
Nine votes were awarded to trainer Ben Yole at Hobart on 2 September and driver Rick Duggan at Hobart on 16 September.
The BOTRA Young Achiever Award is run in conjunction with the Halwes Medal and is restricted to licensed persons aged 24 or under as at 1 September 2012. Todd Rattray leads with 10 votes followed by Dylan Ford (6) and Mark Yole (5).
Votes allocated to 5 November 2012 are:
24 Grant Hodges
15 Ricky Duggan, Rohan Hillier
13 Troy Hillier
12 Tim Maine, Gareth Rattray
10 Todd Rattray
9 Ben Yole
8 Rod Plunkett
7 Eric Jacobson
6 Dylan Ford
5 Rodney Ashwood, Rohan Hadley, David Medhurst, Zeke Slater, Mark Yole
4 Tony Petersen, Geoff Smith
3 Adrian Collins, Ian Swain, Heath Szczypka
2 Paul Ashwood, Rod Burgess, Matthew Dwyer, Mark Geeves, Paul Hill, Kate MacLeod, Melissa Maine, Barrie Rattray, Craig Sweeney, Keith Toulmin
1 Chester Bullock, Shelley Barnes, Michael Dornauf, Robert Gillie, Christian Salter, Craig Toulmin, Paul Williams