Grand National hero Many Clouds has won Horse & Hound’s equine personality of the year receiving an almighty 1,500 online votes.
The Oliver Sherwood-trained gelding beat event horse Persimmon into second by 400 votes with dressage star Valegro finishing third.
The Trevor Hemmings-owned nine-year-old is known to give all during his races and came home victorious at Aintree last April under Leighton Aspell — helping the jockey to his second consecutive National win. The gelding also triumphed in the 2014 Hennessey Gold Cup five months prior to his Grand National run, under the same jockey.
Oliver’s travelling head girl, Lisa Kozak, embarked on a Twitter campaign to ensure ‘Clouds’ secured the award.
“It is not very often we have a horse in the yard capable of winning a Grand National. Horses like him and that kind of success is the reason we work in racing — I’ve waited a while for it.
“He has a huge following, but it was not until a fan from the Oliver’s Facebook page made us aware he had been nominated for the award, that we really started pushing people to vote for him,” said Lisa.
“It was only a few days before the voting closed so I just wanted to keep it alive on Twitter. It is so nice that he’s been recognised because he really deserves it.”
Lambourn-based Oliver has trained the son of Cloudings since spotting him as an unbroken three-year-old in his owner Trevor’s field.
“I think it is great for racing that he has won and for a racehorse to top the voting, especially against the likes of Valegro. I’m very proud of him and my team, and thanks to Horse & Hound for the nomination,” added Oliver.
“It is very much a team effort here and my wife, Tarnya, and Lisa have been in charge of pushing the voting on social media.
“Until you win a Grand National you don’t realise just how worldwide the race is — we’ve had a lot of people asking about him and we’ve done mornings on the gallops for charity so people can watch him work.”