Personality of the Year Award

First awarded in 1979, the VRMA Personality Of The Year Award is one of Victorian racing’s most prestigious awards.

Voted by VRMA members on nominations forwarded by the VRMA committee, most of the great names of Australian racing are past winners including Bart Cummings, Tommy Smith, Lee Freedman, Darren Beadman and Damien Oliver.

In its original format the POTY award was announced at a dinner held at the Southern Cross Ballroom and became a must-attend event for the racing community.

No doubt one of the most controversial winners was in 2012 when an equine hero, Black Caviar was voted in.

Yet no one could deny that the horse, trainer, jockey and connections earned racing more publicity in her glory run of 25 wins than any individual in the past decade and beyond.

The 2015 winner was Michelle Payne for her history making feat of  becoming the first woman to ride a Melbourne Cup winner.

Chris Waller, trainer of dual Cox Plate winner Winx and the Sydney record for winners in a seas0n in 2015-16 is the 2016 winner.

In 2017 Udyta Clarke won thanks to the deeds of and devotion to her ace sprinter Rich Charm.

The 2018  winner could not be denied- Team Winx. Trainer Chris Waller, jockey Hugh Bowman and part-owners Peter Tighe and Debbie Kepidis, Richard G. Treweeke shared their champion mare with the public thanks to unprecedented access.

The 2019  award went to Melbourne Cup winning jockey Craig Williams, a media savvy man always conscious of the image of racing.

The latest winner was one of the great sports stories of the year , in fact any year.

No one, least of all Denis Pagan, could have imagined that after coaching North Melbourne to two AFL premierships he would turn his hand to his favourite hobby and within six months of gaining an owner-trainer licence pepare the winner of the Group 1 Victoria Derby with a maiden galloper Johnny Get Angry.

The 2021 award was shared by Jamie Kah who set a Victorian record of 105 winners in the 2020-21 season and the training partnership of Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace who won a staggering 228 races in Victoria alone, 73 in the city for the season.

2021- Jamie Kah/ Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace

2020- Denis Pagan

2019- Craig Williams

2018- Team Winx

2017- Udyta Clarke

2016 -  Chris Waller

2015 – Michelle Payne

2014Darren Weir
2013Robert Heathcote
2012Black Caviar
2011Craig Williams
2010Peter Moody
2009Bart Cummings
2007-08Mark Kavanagh
2004-05Jamie Evans
2003-04Glen Boss
2002-03Damien Oliver
2001-02Sheila Laxon
2000George Hanlon
1999Brett Prebble
1998Beverley Buckingham
1997Darren Beadman
1996Bart Cummings
1995Gai Waterhouse
1994The Payne Family
1993Dermot Weld
1992Lee Freedman
1991Bart Cummings
1990Lee Freedman
1989Lee Freedman
1988Jim Cerchi
1987Bill Collins
1986Michael Clarke
1985Tommy Smith
1984John Schreck
1983Darren Gauci
1982Geoff Murphy
1981Joe Brown
1980Colin Hayes
1979Kevin Ryan