How often have you heard of a horse finishing winning a sports award ahead of a human? Sally Pearson, an ace Australian athlete and short distance runner has the distinct record of being beaten by a horse for one of Australias most prestigious sports awards. Mind you, while the intention behind this award was done with a humorous take, the award was official and did cause some controversy.
Back in 2012, there were several individuals up for the Australian Sportswoman of the Year Award. Two of the leading contenders were Sally Pearson and a horse named Black Caviar. It was a tough choice given that Sally Pearson was a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Champion in the 100m hurdles. Black Caviar too had a stellar CV as the Thoroughbred horse was a 4 time WTRR Champion and had won over 25 races during her career.
Sydneys Daily Telegraph had the honour of being the jury for deciding the award with journalists Phil Rothfield and Darren Hadland being the two judges. They maintained that the decision to name Black Caviar as the winner was done in a light hearted manner with no malafide intentions towards Sally Pearson. However, the backlash came on the lines of sexism and discrimination given that the same trophy was awarded to Michale Clarke without any discrimination in the Men's category.
Keeping aside the controversy, Sally Pearson recently posted a tweet about how she is reminded of the famous incident during the annual Melbourne Cup that is held every year. She carries on by admitting that it was Black Caviar who beat her so the award snub was understandable. This was certainly the first award of its kind that has been recorded in the world of sports. It makes for a strange one but at the end of it, as Australian comedian Wil Anderson pointed out, "If a horse can win Sportswoman Of The Year then surely a man can now marry a horse?"