Dawson and McMullen Secure Trip of a Lifetime
Monday 15 October 2018
Last night’s Harness Racing Awards Dinner brought exciting news for junior drivers and cousins Nathan Dawson and Dannielle McMullen when they were announced winners of the 2018 Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award.
The award comes with an unbelievable all-expenses paid trip to North America working and learning under the watchful eye of successful harness racing trainer and former Australian Ross Croghan. The trip will be an incredible learning curve for the youngsters and will include opportunities to visit the stables of prominent standardbred trainers such as Jimmy Takter and Ron Burke, touch base with ex-pats such as Andy McCarthy, Noel Daley and Chris Ryder to name but a few, visit renowned racetracks such as the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Freehold as well as the possibility of securing a race drive.
Young Achiever nominations were selected on a monthly basis throughout the season by a panel of industry experts. Other nominees included Trent Moffat, Hayden Barnes, Brittany Graham, Narissa McMullen, Isobel Ross, Mitchell Dawson, Alex Cain and Matt Elkins.
Nathan Dawson was the obvious preference for the male award recipient given his unbelievable driving record in the 2017/2018 season and being nominated for the award on three occasions. He secured the Queensland Driver of the Year Premiership and was the only driver to land a double century of wins. Dawson’s career best month was in August where he landed 40 winners and 42 placings from 149 drives. In that month he drove four winners on two occasions, trebles on three occasions and recorded his 500th lifetime winner. “I hadn’t kept count of the winners that month, I just went out there and did my best. I had a really good season and it’s great to be rewarded for the hard work” Dawson stated. He was also selected to represent Queensland in the upcoming Australasian Young Drivers Championship held at Albion Park and Redcliffe in November.
McMullen also enjoyed plenty of success last season finishing within the top 10 on the state drivers, metropolitan drivers and concession drivers premierships with 78 winners from 595 drives. Along with her sister Narissa, McMullen represented the state in the Australian Female Drivers Championship in Tasmania where she finished in 2nd place, as well as competing in the Reinswomen Invitational series at Globe Derby. Narissa was
selected as last year’s Kevin and Kay Seymour Young Achiever and ironically the sisters finished on the same number of wins last season.
“I’m really looking forward to the trip, it’ll be a really great learning experience and I know it wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors Kevin and Kay Seymour”, said McMullen.
While the trip details are yet to be confirmed it has been suggested that the drivers will set off in August next year and their trip will coincide with the one million dollar Hambletonian Stakes at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
L to R; Kevin Seymour AM, Nathan Dawson, Dannielle McMullen, Kay Seymour