HORSHAM-based trainer Paul Preusker has added another accolade to his mantelpiece, with seven-year-old gelding Rupture crowned the 'Horse of the Year'.
Rupture was rewarded for an incredible 2019-2020 season by Country Racing Victoria in an online presentation on Saturday.
The once-problematic racehorse claimed the Warracknabeal, Hamilton and Werribee Cups during an incredible stretch that saw it win five of its seven starts.
Rupture has been a part of Preusker's McKenzie Creek stable since mid-2018.
Preusker also helped break Rupture in as a young horse before it spent the first year of its racing career with Adelaide-based trainers Richard and Chantelle Jolly.
Rupture's part-owner McLean Whittaker said he was "absolutely pumped' to claim the honours.
"It's been absolutely awesome," he said.
"We're so proud of the horse, he's done an amazing job."
Mr Whittaker said a lot was owed to the horsemen that played a part in Rupture's journey, including Preusker, his training partner Holly McKechnie, and Balmoral-based breeder Greg Daffey.
"Greg and Ainsley Daffey have been superb for us. They take such good care of our horses," Mr Whittaker said.
"Paul and Holly too - Paul is brilliant. We have a pretty good relationship now - I was told a long time ago not to bother Paul, he'll tell you when he has something to say. So I try not to bother him too much.
"He's done a good job and it's been good to be a part of."
Preusker and Rupture's owners had their eye on the Caufield Cup for the surging gelding later this year, but a lower supersensory injury in May put a halt to its hot-streak.
The horse's affiliations are still hopeful it could make a comeback to competitive racing.
"We don't really know what happened (with the injury)," Mr Whittaker said.
"Paul watched the replay 65 times and believes he may have shied at something.
"As far as supersensory injuries go it's not as bad, but I don't know if anyone has ever done a good supersensory.
"It's a little bit bittersweet because we'd love to be getting ready for the Caufield Cup this year, but hopefully next year.
"We'll give him every opportunity to come back."
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