Dwayne Dunn is a bridesmaid no longer, taking out Victoria's prestigious Scobie Breasley medal for riding excellence.
Dunn failed by four wins to win the 2015/16 Melbourne premiership after Craig Williams ran him down in the final weeks.
He had also finished second in the Scobie Breasley medal count three times in the past five years.
"I get used to being the bridesmaid," Dunn said at Thursday night's medal presentation.
"This is something special to be cherished."
He said it would have been even more special if he had been able to win the premiership with his son Dylan claiming the apprentices' title.
"I let the team down," he said.
"This is a PB for me and I can ride better. I'm still learning every day."
Premier trainer Darren Weir claimed the Fred Hoysted award for his Melbourne Cup win with Prince Of Penzance and champion sprinter Chautauqua was named Victoria's Horse of the Year.