2016 Media Award Finalists Announced


Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2016 Media Excellence Awards, sponsored by Ontario Racing.

The Media Excellence Awards program is aimed at honouring those that have, through one piece of exceptional work, covered Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. 2016 marks the ninth year for this program.

The finalists in the Outstanding Written Work category are Dave Briggs, of Port Stanley, Ont., for his story entitled Family First and Keith McCalmont of Toronto, Ont. for his contribution to the ‘Remembering Those Lost’ story.

Family First, was published on August 6, 2016, as a feature story on Ontario Racing’s website. Briggs, a winner of this award in 2008 and 2014, recounts the celebration of the Hambletonian victory as well as the journey of Marion Marauder from yearling acquisition to Hambo champion.

Remembering Those Lost was published in the February, 2016 issue of TROT Magazine. McCalmont talked to some of the trainers and owners most affected by the tragic barn fire at Classy Lane Training Centre and asked them to share some memories of their beloved horses.

Woodbine Entertainment’s 2016 Pepsi North America Cup broadcast in HD and Horse Racing Alberta’s Brad Gunn Stakes preview are the two finalists in the Outstanding Video, Film or Broadcast category.

‘The Pepsi North America Cup’ aired across Canada on the TSN2 television network on Saturday, June 18, 2016 from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET. The 60-minute special broadcast of the $1 Million Pepsi North America Cup aired in high definition and featured live race coverage of the main event and a feature on Emprize Hanover and her two foals.

The program was a production of Woodbine Entertainment’s Broadcast Department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. WEG’s Broadcast Department has won this award in five of the past six years.

Horse Racing Alberta’s video feature on the Brad Gunn Stakes set the stage for a classic battle in the event which was hosted at Century Downs on Sunday, August 7, 2016. The video feature was posted on HRA’s website on August 3 and was distributed through many social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and Twitter. HRA won this award in 2008 and 2009.

Clive Cohen’s photo of October racing at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ont. and Ann MacNeill’s photo of a horse on the track at Pinette Raceway are the finalists in the Outstanding Photography category.

Cohen’s photo was taken on October 1, 2016, at Mohawk Racetrack and published later that night on the WEG Standardbred Instagram feed. Cohen, the resident track photographer for Standardbred racing at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks, is looking for his third Media Excellence award in this category.

MacNeill’s photo was published in the July issue of the Harness Report as part of the Pinette Raceway photo album. MacNeill, who operates her own photography business, called ‘Sees The Moment’ in Charlottetown, PE, won this award in 2010.

The six finalists were the top two point earners in their respective categories, scored by a panel of esteemed judges.

Standardbred Canada would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to everyone that submitted entries for the Media Awards and to all of the judges.

Judges in the Outstanding Written Work Category included Jackie Bellamy Zions who manages Communications & Administration for Equine Guelph; Dave Perkins, longtime sports columnist who retired in 2013 from the Toronto Star; and Charles Leerhsen, former editor at Sports Illustrated and author of several books, including ‘Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America,’ and most recently ‘Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty.’

Veteran broadcaster Al Craig, sports information officer at Mohawk College and past colour commentator for the Hamilton Bulldogs; Brad Diamond, of Bradford Productions, producer of numerous award-winning programs, including ‘Motoring,’ a weekly national half-hour magazine-style television program on TSN (The Sports Network); and Dave Rutherford, general manager PPI Hockey, broadcasting agent and former executive producer of The Fight Network, were the judges for the Broadcast Category.

Skip Dickstein, a past Eclipse Award winner and staff photographer at the Albany Times Union; Brandon Hall, executive assistant with the Ontario Equine Federation; and Barbara Sheridan, an award-winning freelance writer and photographer and former associate editor of Horse Care Magazine, scored the submissions for the Outstanding Photography category.

To see a list of past winners of the Media Excellence Awards, click here.

The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, January 28, 2017 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ont.

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