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Hall, Witten Receive Smallsreed Honours

Published: January 13, 2011 1:13 pm ET

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Mark Hall of Hoof Beats magazine and Bea Witten of Horseman and Fair World magazine were named winners in the annual George Smallsreed Awards for excellence in harness racing photography, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced today.

Claus Andersen and Dave Landry, both from Canadian Sportsman magazine, received honorable mentions.

The contest was sponsored by harness racing executive Jeff Gural.

Hall won in the race category for a photo of driver Tim Tetrick competing at Harrah’s Chester. The picture was part of a “Day in the Life” photo essay and appeared on the U.S. Trotting Association’s Web site on Nov. 24, 2010.

“An angle we very rarely see makes this shot a winner,” judge Barbara Livingston said. “The horse’s flying tail, the reins’ tension, the driver’s expression and the horses far in the background all combine to create a graphically interesting image.”

Landry received honorable mention for a photo of Kyle Major going off stride in the Little Brown Jug. It appeared in the Oct. 7 issue of Canadian Sportsman.

“The power and drama of the moment, with the driver trying to correct the break, makes for a compelling and slightly unsettling image,” Livingston said.

Witten was honored in the feature category for a photo of three-year-old trotter Holiday Road and caretaker Mali Norbye in the paddock prior to the Hambletonian. The photo appeared in the Aug. 11 issue of Horseman and Fair World.

“In this photo of a tender moment between a horse and its caretaker, simple touches – from the halter clung over the woman’s shoulder to a tattoo peeking out from beneath her sleeve – add to the intimacy,” Livingston said. “The horse’s expression – perhaps not entirely comfortable – adds an interesting touch. Well exposed and composed, with simple colors, the photo makes me want to learn more about both the caretaker and the horse.”

Andersen received honorable mention for his photo of trainer Jimmy Takter holding the Hambletonian trophy above his head while standing in his swimming pool. The picture appeared on the cover of the Aug. 13 issue of Canadian Sportsman.

“The photographer clearly thought outside of the box with this one – showing a trainer celebrating his Hambletonian victory in a highly unusual way,” Livingston said. “The trainer’s broad smile and two horsehead touches (in the pool and on the trophy) help the viewer understand the well-lit scene. Very nice.”

Livingston is a multiple award-winning photographer, including two Eclipse Awards, with more than three decades experience photographing racing and horses. She is the author of several books and her photos have appeared in publications including People, Newsweek, Gentleman’s Quarterly, Sports Illustrated, Cigar Aficionado, Reader’s Digest, TV Guide and Vanity Fair.

Hall and Witten will be honored at USHWA’s annual awards dinner, to be held February 27 at the Marriott in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Winners in the John Hervey Awards writing categories will be announced Friday, followed by the broadcast awards on Monday.


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