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Media Excellence Finalists Announced

Published: December 27, 2019 1:00 pm ET

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Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Media Excellence Awards, sponsored by Ontario Racing for the fourth consecutive year.

The Media Excellence Awards program honours those who have, through one piece of exceptional work, covered Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. The 2019 edition marks the 12th year for this program.

The finalists in the Outstanding Written Work category are: "Four Feet & A Heartbeat", written by Rachel Oenema, Associate Editor of TROT Magazine, and "Sportsline Racing – and Winning – in honour of Harry Parrot" written by Sandra Snyder.

Four Feet & A Heartbeat tells the story of Twin B Trooper, a brave colt who almost died during foaling and continued to face adversity in his early days as a foal. The feature was published in the August 2019 issue of TROT.

Sportsline racing — and winning — in honor of Harry Parrott, appeared in the July 12, 2019 edition of Harness Racing Update. The feature tells the story of the late Harry Parrot and Sportsline, his horse of a lifetime.

In the Outstanding Broadcast category, Cujo Entertainment’s production of the Industry Day video and The Pepsi North America Cup broadcast, produced by Woodbine Entertainment, are the finalists.

The Industry Day video was created for the Battle of Waterloo’s COSA Facebook Live Broadcast at Grand River Raceway. The video was produced, directed and edited by Curtis MacDonald of Cujo Entertainment. True Nature Communications wrote the voiceover script and Chris Roberts provided the voiceover. The video first aired on the Facebook Live broadcast on August 4, 2019, then re-aired on Wightman Communications Community TV four days later.

The Pepsi North America Cup one-hour special broadcast aired on TSN on Saturday, June 15, 2019, from 10 to 11 p.m. Produced by Woodbine Entertainment’s Broadcast Department, commentary was provided by Jason Portuondo, Dawn Lupul and Greg Blanchard and the race call was provided by Ken Middleton.

The Outstanding Photography category finalists are Kyle Burton’s Gold Cup & Saucer photo, “Under The Spotlight” and Clive Cohen’s “Let It Snow” shot of horses scoring in wintry conditions.

Burton, a resident of Truro, Nova Scotia, won this category in 2017. He captured this shot during the post parade for the Gold Cup and Saucer at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park on August 17, 2019. The photo was originally published in Harness Racing Update on August 18, 2019.

Clive Cohen’s photo “Let It Snow” was taken on November 15 at Woodbine Mohawk Park and was published on the Woodbine Facebook and Instagram pages on November 16, 2019. Cohen is a four-time (2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018) winner of the Media Excellence Award for photography.

The six finalists were the top two point earners in their respective categories.
Standardbred Canada would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to everyone who submitted entries for the Media Awards and to all the judges.

Judges in the Outstanding Written Work category included Jessie Christie, Manager of Communications for Equestrian Canada, Michelle Staples, author, horse safety specialist, and an instructor at Equine Guelph; and Bill Galvin, a Canadian horse racing historian, author, and publicist, and a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The judges for the Broadcast category were 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 Toronto sportscaster Claude Feig.

The submissions for the Outstanding Photography category were scored by 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 Shawn Hamilton, owner of CLiX Photography, whose passion for photographing horses has landed her photos on the covers and inside magazines such as Corinthian Horse Sport magazine, The Canadian Horsemen, Horse Canada, and Equus.

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, February 1, 2020 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, ON.

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