M. Kelly Young, Gordon Waterstone, Harry Giglio and Horse Racing Alberta/Whiteiron Productions were named award winners for their exceptional contributions to harness racing journalism in 2008, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Wednesday.
The Hervey Awards are presented annually to acknowledge outstanding work in the areas of feature writing and news/commentary writing while the George Smallsreed Award recognizes excellence in photography and the Broadcasters Award honours video. Winners will be saluted at the Night of Stars banquet on February 4 at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
Young was honored in the feature writing category for her profile on trainer Gary Baker and his battle with the disease ALS. The story, titled "A Cruel Twist of Fate," appeared in the June issue of The Harness Edge magazine.
"Chapters are part of one's life," judge Lou Monaco said. "The writer breaks up the piece in three 'mini-chapters' dealing with the highlights of a career, the obstacles that person must face later in one's life and the one new goal that individual is now trying to achieve. From the narration throughout, the writer blends all three of these into one compelling story."
Receiving honorable mention were "Loving Devotion" by T.J. Burkett in the May issue of Hoof Beats magazine and "Miracle. The Warren Grant Story" by Jonathan Huntington in the April issue of Trot.
Monaco worked with SportsTicker for more than 18 years and has covered numerous Hambletonians, Meadowlands Paces and Breeders Crowns. He currently is a freelance contributing researcher for ESPN Research and part-time newsroom assistant/writer for Dorf Feature Service, which provides content and information to the Newark Star-Ledger, Trenton Times, and NJ.com.
Waterstone, the associate editor of Horseman and Fair World, was honored in
the news writing category for his Meadowlands Pace story titled "Race of the Century? Art Official Defeats Somebeachsomewhere," which appeared in the magazine's July 23 issue.
"In solid reportorial fashion, the writer delivers to the reader the classic tale of an underdog challenger's improbable victory over an undefeated champion," judge Milton Goldstein said. "In compelling detail using strong interviewing skills, the writer uses the key subjects of the race (the drivers, trainers and owners) to recount the twists and turns of the crowded field of four-legged combatants on a record-setting pace at each fraction.
"The story culminates with word pictures of another classic scene; the roaring crowd on its feet at the finish line cheering home improbable champ Art Official, with the excitement of harness history having been made delivered in solid fashion to the reader."
Honorable mentions were awarded to Charlene Polk for her story, "Ringler Enjoys Success with Babies," which appeared on the U.S. Trotting Association Web site on August 8, and Carol Hodes for her piece, "Nobody Asked, but Here's an Opinion," which appeared on the Harnesslink Web site on June 9.
Goldstein has been with the New York Post for nearly four decades and currently serves as the paper's deputy news copy desk chief.
Giglio's photo for the cover of the 75th anniversary issue of Hoof Beats last July earned the George Smallsreed Award. The photo was taken at The Meadows.
"The composition and the lighting are really amazing," judge Phil McAuliffe said. "It's almost like a painting. It's a piece of art, I'd say, in terms of a photograph. It looks like everything came together in this picture. The frame he got, with the horses and the way their heads are angled, it really shows the power. He did a real nice job with this."
Receiving honorable mentions were Stefan Melander's photo of driver Ray Schnittker and his trotter Deweycheatumnhowe in the Meadowlands paddock prior to the Hambletonian, which appeared in the August 6 issue of Horseman and Fair World, and Dave Landry's photo of Somebeachsomewhere in the stretch of his world record 1:46.4 mile at Lexington's Red Mile, which appeared in the October 16 issue of The Canadian Sportsman magazine.
McAuliffe, who worked as a harness racing groom as a teenager and has shot more than a dozen Hambletonians, is a photographer for Polaris Images as well as a group of weekly newspapers in New Jersey. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Time, Rolling Stone, and People magazines.
Horse Racing Alberta/Whiteiron Productions' television feature about Warren Grant and his return to racing following a horrific accident received the Broadcast Award. The piece aired on CTV Alberta and Saskatchewan on May 24. Jeff Robillard and Mike Little were the executive producers.
"It was very well done in terms of both subject matter and the professional look to the piece," judge Adam Berkowitz said. "Good use of music, simple but effective graphics, and the content was very interesting. The interviews were compelling and it was a dramatic story to tell."
Honorable mention was awarded to Vigilante Films for a feature about racehorse adoption.
Berkowitz is a senior news editor at the New York Daily News, where he has
worked for 15 years.
For Night of Stars dinner ticket information call Harness Tracks of America at 520-529-2525. To place an ad in the Awards Journal, contact Debbie Little at 201-438-4456.