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2015 Media Excellence Finalists

Published: December 31, 2015 10:02 am ET

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Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 Media Excellence Awards.

The Media Excellence Awards program is aimed at honouring those who have, through one piece of exceptional work, covered Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. 2015 marks the eighth year for this program.

The finalists in the Outstanding Written Work category are Melissa Keith, of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, for her story Been There, Bought the T-Shirt: The Relevance of Trademark Race Calls and Chris Lomon, of Toronto, Ontario, for his story Finding Peace, Hope and Happiness.

Been There, Bought the T-Shirt: The Relevance of Trademark Race Calls was published in Trot Magazine’s February 2015 issue. The story is about race announcers, their trademark race calls and memorable race calls.

Finding Peace, Hope and Happiness was published in the November 2014 issue of Trot Magazine and tells the story of four-year-old pacer, Distinctiv Sean, named in honour of Ken Alward’s late son, Sean, who succumbed to cancer in October 2009.

Woodbine Entertainment’s 2015 Pepsi North America Cup broadcast in HD and Sydney’s Story produced and submitted by ErinoakKids are the two finalists in the Outstanding Video, Film or Broadcast category.

"The Pepsi North America Cup" aired across Canada on the TSN1 television network on Saturday, June 20th, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET. This 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 along with a feature on some of the fun names in the big race as well as the main feature -- the story of The Stable That God Loves.

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

ErinoakKids and video production partner Fresh Sox produced Sydney’s Story, a feature about harness racing fan and owner Sydney Weaver, an ErinoakKids’ client, who was honoured at their annual Pride & Joy Awards in October. The Pride & Joy Awards celebrate the achievement, determination and legacy of the extraordinary children and youth that they serve. Sydney was selected as the Centre’s "Branching Out" recipient because of her advancement in extra-curricular activities -- namely harness racing and writing. The video was created to tell Sydney’s story at the Pride & Joy Awards.

Clive Cohen’s photo of horses in the fog at Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario and Frances Lund’s photo of a horse in the driving rain in the Gold Cup and Saucer Post Parade at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park are the finalists in the Outstanding Photography category.

Cohen’s photo was taken on April 9, 2015, at Mohawk Racetrack and published later that night on the WEGphotos facebook page. Clive, a resident of North York, Ontario, is looking for his third consecutive award in this category.

Frances (Frankie) Lund’s photo was taken during the Gold Cup and Saucer post parade on August 22, 2015. The rain and lightening threatened all night and Frankie, a resident of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, captured this shot of Brad Forward and Crombie A as they were introduced under the spotlight in the record downpour (the race had to be rescheduled for the following afternoon). This image was later published in Atlantic Post Calls on September 11, 2015.

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 author and horse safety specialist Michelle Staples.

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, February 13, 2016 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario.

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