Friday, 29 December 2017 11:52

2017 Media Excellence Award Finalists Announced

Written by Standardbred Canada
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Alberta Racing Industry Finalist in 2017 Media Excellence Awards

Standardbred Canada is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Media Excellence Awards, which are sponsored by Ontario Racing for the second consecutive year.

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. 2017 marks the tenth year for this program.

The finalists in the Outstanding Written Work category are Dave Briggs for his story, End of an Era and Steve Buffery for his article Real Horseman.

End of an Era is about Hall of Famer John Campbell’s retirement, and recounts the start, finish and highlights of his illustrious career, which ended with his last race on Legends Day at Clinton Raceway on July 30, 2017. The article was published in the October issue of Hoofbeats Magazine. Briggs has won this award twice before in 2008 and 2014.

Real Horseman, written by Toronto Sun sports writer Steve Buffery, tells the story of groom Pauly Suksiri, his battle with cancer, and the people in the harness racing industry who supported him during his final days.

In the Outstanding Broadcast category, the video feature Ralph Klein & Lady Luck, produced by Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) and Hope and Resilience, produced by Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG), are the finalists. Horse Racing Alberta won this award in 2008 and 2009 and WEG is a six-time winner of the award, with its most recent accolades in 2016.

The video feature Ralph Klein & Lady Luck appeared on Horse Racing Alberta’s website and social media platforms on August 2, 2017. Produced in co-operation with Mike Little of Shine Light Entertainment, the piece sets the stage for a classic battle in the Ralph Klein and Lady Luck Stakes on August 7, 2017 at Century Downs by profiling the horses, trainers, drivers and the people behind the top contenders.

Hope and Resilience aired across Canada during the Pepsi North America Cup broadcast on TSN3 and TSN5 television networks on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. (EST). The feature tells the story of how the trainers that were stabled in Barn 1 at Classy Lane Training Centre are coping a year after the tragic barn fire, thanks to the outpouring of support from the horse racing community.

The Outstanding Photography category finalists are Kyle Burton’s photo ‘Dusty Lane Appearance’ and Clive Cohen’s shot ‘Going To The Gate.’

Kyle Burton’s photo of His Boy Elroy was taken on December 11, 2016, as the horse was coming back to the winner’s circle after his victory. The track conditioner just went flying by His Boy Elroy, who turned and went directly through the kick up of dust on his way to the winner’s circle, where Burton was standing and hence the title, ‘Dusty Lane Appearance.’ The photo was first published on Truro Raceway’s Twitter feed in October, 2017. Burton has been the regular track photographer at Truro Raceway for eight seasons.

Clive Cohen’s photo of horses heading to the gate for a Pepsi North America Cup elimination was taken on June 10, 2017. The photo was published on the same day on the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Cohen, who is the resident track photographer for Standardbred racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks, has won three Media Excellence Awards in this category.

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 Dave Perkins, author of ‘Fun And Games: My 40 Years Writing Sports’ and a longtime sports columnist who retired in 2013 from the Toronto Star; Michelle Staples, author, horse safety specialist, and an instructor at Equine Guelph; and Bernard Tobin, field editor for, a North American agriculture news website, past contributor to both TROT and The Canadian Sportsman, and a co-host for the ‘Hooked On Harness’ podcast.

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 Barbara Sheridan, an award-winning freelance writer and photographer and former associate editor of Horse Care Magazine.

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 3, 2018 at the Hilton Mississauga / Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga, Ontario.

Article reposted from Standardbred Canada - original link

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