Rinker selected Hervey award winner

04:18 PM 26 Dec 2007 NZDT
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Illinois-based reporter Kimberly Rinker was awarded the 2007 John Hervey Award for feature writing, it was announced by the United States Harness Writers Association.

Herveys are presented to acknowledge the best in harness racing journalism in the areas of featuring writing, news writing, audio, video and photography. Feature writing was the most competitive of the Hervey categories with 19 entrants.

he competition’s judge, Don Clippinger, the Eclipse Award-winning writer and editorial director for the Thoroughbred Times, also singled out articles written by Andrea Pietrzak and Jessica Simmons for honorable mentions.

f Rinker’s article, “Ain’t They Pretty,” which appeared in the September 2007 edition of Hoof Beats magazine, Clippinger said, “This is a lovely, well-written story about someone who is not well known in the sport but nonetheless is an important part of harness racing. Succinctly, the writer carries us from the late 1920s to the present through the eyes of Numa Snyder, a musician and quietly ardent harness racing fan.

The language is clear and concise, and the writer is careful not to overstep or overstate,” noted Clippinger.

hio-born Rinker, 47, is an accomplished violist and pianist as well as horsewoman who earned her BA in journalism from Ohio State University.

columnist for Horsemen & Fair World magazine for more than 10 years, she was editor of Illinois Standardbred magazine for six years. She has also worked for the publicity departments at Scioto Downs, Sportsman's, Maywood, Balmoral, Meadowlands and for the Hambletonian Society.

inker has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Harness Edge, Sports Eye, Hammond Times and Hoof Beats and has authored three books, including A Pocket Adventure Guide to Switzerland.

driver-trainer, Rinker maintains a small stable at Maywood Park. In 1995 she represented the United States in the International Drivers Championship in Moscow, Russia, and this year scored her biggest training triumph with the pacer Skipper's Top Dog, who captured the $35,500 Cubs Final at Hawthorne in 1:51.4.

inker was runner-up in the 2004 Hervey competition for her Horseman & Fair World feature on horsewoman Carol Longo and the horse Carl's Big Mac.

his year’s first honorable mention went to a Simmons’ profile of Delmegan and Armbro Whirl called “Best Buddies” which appeared in the November 2007 issue of Hoof Beats.

This is a tightly written gem about two horses whose bond very nearly spans their entire lifetimes,” Clippinger said. “In fewer than 1,000 words, the writer elegantly develops the relationship and carries the reader to an evocative conclusion.”

econd honorable mention went to an entry called “Back from the Brink” by Pietrzak, which ran in the April 26, 2007 issue of Canadian Sportsman.

This is a compelling story that is well told,” Clippinger said. “Joe Canadian probably should not have survived a crash with a track water truck, but he did through the determination of several people who allowed him to return a winner.”

lippinger has been editorial director for the Thoroughbred Times Company since March 2006 and previously served as the weekly magazine's managing editor from 1996 to 2000, following a brief stint as publicity and marketing director at Lexington’s Red Mile. He covered horse racing for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1981 to 1987, and was editor of the Thoroughbred Record from 1988 until its closing in 1990.

lippinger won the Eclipse Award for magazine writing in 1996 and received the Old Hilltop Award from Pimlico Race Course in 2007.

inners will be honored as part of the Night of Champions Awards Banquet at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, DE on January 27, 2008. For tickets to the banquet, contact Mark Short or Scott Warren at (302) 398-7595 or DEValleyUSHWA@aol.com. Further information is available on www.ushwa.org.

PAST HERVEY MAGAZINE/FEATURE WRITING WINNERS

EAR, WINNER, AFFILIATION

007, Kimberly Rinker, Hoof Beats

006, Bob Carson, Trot

005, Chris Wittstruck, Hoof Beats

004, Bernard Tobin, Canadian Sportsman

003, Paul Delean, The Harness Edge

002, M. Kelly Young, Horseman & Fair World

001, Dave Perkins, Trot

000, Harold Howe, Trot

999, Gordon Waterstone, Horseman & Fair World

998, Dave Briggs, Canadian Sportsman

997, Dave Briggs, Canadian Sportsman

996, Dave Briggs, Canadian Sportsman

995, Frank Cotolo, Times: In Harness

994, Gary L. Smith, freelance

993, Michael Steinberg, freelance

992, Kathy Parker, Horseman & Fair World

991, Moira Fanning, freelance

990, Bill Heller, freelance

989, Gary L. Smith, freelance

988, Bill Heller, freelance

987, Veda Eddu, freelance

986, Bill Heller, freelance

985, Jerry Shively, freelance

984, Steve Schuelein, freelance

983, Steve Schuelein, freelance

982, Phil Straw, freelance

981, Patty Hillis Carro, Columbus [OH] Monthly

980, Phil Von Borries, Red Mile/Louisville Downs

Carol Hodes

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