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 Philadelphiafrom 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