Day At The Track

TOP JOURNALISM AWARDS

12:57 AM 14 Jan 2005 NZDT
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Brad Schmaltz, writing for the Columbus Dispatch and Bernard Tobin, writing for the Canadian Sportsman, have won top honours in the 2004 John Hervey Awards competition.

Tom Wolski, producer of “Sport of Kings” on Citytv Vancouver, is the winner of the 2004 Broadcasters Awards competition; and Mark Hall, for his photo in Hoof Beats, has been awarded first prize in the 2004 Smallsreed Award competition.

All three contests are co-sponsored by the United States Trotting Association and the U.S. Harness Writers’ Association, and for their efforts, each winner will receive $500 from Standardbred owner Sanford Goldfarb, who has underwritten the $3400 in prize money for this year’s competitions.

Schmaltz, who penned a feature on top Standardbred driver David Miller, was selected as the newspaper winner by Rich Fisher, longtime sports editor for a chain of weekly newspapers and a stringer for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Associated Press, who judged that division of the Hervey competition.

"Unlike many articles of such length, this one did not hit a lull," said Fisher.

"The fact that so many different sources were utilised gives the reader a good insight into David Miller -- including his history, personality, and what has driven him to the top. In dealing with a successful figure, these are all important factors.

“It flowed nicely while piecing everything together. A solid, well-done feature."

Heather Vitale, writing in the Delaware State News, finished in second place in the competition for her story on Laurie Stark, and Phil Pines, writing in the Independent Republican, was named as the third place finisher for his piece on drivers’ colours.

They will receive cash awards of $250 and $100, respectively.

Tobin captured his first place finish in the magazine category with "Reunited with Riyadh," a story about champion pacer Riyadh and his groom Bob Butter.

Tobin was selected the winner by Mark Moffa, a managing editor of the Princeton Packet, Inc., who judged the magazine category of the Hervey Awards.

"This story about a man without barn experience who falls in love with a horse placed under his care is penned with a crisp, smart style that draws in the reader and stays with him after the article is read," said Moffa.

"The author displays an excellent use of quotes and structures the story perfectly. A sidebar about Riyadh’s stallion credits appropriately handles information that would have been awkward in the main story."

Kim Rinker, for a story she authored on Carl’s Big Mack’s bout with West Nile Virus in the Horseman and Fair World, was named the first runner-up and will receive $250, and Dave Briggs, writing in the Canadian Sportsman, was the second runner-up for his story on Winter Davies and Coupe DeVille, and will receive a $100 award in recognition of his efforts.

Wolski was named the winner of the Broadcasters Awards for his feature on Andy and Brenda Arsenault.

Wolski was selected by Tom Dawson, horseracing producer for ESPN, who judged the Broadcasters Awards.

"I was interested from the opening shots and wanted to know more," said Dawson.

"I’m a believer in using well placed voice over bridges to connect the dots in a story line, but this feature did a nice job of piecing together first person accounts in a cogent manner.

“While not fancy, the production values were enough to make me feel like I knew something about the participants. This is a good example of finding a story, getting those involved to tell it properly, and shooting what b-roll you can to enhance the story. Substance over style."

Gail Cunard, director of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, took second place in the Broadcasters Awards for her piece on the Little Brown Jug, which ran on the Meadows Racing Network, and will receive a $250 cheque, and Tina Fitch, a producer of a Hambletonian feature which aired on HorseRacing TV, finished third, and earned a $100 award.

Mark Hall won first place honours in the Smallsreed photo competition for his "Winter Wonderland" shot, which was published on the December 2003 cover of Hoof Beats.

Hall was selected as the winner by Barbara Livingston, a multiple Eclipse award-winning photographer, who judged the Smallsreed competition.

"This photo has excellent composition and feeling," said Livingston.

"The photographer obviously composed the shot in his mind, then executed it wonderfully with good focus, colour, and exposure. The snowy branches create a distinct mood, and the horse is placed perfectly in the background.

“You can almost feel the moment -- the feeling of cold and the sound of the horse."

Claus Andersen, for his photo of Admiral’s Express on the July 8, 2004 cover of the Canadian Sportsman, was named the first runner-up in the Smallsreed competition, and will receive $250, and Joe Kyle, for his photo of horses in the fog at the Red Mile, in the October 6, 2004 edition of the Horseman and Fair World, finished third and earned a $100 cheque.

The winners will be honoured at the awards banquet conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers’ Association, to be held on Sunday, February 13 at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

The banquet annually honours the top individuals and horses for the year just ended.

Banquet tickets, priced at $100, can be purchased from Judy Davis-Wilson, who may be reached at (302) 698-4610.

Courtesy Of Harness Racing Communications, A Division of the United States Trotting Association

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