The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) today announced that HRTV has won the Media Eclipse Award for Television – Features for its documentary “HRTV Presents: Saratoga WarHorse,” an in-depth look at the work of a foundation taking a leading role in assisting struggling war veterans and their extraordinary relationship therapy with recently retired Thoroughbreds. The 30-minute program, produced by Stacie Clark-Rogers, aired on November 2, 2013.
The honor will be will be presented to HRTV at the 43rd Annual Eclipse Awards dinner and ceremony which will be held on Saturday, January 18 at Gulfstream Park Racetrack and Casino in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The Eclipse Awards are presented by Daily Racing Form, Breeders’ Cup and The Stronach Group and produced by the NTRA.
The Saratoga WarHorse Foundation and facility in upstate New York has taken a leading role in assisting struggling war veterans through debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well lingering serious issues related to suicidal thoughts and sleeplessness. HRTV examined this three-day program through revealing interviews and the stories behind the emotional attachment between veterans and horses. Among the most poignant moments in the piece was a Thoroughbred, after walking numerous times around a circular metal pen, gaining trust in the veteran and voluntarily walking up to him and creating an equine-human connection.
In addition to the war veterans, among those interviewed in the presentation were Bob Nevins, Founder, of Saratoga WarHorse and Marilyn Lane, Director of Thoroughbred Industry Relations and Development and horsemen Nick Zito, Bill Mott and, Cot and Anne Campbell.
“It’s a terrific honor to win this award,” said Clark-Rogers, who filmed the documentary over a five-day period last summer in Saratoga. “We take it for granted what these hoses do for us. You see Zenyatta and Mucho Macho Man giving us a high-energy moment on the racetrack, but the experience these retired horses provide the veterans is so simple, and observing that experience plugs you back into reality. It’s not a cure, but it gives the veteran a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Amy Zimmerman was Executive Producer and Writer of “Saratoga WarHorse.” Steve Scheilder was co-producer and editor. Jose “Joe Chile” Ibarra was the principal videographer.
This is the fifth Media Eclipse Award won by HRTV for productions appearing on the network, and the third time for programs which were written and produced by HRTV. In 2011, HRTV won the Television-Features award for a documentary on jockey Randy Romero. In 2010, the network was honored with the Eclipse Award for “Inside Information: Swale” about the 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner.
Judges for the Television – Features category were: Jim Bannon, Television Commentator at Woodbine Entertainment Group; Dave Johnson, television producer, host and longtime racing voice of the Triple Crown and G.D. Hieronymus, Director of Broadcast Services at Keeneland Association. Honorable mention in the National Television – Live Programming category also went to HRTV for “Inside Information: Dancer’s Image,” a documentary examining the events and controversy surrounding the1968 Kentucky Derby, which aired on July 14, 2013.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and foundation sire Eclipse, who began racing at age five and was undefeated in 18 starts, including eight walkovers. Eclipse sired the winners of 344 races, including three Epsom Derbies. The Eclipse Awards are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements in North America have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. Those awards are voted by NTRA, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB). Eclipse Awards also are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing.
Tickets to the Eclipse Awards are available for $400 each. Order forms for tickets and the Eclipse Awards weeklong schedule of events are available at http://bit.ly/18TJ0Tx. Hotel Reservations at the Westin Diplomat can be made at http://bit.ly/1kVxdac. Hotel reservations at the Trump International can be made at http://bit.ly/1h8WgXe. For additional information, please contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.