The Rutgers Equine Science Center has named Linda Toscano as the 2013 recipient of the Center's annual "Spirit of the Horse” award.
Toscano will receive the award during the Equine Science Update on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Cook Campus Center on the G. H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick, N.J. Liz Durkin, the 2012 recipient and vice chair of the Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement, will present the award toToscano.
The "Spirit of the Horse” award recognizes individuals whose lives have been profoundly changed because of their involvement with horses and who have acknowledged the impact by giving back to the horse industry.
"Linda Toscano's life was forever changed the moment she first set foot on a racetrack,” said Karyn Malinowski, director, Equine Science Center. "Linda worked under the tutelage of legendary trainers before setting out on her own; and now, she has become a legend in her own right. With her many accomplishments, including becoming the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, Linda is an inspiration to all. The Equine Science Center is honored to present Ms. Toscano with the Spirit of the Horse award at the Equine Science Update on Dec. 11.”
A Brooklyn native,Toscano briefly attended SUNY at Stony Brook before finding her calling and beginning her career on the track. She worked side by side with veteran trainer Buddy Regan and Hall of Famers Buddy Gilmour and John Campbell prior to stepping out on her own in 1985.
She trained claimers Storm Dust and David J, and enjoyed great success with trotting mare Giant Mermaid. Her triumphs continued, training world champions Lifelong Victory, Chapter Seven and Jet Laag, culminating with her pinnacle achievement, winning the Hambletonian on Aug. 4, 2012 with Market Share.
"I really care more about the horses than I do about the accolades; which is a value that I share with the Equine Science Center,” Toscano said. "With all of the successes throughout 2012, it just happened to be one of those years where the stars aligned and everything fell into place. I have always been amazed that a girl who loved horses could earn a living while playing with the animals she loves!” (Rutgers Equine Science Center)