Jeff Gural is a tower in Standardbred racing. As the owner of three racetracks: The Meadowlands in New Jersey (which features harness racing and a short Thoroughbred meet), in addition to Standardbred tracks, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs, both located in New York State, he has become a driving force in keeping trainers suspected of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs and those trying to buy or sell horses to slaughter out of his three racetracks.
Gural will receive the Ellen and Herbert Moelis Equine Savior Award for his commitment to the humane fate and aftercare of horses bred for racing, their safety during their racing careers and toward maintaining integrity and honesty in racing.
The world-renowned equine surgeon, Dr. Patricia Hogan, who was honored by Equine Advocates at this event in 2008, had this to say about her friend, Jeff Gural:
"Horse racing faces many modern challenges today, not the least of which is a shaken public confidence in the integrity of the competition itself, but also in the racing community's ability to handle the whole host of welfare issues surrounding the care (and aftercare) of our magnificent horses. Jeff Gural has certainly been a trailblazer in implementing innovative ideas that have chipped away at these problems and started some very important conversations in racing that no one wanted to have, but were sorely needed. Oftentimes, he is doing these things alone - at great personal and financial cost. He richly deserves this recognition and more from our industry."
Also being honored are actress and author, Cornelia Guest and the Honorable Ed Whitfield of Kentucky who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 – 2016. The gala will be held on Thursday (Aug. 3) at the historic Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs.
Guest, who can currently be seen in the return of "Twin Peaks" on Showtime, is being honored for her equine rescue work, for her strong public stance and activism against horse slaughter and for founding the Artemis Farm Rescue in New York State for abused and slaughter-bound equines.
Ed Whitfield will receive a Special Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work and dedication to the protection of horses. He has been a staunch opponent of horse slaughter, horse soring and all forms of equine cruelty both personally and throughout his years in Congress where he fought hard to prevent equine abuse.
The evening includes a cocktail hour, silent & live auctions, gourmet dinner by Mazzone Hospitality, award presentations and a performance by the popular country band, Skeeter Creek. The live auction will include many exciting and unique items including authentic halters worn by champions California Chrome and Arrogate.
Some tickets are still available at $250 per person. For more information, please call (518) 392-0175.