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Horseman contributer Kim Rinker wins Hervey award

December 26, 2007
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Illinois-based reporter Kimberly Rinker, a regular contributor to The Horseman And Fair World magazine, has been awarded the 2007 John Hervey Award for feature writing by the U.S. 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.
 
The 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.

Of 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.
 
Ohio-born Rinker is an accomplished violist and pianist as well as horsewoman who earned her BA in journalism from The Ohio State University.

A columnist for The Horsemen And 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.

Rinker has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Harness Edge, Sports Eye, Hammond Times and Hoof Beats and has authored three books, including A Pocket Adventure Guide to Switzerland.

A 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.

Rinker was runner-up in the 2004 Hervey competition for her Horseman And Fair World feature on horsewoman Carol Longo and the horse Carl\'s Big Mac.

This year’s first honorable mention went to a Simmons’ profile of Delmegan and Armbro Whirl, titled “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.”

Second honorable mention went to an entry called “Back from the Brink” by Pietrzak, which ran in the April 26, 2007 issue of The 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.”

Clippinger 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 Philadelphia Inquirer from 1981 to 1987, and was editor of the Thoroughbred Record from 1988 until its closing in 1990.
 
Winners 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

YEAR, WINNER, AFFILIATION
2007, Kimberly Rinker, Hoof Beats
2006, Bob Carson, Trot
2005, Chris Wittstruck, Hoof Beats
2004, Bernard Tobin, The Canadian Sportsman
2003, Paul Delean, The Harness Edge
2002, M. Kelly Young, The Horseman And Fair World
2001, Dave Perkins, Trot
2000, Harold Howe, Trot
1999, Gordon Waterstone, The Horseman And Fair World
1998, Dave Briggs, The Canadian Sportsman
1997, Dave Briggs, The Canadian Sportsman
1996, Dave Briggs, The Canadian Sportsman
1995, Frank Cotolo, Times: In Harness
1994, Gary L. Smith, freelance
1993, Michael Steinberg, freelance
1992, Kathy Parker, The Horseman And Fair World
1991, Moira Fanning, freelance
1990, Bill Heller, freelance
1989, Gary L. Smith, freelance
1988, Bill Heller, freelance
1987, Veda Eddu, freelance
1986, Bill Heller, freelance
1985, Jerry Shively, freelance
1984, Steve Schuelein, freelance
1983, Steve Schuelein, freelance
1982, Phil Straw, freelance
1981, Patty Hillis Carro, Columbus [OH] Monthly
1980, Phil Von Borries, Red Mile/Louisville Downs
(USHWA)
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