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Called “professional and elegant,” by the judges, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine won a General Excellence Award in the 2015 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards presented in Orlando, Fla. June 18.

The big prize showcased a successful contest for the monthly magazine published in Timonium, Md., by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred writers, photographers and other staffers received four first-place honors, two seconds and a third in the annual contest honoring editorial excellence by AHP members. Ninety-eight members took part in the 2015 edition of the contest, first held in 1974, and made 770 entries.

The General Excellence honor, the magazine’s first since 2004, came in the Association Publication (circulation under 15,000) category. Judges were given three editions from 2015 and responded with:

“This publication stands out for its skillfully rendered graphics, finely wrought action photographs and decent writing. It’s notable for standing features such as Pensioner on Parade (retired horses) and Names of the Month (often funny) as well as up-to-date pieces on racing, steeplechasing and medical procedures.”

Editor Joe Clancy paid credit for the success to a large team of contributors.

“Everybody does something to make Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred such a good product,” he said. “The MHBA board and membership, executive director Cricket Goodall, a small and dedicated staff, a great pool of freelancers all help make the magazine go. And we couldn’t do it without readers out there supporting the idea that a monthly magazine can be a source of news, entertainment and quality.”

The magazine also received four individual first-place awards.

  • Photographer Lydia Williams won the Editorial Photograph category with her shot of retired racehorses Better Talk Now and Gala Spinaway (pictured), which appeared in the April edition. Titled “Grumpy Old Men,” the image resonated with the judges, whose comments included “This image is priceless . . . This is a great shot and a real winner.”
  • Contributing writer Vinnie Perrone won the Personality Profile category with his piece on Hall of Fame trainer King T. Leatherbury. Titled “Hall of Fame Ride,” the feature appeared in the August edition and accompanied the training legend on a car ride to Baltimore and back. The judges commented, “(Leatherbury) is a colorful guy and writer captures his personality. Ending is tied nicely to the lede. Long, but an easy read, really captures Leatherbury.” Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred swept all three places in this division, as Perrone’s feature on trainer West Virginia trainer Richard Butts from November placed second and Sean Clancy’s profile of Hall of Fame jockey Chris Antley from August placed third.
  • Editor Joe Clancy won the Personal Column category for his editorial “A Rich Life,” which appeared in the February edition. The column paid tribute to the life (and death) of Rich, a retired Thoroughbred owned by Clancy’s father. Judges commented, “Every horse owner can relate to having – and eventually losing – that special horse. That’s what makes this article so special and relatable: how you connect with and convey that experience with your readers.”
  • Clancy also won the Horse Care category with “Squeeze Play,” which appeared in the June edition. The article covered a new technique used to treat dummy foals. Judges commented, “What a great service piece to your readers . . . This article is a superb example of telling the readers everything they NEED to know while resisting the temptation to tell them everything there IS to know.”
  • Associate editor Cindy Deubler’s feature on Virginia’s Meadow Stud placed second in the Feature Article category. Titled “Horses, and History, at The Meadow,” the article appeared in the October edition and drew praise from the judges, “I appreciate the voice you used throughout the story. You tell the story with vivid details and descriptions. You have an attention-grabbing lede and final thought conclusion.”
  • Photographer Douglas Lees placed third in the Freelance Editorial Photograph category with “Like Old Times,” a photo of the Maryland Hunt Cup field at the third fence. The photo appeared in the June edition.
  • Designer Barrie Reightler received an honorable mention in the Single Advertisement category for an April advertisement for Shamrock Farm titled “2014 Was a Very Good Year.”

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