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LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL CLEVENGER WINS MEDIA ECLIPSE AWARD FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that Louisville Courier-Journal staff photographer Michael Clevenger has won the Media Eclipse Award for photography. Clevenger’s photograph of jockey Victor Espinoza acknowledging the Churchill Downs crowd after winning the Kentucky Derby aboard War Emblem appeared in The Courier-Journal on May 5. The award is the first for Clevenger.
"I am truly honored and humbled by this award," said Clevenger. "It is a tribute, not just to me, but to the staff of The Courier-Journal. It means even more that this honor comes from covering the most incredible horse race of all, the Kentucky Derby."
Media Eclipse Award winners will be honored at the 32nd annual Eclipse Awards ceremony, to be held Monday, Jan. 27, 2003 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. For hotel accommodations and Eclipse Awards dinner reservations, contact Debbie Blair at the NTRA’s Lexington office, (800) 792-6872, or e-mail email@example.com.
Eclipse Awards are given to recognize members of the media for outstanding coverage of Thoroughbred racing. Eclipse Awards also are bestowed upon horses and individuals whose outstanding achievements have earned them the title of Champion in their respective categories. The awards are presented by the NTRA, the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form.
The Eclipse Awards are named after the great 18th-century racehorse and 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 panel of judges for the Photography category included Julia Schmalz, sports picture editor for USA TODAY; Clem Murray, director of photography for the Philadelphia Inquirer; Torry Bruno, deputy director of photography for The Chicago Tribune; and Steve Fine, director of photography for Sports Illustrated.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders’ Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com.
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