12/02/2005 1:00AM

Byrne to receive E.P. Taylor Award

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Michael C. Byrne, a longtime breeder, owner, and executive in the Canadian Thoroughbred racing industry, will be this year's recipient of the E.P. Taylor Award of Merit, the Jockey Club of Canada announced Friday.

Byrne will be presented with the Taylor Award at this year's Sovereign Awards ceremony on Dec. 16 at the Wyndham Bristol Place Hotel.

Byrne, 56, is the owner of Park Stud in Orangeville, Ontario. He also owned Canadian Breeders Sales, which operated the local sales for more than a decade, and was on Woodbine's board of directors for 10 years.

In 1987, Byrne was elected to the Jockey Club of Canada and served as chair of the organization from 1995 until this year.

Byrne was also instrumental in establishing the Canadian Graded Stakes Committee, which has assigned internationally recognized grades to stakes run in Canada since 1999.

The E.P. Taylor Award was established in 1994, replacing the previous Sovereign Award for Man of the Year, and is not necessarily presented annually. Recipients are individuals who are deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the Canadian Thoroughbred racing industry. Previous honorees include David Willmot, Jack Kenney, Roland Roberts, the late Charles Taylor, and the late George Hendrie.