Updated on 06/22/2015 2:05PM

DRF’s Hegarty honored by American Horse Publications


Daily Racing Form’s Matt Hegarty won the top prize for news reporting in a single article at the American Horse Publications annual awards banquet Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.

Hegarty was honored for his piece “Indiana Vet Case Draws Scrutiny, Debate,” published Nov. 11, 2014, which chronicled the suspension of veterinarian Ross Russell at Indiana Grand following a report from a backstretch security employee who said she saw Russell in the stall of a horse who was scheduled to race that day.

AHP, which is dedicated to promoting excellence in equine media, honored material published in 2014 at its awards banquet Saturday. In recognizing Hegarty, AHP’s panel of judges wrote, “This story is well sourced, well reported, and well written. The reporter does a wonderful job laying out a complex case and the implications it could have on the racing industry in Indiana and beyond. This is a fine example of outstanding journalism.”

In addition, DRF’s Nicole Russo won second prize in the category of event coverage among publications with a circulation of 10,000 to 20,000 and an average of 10,000 to 50,000 unique Web viewers. Russo was honored for “Derby Scene: California Chrome Jogs; Countdown Begins,” which described the scene at Churchill Downs on the morning of the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

DRF’s Jay Hovdey won third place in the category of personality profile among publications of DRF’s size, with DRF’s David Grening receiving an honorable mention in the category. Hovdey was recognized for “From Donkeys to the Derby,” a profile on jockey Victor Espinoza, while Grening was recognized for “Last Call, Folks,” a profile of retiring New York Racing Association announcer Tom Durkin.

DRF’s Marty McGee won third place for feature writing among publications of DRF’s size for his piece “Requiem for a Racetrack,” covering the closing of Beulah Park in Ohio.