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Jan 16, 2009

Special Eclipse Award honors veterinary program


New York, NY (Sports Network) - The Special Eclipse Award, which honors outstanding individual achievements in, or contributions to the sport of thoroughbred racing, has been awarded to the American Association of Equine Practitioners' (AAEP) veterinary On Call media-assistance program.

The Special Eclipse Award will presented during the 38th annual Eclipse Awards on Monday, January 26 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The Eclipse Awards are voted on by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers Association.

"It is an incredible honor for the On Call program to be recognized for its contributions to racing and its role in increasing the public's knowledge of horse health issues," said AAEP Executive Director David L. Foley. "We dedicate this award to the many AAEP members who have volunteered their time and expertise to serve the industry, the media and, most importantly, the horse."

The On Call group was formed in 1991 following the accidents and injuries that happened during the 1990 Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park. On Call provides equine professionals who provide accurate veterinary information to the broadcast and print media during live, network races.

"Since the program's inception in 1991," noted Tom Law, president of the National Turf Writers Association and managing editor of Thoroughbred Times, "the On Call Program has educated and informed members of the media as well as the general public about any injuries or tragedies that unfortunately occur on the racetrack, and its team members do so in a very calm and collected manner that is good for the short- and long-term health of the game."

The NTRA also announced on Thursday that the victory by Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic has been voted the 2008 NTRA Moment of the Year. Zenyatta's win received 24-percent of the votes cast at the NTRA Web site,

The runner-up was Big Brown's Kentucky Derby victory with 18-percent. The fatal injury suffered by Eight Belles immediately following the Kentucky Derby was third with 15-percent and with 11-percent was Curlin's win of the Jockey Club Gold Cup which made the colt North America's first $10 million earner.

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