Friday, January 9, 2009

Rest in Peace- You Are Not Forgotten


Joe Hirsch

I think internet blogging of the sport of horse racing has been discussed quite a bit lately, with Teresa at Brooklyn Backstrech writing quite constructivly on the subject on January 5th and then today.

The horse racing world lost a legend of the game today with the passing of writer Joe Hirsch. While this is only my opinion, any professional writer who cares passionately about the subject would also respect the work of non-paid writers who with equal passion, write about the same things. That's the Turk's way of saying that in this era where our sport's media coverage is endangered, Joe would have respected the writing of the high quality blogs, and appreciated in general all the bloggers because after all, we are his readers.

For those of you who don't know about Joe, I reference Wiki for a short version of his life.

Joe Hirsch (born 1929) is an American horse racing columnist and the founding president of the National Turf Writers Association. He earned a degree in journalism from New York University then served with the United States Army for four years. He joined the staff of the New York Times but remained only a short time before going to work at The Morning Telegraph, then the companion paper of the Daily Racing Form with which he became associated in 1954 and retired from as its executive columnist in 2003.

Often referred to as the "dean" of Thoroughbred racing writers, Hirsch is the only American writer to win both the Eclipse Award for outstanding writing and the Lord Derby Award in London from the Horserace Writers and Reporters Association of Great Britain. Hirsch also received the Eclipse Award of Merit (1992), the Big Sport of Turfdom Award (1983), The Jockey Club Medal (1989), and was designated as the honored guest at the 1994 Thoroughbred Club of America's Testimonial Dinner. The annual Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park was named in his honor as are the press boxes at the Saratoga Race Course and Churchill Downs racecourses. The Breeders' Cup Ltd. presents the Joe Hirsch Award to a member of the media for their coverage of the Breeders' Cup.

In 2005, the University of Kentucky and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced the creation of the Joe Hirsch Scholarship to assist a worthy student interested in pursuing a career in Thoroughbred racing journalism. The first recipient of the scholarship was Ms Amanda Duckworth.

Hirsch is also known for being the roommate to Jets rookie Quarterback Joe Namath upon his arrival in New York City.

Joe Hirsch serves as a member of the selection committee for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He is the author or co-author of five books:

First Century : Daily Racing Form chronicles 100 years of Thoroughbred Racing (1996)
The Grand senor : The Fabulous Career of Horatio Luro (1989)
Kentucky Derby : The Chance of a Lifetime (1988) co-authored with Jim Bolus.
In The Winner's Circle: The Jones Boys of Calumet Farm (1974) co-authored with Gene Plowden
A Treasury of Questions and Answers from the Morning Telegraph and Daily Racing Form - Illustrations by Peb (1969)

Rest in Peace Joe

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