The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP) announced today five winners of the 2014 Pete Pedersen Award, which is presented to stewards who have made important contributions to the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing industries.
The award is named in honor of the outstanding steward and noted journalist Pete Pedersen, and the recipients were recognized at the Awards Luncheon at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Global Symposium on Racing and Gaming in Tucson, Ariz.
The five winners are:
· H. Eddie Arroyo – A native of Puerto Rico, Eddie grew up in Chicago and began race riding in 1966, competing on the Midwest, East Coast and Florida circuits. Eddie won multiple graded stakes and was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. After retiring from race riding in 1978, Eddie became a steward in Illinois. In 1990, he was named a special assistant to Richard Duchossois, the chairman of Arlington International Racecourse, a position he held until 1995 when he became general manager at Sportsman's Park. In 2000, Eddie returned to the stewards' stand and is currently the chief state steward for the Chicago tracks. Eddie also serves on the ROAP board of directors.
· Marshall W. Cassidy – An amateur jockey at 14 and an assistant starter at 20, Marshall was one of the greatest innovators in American horse racing during the 20th century. He contributed significantly to the development of the moveable starting gate, photo-finish camera, film patrol, past performance information and participant record keeping. He served as a starter, a New York steward, and as a New York Racing Association director of racing. He was also the longtime executive secretary of The Jockey Club and he founded The Jockey Club School for Racing Officials. He died October 23, 1968. He was 76.
· James Keene Daingerfield Jr. – Often recognized as the “Dean of American Racing Stewards,” Keene, a former horse trainer, served as track steward in Kentucky from 1950 to 1980. He received the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Humanitarian Award in 1984 and the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1985. He died September 1, 1993. He was 82.
· Dr. W. Theodore “Ted” Hill – Beginning as a practicing veterinarian on the East Coast racing circuit in 1974, Dr. Hill became the NYRA track veterinarian in 1978 and was named NYRA chief veterinarian in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Hill became The Jockey Club steward at NYRA tracks, a position he still holds. Dr. Hill serves as the U.S. representative on the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities Harmonization of Raceday Rules Committee. He is also a longtime U.S. delegate to the Asian Racing Conference; serves on the board of directors of ICRAV, ROAP, RMTC and AAEP; and served on the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation's Research Advisory Committee.
· Darrel McHargue – A leading U.S. jockey from 1972 to 1988, Darrel rode 2,553 winners including Master Derby (winner of the 1975 Preakness), Run Dusty Run (2nd in the 1977 Kentucky Derby and Preakness), and the great John Henry. In 1978, Darrel was the leading jockey in money won setting a record of $6,188,353 and received the Eclipse Award as the Outstanding Jockey of the Year. In addition, Darrel's peers in the Jockeys' Guild voted him the winner of the 1978 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award presented to the jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack. After his retirement in 1988, Darrel became a racing official in California and has been a California state steward since 1994.
“We have a long way to go to properly recognize the racing stewards in North America who have exhibited professional excellence and integrity in racing in the past and present,” said ROAP Chairman Hugh Gallagher. “These five individuals epitomize what the Pedersen Award is all about, and we plan to recognize five more winners each year for at least the next three years.”
Pete Pedersen, for whom the award is named, worked as a steward in California for 50 years before retiring at the age of 85 in 2005. The Seattle native became the second steward to receive the Eclipse Award of Merit, in 2002. He was also the recipient of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award in 2008 for serving the racing industry with integrity, dedication, determination and distinction. Pedersen worked at nearly every track on the West Coast, and his reputation for objectivity and kindness is widely known.
The Pete Pedersen Award special selection committee is composed of five members from ROAP-affiliated organizations: Rick Baedeker (ARCI / California Horse Racing Board), Tim Capps (University of Louisville Equine Industry Program), Alan Foreman (Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association), Terry Meyocks (Jockeys' Guild) and Scott Wells (Thoroughbred Racing Associations).
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