The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters and Daily Racing Form today announced rules modifications and name changes in two Eclipse Awards categories. The Older Male category has been renamed Older Dirt Male and the Older Female category has been renamed Older Dirt Female.
Beginning with voting on the 2015 Eclipse Awards at the end of this year, criteria for the Older Dirt Male category, for horses 4-years old and older, will be limited to performances on dirt and main track surfaces in North American races, and the criteria for the Older Dirt Female category, for fillies and mares 4-years old and older, will also be limited to performances on dirt and main track surfaces.
In previous years, older male turf horses were eligible to win both the Champion Turf Horse honor and Champion Older Horse, and older female turf horses were eligible to win Champion Female Turf Horse and the Older Female Eclipse Awards.
“There has been a growing consensus among members of the three voting organizations to more clearly define the older horse categories in determining male and female champions on dirt and turf,” said Keith Chamblin, Senior Vice President of the NTRA and a member of the Eclipse Awards steering committee. “Older male and female turf horses will continue to compete for the turf championships in their gender divisions, while the older male and female dirt horses will compete strictly against horses on the dirt or main track surfaces in their respective divisions. All are eligible for the Horse of the Year category. ”
Races conducted on synthetic surfaces during the year will be considered as main track races in both Older Dirt Male and Older Dirt Female categories.
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