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2009 AHP Champion Award Presentation


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The 2009 AHP Champion Award was presented to the following individuals on June 27, 2009 at the AHP Free Rein in the Big Easy Seminar in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stanley F. Bergstein ~ Hoof Beats
Bob Gray ~ Horsemen
Audie Rackley ~ The Quarter Horse Journal

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2009 AHP Champion Award Presentation

  1. 1. AHP presents the AHP Champion Award to individuals for their distinguished service to the association and its growth. Collectively, the winners become the AHP Circle of Champions. The recipients of this award are individuals who were instrumental in the development and growth of American Horse Publications. Each recipient receives a commemorative pin, individual plaque, and their names honored online at the AHP web site. The Executive Committee presented its recommendations for nominees at its mid-year Board Meeting, where the Board approved awarding the 2009 AHP Champion Award to three individuals who were former AHP Presidents.
  2. 2. Stanley F. Bergstein Hoof Beats 1971-1972 AHP President Stanley F. Bergstein has been executive vice- president of Harness Tracks of America for almost a half-century and he has certainly been the most important and influential person in harness racing during that same time period. Stan Bergstein is far, far more than just an association executive. He is a man with an amazing array of talents. He has been a race announcer, race secretary, auctioneer, historian, book and art collector, peerless journalist, among others.
  3. 3. He was among the founders of American Horse Publications and served as its second president. In all of his positions, Stan Bergstein has been an innovator. He has introduced many ideas and programs into harness racing that are vital parts of the sport decades after Bergstein planted the seed. In 2006, Stanley F. Bergstein received the Equine Industry Vision Award presented by Pfizer Animal Health and American Horse Publications. Perhaps most importantly, he has been―and continues to be―harness racing’s Mr. Integrity. When harness racing began to be plagued by integrity and drug problems, many leaders shrugged them off as merely a sign of the times. Not Stan Bergstein. He took a strong stand against drug violators. Some people in harness racing hated him for his position; others simply ignored him. But Bergstein never wavered in his quest to restore integrity to the sport he loved so much.
  4. 4. His fame spread far beyond the narrow confines of harness racing. He is known and respected in the larger equine world in North America and equally respected overseas. Listen to what the late Joe Hirsch, the legendary Daily Racing Form columnist, said about Bergstein: “Stan is really unique in sports,” said Hirsch. “I don’t think any other sport has a figure to compare to Stan. He’s an institution. He’s played so many roles in harness racing and he’s made so many contributions.” Stanley F. Bergstein is harness racing’s living legend.
  5. 5. “When I was first approached with the idea of an association of horse publications, my reaction was one of enthusiasm. It still is one of enthusiasm.”1 1 Remarks by Stanley F. Bergstein ‘s Acceptance of the President of American Horse Publications in 1971
  6. 6. Bob Gray Horseman 1972-1973 AHP President Bob Gray was an early pioneer in equine publishing, having been an editor or publisher of 20 consumer or trade publications since 1959. HORSEMAN was one of those publications and the magazine was one of the early AHP members. Bob became an AHP President in 1972. He was one of the promoters of the American Horse Publications Cooperative Advertising Program, an endeavor to collectively market the then 43 publication members to national advertisers. He once wrote, “Perhaps one of my most interesting efforts, identical to those of AHP, was in the Association of Area Business Publications, and also in the golf industry, to try and sell regional ad space on a cooperative basis. Difficult at best, impossible at worst.”
  7. 7. Audie Rackley remembered Bob as “one of the fine gentlemen in our industry, and those who knew him called him Mr. Publication because he was all business.” In 1990, Bob was no longer publishing HORSEMAN, and was editor/manager of Golfer Magazine, Inc., publishers of two regional consumer golf magazines for Texas. Bob was unable to attend AHP’s 20th anniversary Tribute to Past Presidents, but he sent a letter to read during the event. “Tell my old friends to persevere in publishing, to sell hard, cut costs, don’t get sucked in by snazzy and expensive technology they really don’t need, and to nourish their editorial products.” “I’m still trying to do those things, although I’m not sure why. You know the definition of a fanatic: having lost sight of your objective, you redouble your efforts. Perhaps we are all publishing fanatics!”
  8. 8. Audie Rackley The Quarter Horse Journal 1976-1977 AHP President Today, Audie Rackley is mostly concerned with when hunting season opens and where the best place to fish is, but his past involvement in the equine and livestock publishing industry is long and varied. Audie was born and raised in Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in animal science. In 1961, he went to work for The Cattleman magazine as a field representative, helping purebred breeders with their advertising and merchandising programs. In 1967 he took a similar position with the American Angus Association and the Angus Journal, a post he held until joining The Quarter Horse Journal in 1970 as advertising director. In 1972, Audie was promoted to Editor of the Journal.
  9. 9. Over the next several years, Audie saw unprecedented growth in the Journal, and in 1988, he oversaw the founding of still another AQHA publication, The Quarter Racing Journal. Audie retired as Executive Editor of the Journal and the Racing Journal in 1995. He was only the sixth person to serve as editor of the Journal, and he worked there longer than any editor before him. Audie was a very early member of American Horse Publications and was a firm believer in the organization and its value to all equine publications. He served as AHP president and continued to work on various AHP committees until his retirement from AQHA. Audie is also a past president of the Livestock Publications Council, and was the first person to be honored with the Livestock Publications Council distinguished service award. Audie and his wife, Willie, still live near Amarillo, where they spend time with their daughters and their families – and, of course, hunting and fishing.
  10. 10. Arnold Kirkpatrick (Thoroughbred Record) Lucille Shuler (Arabian Horse World) Melvin Peavey (Horse World) Don Valliere (Turf & Sport Digest) Alexander Mackay-Smith (The Chronicle of the Horse) Snowden Carter (Maryland Horse)
  11. 11. Tony Chamblin (The Horsemen’s Journal) Ruth Brown (Eastern/Western Quarter Horse Journal) Stanley F. Bergstein (Hoof Beats) Bob Gray (Horseman) Audie Rackley (The Quarter Horse Journal)
  12. 12. WRITTEN BY Dean Hoffman Jim Jennings Christine Brune
  13. 13. Photo by Tod Marks, Staff Photographer, The Saratoga Special
  14. 14. Before…