I never thought I would be able to say this, but I have won the 2004 Eclipse Award for best photograph of 2004! I knew it was an amazing picture when I took it, and most of the other photographers who saw it said it had a good chance to win. Still, I never really thought it would happen. I don't really think of myself as a photographer since that is just one part of what I do to create and run this website. I only started taking racing pictures back in 1996 so I would have images to use online since the web is so visual. That I was able to learn how to do it well enough to win this is just totally amazing to me. Many thanks to Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred for publishing it so it was eligible to enter.
For those interested, here is the winning photo and some background on how I took it. I always watch when horses start acting up, since those pictures make for great online postcards. Pimlico has in indoor saddling area and apparently Stephan's Angel didn't like it, so trainer John Servis took her outside to saddle on the track for the Miss Preakness Stakes on the day before the Preakness at Pimlico. She threw a total fit and in the process lept straight up in the air. That is the shot I was fortunate enough to get that won the award. Click the image to see a larger version or click here to send this picture as an online postcard. Also available on shirt and more from Cafe Press.
Here she is shortly after that leap tossing off the saddle again. Apparently she also clipped Servis in the arm as well from comments I heard afterward.
I love the look on Stewart Elliot's face. I can just hear him thinking, "Oh man, I have to ride that!"
After all that acting up, she still managed to finish second, beaten only a head by Forest Music.
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