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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Horseshoes + Racing Injuries + Video = Eclipse Award for the Louisville Courier Journal

The friendly smile of Churchill Downs horseshoer Sonny Broaddus brightened the Louisville Courier-Journal's otherwise sobering media-rich mini-site on injuries in Thoroughbred racing. The video-enhanced feature hit the web in mid-August and this week was announced as the winner of the prestigious Eclipse Award for multimedia.

Roll out the red carpet, here come the horseshoers.

When the Eclipse Awards for journalism and media coverage were announced this week, the Louisvillle Courier-Journal was in luck. Lots of luck, as it turned out: the winning feature section "Tragedy at the Track" on racing injuries was heavily laced with text, photography and especially video of horseshoes and the people who nail and glue them on the Thoroughbreds in Kentucky.

Graphic from the newspaper articles shows the effects of a toe grab when a racehorse stands on a hard surface, such as a concrete wash rack slab, or a paved road.

Written and compiled by Jenny Rees, Andrew Wolfson, and Gregory A. Hall, the series looks at racing injuries as a combination of the medical, mechanical and surface strains put on Thoroughbreds. It's an exciting combination of short and longer clips, including a short feature of Churchill Downs horseshoer Steve Norman and his entourage of helpers and apprentices on a hot August day.

Two special videos make a real impact on the newspaper's web site with the original stories. These are farrier Mitch Taylor's high-speed clips of horses running over different surfaces, wearing different shoes, with a simple measuring interface to show the difference in slippage and "snowplow effect" of changes in the foot's equipment and surface. I believe the high speed videos were shot by Scott Lampert and interpreted with his OnTrack analysis system.

Click here for high speed (slo-mo) video of a horse running on different surfaces, fetlock action in Polytrack, laminitis, Barbaro and other video clips associated with this series.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. You only need to ask. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to

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