(Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award named for legendary friend of the industry / Coady Photography)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

In conjunction with the sixth annual Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards presented by Godolphin, this year’s Community Award has been renamed the Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award presented by Churchill Downs.

The announcement was made following the sixth race Saturday at Churchill Downs as the track hosted a Celebration of Life for Richardson, the distinguished Louisville surgeon who was an owner, breeder and widely-respected leader in the horse racing industry. He died Sept. 7 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. from complications due to a breakthrough COVID infection at the age of 76.

The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, which will take place Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. in theKeeneland Entertainment Center, recognize and reward the outstanding talent, diligence and commitment of the farm and racing stable staff who are at the heart of the sport.

The Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award presented by Churchill Downs recognizes those who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Thoroughbred industry, and in particular, to the greater good of the sport. This could include those who support the breeding and racing staff or have made an outstanding contribution to the wider Thoroughbred community.

Dr. Richardson chaired the Community Award committee and helped select this year’s winner and runner-up by the first panel which met in August: Nicholas Caras of the New York Racetrack Chaplaincy and Diana Pinones of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, respectively. The winner will receive $7,500 and $2,500 to their charity of choice. The runner-up will be awarded with $2,500.

Ideal candidates for the Dr. J. David “Doc” Richardson Community Award should work either for or with a charitable organization, or as part of the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred business for which they work. Nominees for this award do not need to be directly employed in the Thoroughbred industry.

Qualities for nominees include

  • Commitment, dedication and enthusiasm
  • Propensity to work hard
  • Evidence of a desire to improve and progress skills and knowledge
  • Team spirit approach in the workplace
  • Willingness to learn with examples of involvement in industry events and activities

Eligible candidates include, but are not limited to, those employed in Thoroughbred aftercare; backstretch programs; education related initiatives; racetrack or farm chaplaincy; etc.