John Hettinger, winner of a Special Eclipse Award in 2000, has been selected recipient of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association Industry Service Award. Hettinger, owner of Akindale Farm in Pawling, N.Y., will receive the award at the TOBA National Awards Dinner Sept. 7 at Adena Springs Farm in Midway, Ky.
Hettinger has been a leading spokesman and driving force behind the formation of the Racehorse Adoption Referral Program created by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The program developed a nationwide database that lists adoption options, care facilities, riding academies, and police units.
"(John Hettinger) has done as much as anyone to help improve the quality of life of our equine athletes and our partners in this great sport," TOBA president Dan Metzger said. "Due to his efforts, we are now able to relocate many Thoroughbreds each year, and give them a chance at a second career."
Hettinger, an active member of TOBA, also is a member of The Jockey Club, a trustee of the New York Racing Association, and a director of Fasig-Tipton Co.
Previous winners of the TOBA Industry Service Award include the Keeneland Association (1996), D.G. Van Clief Jr. (1997), Nick Nicholson (1998), Sen. Ken Maddy (1999), and Jay Hickey (2000).