Zenyatta, 2010’s Horse of the Year, was honored with the 2011 William H. May Award by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. She was recognized by 2010-2011 RCI chairman Dan Hartman of the Colorado Racing Commission during a ceremony at the 77th Annual Conference on Racing and Wagering Security at Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans March 23-26.
The award honors an individual or group that has provided “meritorious service” to the industry. Past recipients include industry greats such as Bob and Beverly Lewis, Stanley Bergstein, John Gaines, Joe Hirsch, and Richard Duchossois.
“Although no horse has ever received the May Award, the RCI Executive Committee felt that Zenyatta’s contributions to the sport were worthy of this award,” said RCI president Ed Martin. “From her multiple grade I victories to dancing her way to the paddock for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), Zenyatta was able to capture the hearts and spirits of racing fans around the world.”
Accepting the award was Kirk Breed, executive director of the California Horse Racing Board.
Breed acknowledged all of the members of “Team Zenyatta” that made her racing career such as success, including owners Jerry and Ann Moss, trainer John Shirreffs, bloodstock agent David Ingordo, and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
Breed noted that not only was he “lucky” to witness many of Zenyatta’s victories, but also that he is fortunate to work with Jerry Moss in his role as a member of the California Horse Racing Board.