Roll of Honor for Hollingsworth, Beyer, Ryall

Roll of Honor for Hollingsworth, Beyer, Ryall
Photo: Blood-Horse Library
A young Kent Hollingsworth writing on a typewriter.

Former Blood-Horse editor Kent Hollingsworth along with esteemed turf writers Andrew Beyer, and George F. T. Ryall have been selected to the National Museum of Racing's Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor. 

Hollingsworth is best known as Blood-Horse editor from 1963 until 1986. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, he spent time in the Army and worked as a news photographer and general sports writer for the Lexington Herald. He also filed weekly reports on all Kentucky sports as a correspondent for Sports Illustrated

While at the Blood-Horse, Hollingsworth authored the popular "What's Going On Here?" column. He was honored with the Walter Haight Award by the National Turf Writers Association in 1990. 

Hollingsworth authored several books, including the majority of the chapters in "The Great Ones," a collection of profiles of elite racehorses. Following his distinguished tenure at the Blood-Horse, Hollingsworth taught equine law at the University of Louisville and worked for The Racing Times and Thoroughbred Times. He also served as president of the National Turf Writers Association, chairman of the Racing Hall of Fame Committee, and secretary of the Grayson Foundation.

"To those of us who worked for Kent, it always seemed a privilege to have him as a mentor. He wrote with humor and intellect and an unflagging devotion to what he felt were the best interests of both the sport and the business of racing," Bowen said. "His willingness to work through a column over and over until he got it as nearly perfect as possible was always a positive example. He was also an avid researcher and had great command of the history of the turf."

Beyer developed his interest in racing while attending Harvard and began covering the sport in the early 1970s. He has been The Washington Post's horse racing columnist since 1978 and is the author of four books, including "Picking Winners," which introduced and explained Beyer Speed Figures, a numerical rating assigned to every horse in every race. Beyer Speed Figures have been incorporated into Daily Racing Form Past Performances and are considered by most handicappers to be an indispensable tool. Beyer was honored by the National Turf Writers Association with the Walter Haight Award in 1998.

"In recent decades the very name Beyer is often synonymous with the figures included in Daily Racing Form Past Performances. There is no question that Beyer Figures constitute a service to Thoroughbred racing, but when the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor Committee has addressed Andy's role, a heavy emphasis has been placed on his journalism and commentary," said Edward L. Bowen, chairman of the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor Committee. "It is often recognized that he has demonstrated the ability to inform and entertain, and perhaps more importantly, shape the opinions of people in racing."

Ryall, who wrote under the pen name of Audax Minor, was born in Canada and raised in England. He began working as a general assignment reporter for the London Exchange-Telegraph, where he also wrote racing reports from England for New York World. Ryall later returned to New York City and wrote his first racing column for the New Yorker in 1926. He chose a pen name at the time because he was still writing for New York World. Ryall's column "The Race Track" ran in The New Yorker from 1926 until 1978. He also wrote for the Blood-Horse, Town & Country, The Sportsman and Country Life, among others. He won the Walter Haight Award in 1973.

"Mr. Ryall had a long career, but to many of us his years of writing for the New Yorker created his definitive image," Bowen said. "He wrote with grace, humor, and deep knowledge. I always felt he provided a service to the sport by not only informing and entertaining those intimately involved, but in capturing the appeal of the turf for those with a more casual connection."

Previous selections to the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor include Steven Crist (2010), Bill Nack (2010), Red Smith (2010), Charles Hatton (2010), Dr. Russ Harris (2011), Joe Palmer (2011), Jay Hovdey (2012), and Whitney Tower (2012). 

The Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor Committee is comprised of Bowen, Eric Wing of the New York Racing Association, Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stable, retired turf publicist Jane Goldstein, and National Museum of Racing trustees Leverett Miller and Ken Grayson. 

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