Shelley Lee Riley, David Owen, and Dorothy Ours, are finalists for the 2013 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award. The three authors presented tales of unexpected equine stars who grabbed racing's headlines in their respective eras, with the latter two being set against the dramatic backdrop of England's Grand National Steeplechase.
Ours authored "Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse," Riley wrote "Casual Lies: A Triple Crown Adventure," and Owen is author of "Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National's Biggest Upset."
The Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award annually offers a $10,000 winner's prize, with $1,000 going to each of two finalists. It was launched in 2006 by the late Ryan to recognize high-quality, full-length literary work that focused on all things Thoroughbred. Since Ryan's passing in 2007, the award has continued on in his memory under the guidance of his son, Shane.
Judges for 2013 were: Kay Coyte, managing editor of the Washington Post-Bloomberg News Service; Caton Bredar, broadcaster and producer for HRTV; and Patrick Smithwick, winner of the 2012 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award for his autobiographical "Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing."
This year's winner will be announced during an invitation-only reception at the Ryan family's Castleton Lyons farm near Lexington April 9.