from Dogwood Stables
Vincent “Vinnie” Garibaldi, an 81-year-old former longshoreman who is now an Ocala, Fla.-based horse farm worker, is this year’s winner of the Dogwood Dominion Award.
A popular figure in Ocala for the past 21 years, Garibaldi was called a “ministering angel in a retired longshoreman’s disguise” by one of his nominators.
Whether it is at the farm or the local race wagering shop, Garibaldi is known for his homegrown wisdom and big heart. As the 16th recipient of the Dogwood Dominion Award, which annually honors one of racing’s “unsung heroes,” Garibaldi will receive $5,000 and a bronze statue of Dominion at a luncheon at the Reading Rooms in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., July 30.
Garibaldi was selected from more than 30 nominations by judges Anne Campbell, Penny Chenery, and Jay Hovdey.
“Like many previous recipients of the Dogwood Dominion Award, it’s difficult to put all of Vinnie’s wonderful qualities into a neat little package,” Dogwood president Cot Campbell said. “He’s worked for more than two decades at Becky Thomas’s Sequel Bloodstock, but his reach extends beyond that farm.
“He has helped so many in Ocala, both young and old-- whether it’s loaning a down and out family some much needed cash, or picking up a friend’s child at school. Vinnie is always there for those in need. His network of friends and acquaintances has been built over more than two decades, and it seems that there isn’t a person in Central Florida that he doesn’t know.”
The Dogwood Dominion Award was inspired by the multiple stakes winner Dominion, who was campaigned by Dogwood in the 1970s and went on to become five-time champion sire in England.