Eighth Pole Founders Win Dogwood Dominion Award

New England's Jim Greene and Shirley Edwards, founders and mainstays of the "Eighth Pole" have been named winners of the 2002 Dogwood Dominion Award, presented annually to an unsung hero in the Thoroughbred industry.

The pair will receive their award, a bronze statue of Dominion and a cash award of $5,000 at a luncheon at the Saratoga Reading Room on July 31.

The Eighth Pole is a non-profit organization that serves the health and substance abuse needs of the backstretch workers of Suffolk Downs and Rockingham Park. Greene and Edwards, a trainer and owner, respectively, saw a need for medical help and simple human compassion on the backstretch, and started the Eighth Pole in 1989.

The pair, in partnership with the Boston Medical Center, opened a clinic on the backstretch of both tracks to provide medical care to those without insurance. Doctors treat everything from horse kicks to heart disease.

The Eighth Pole also sponsors health fairs on the track, and has brought in volunteers to teach English to the largely Spanish-speaking population.

The Dogwood Dominion Award was inspired by multiple stakes winner Dominion, who was campaigned by Dogwood in the 1970s and went on to become five-time Champion sire in England. It was created upon his death in 1993.