Three finalists for the tenth annual Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award have been announced by the Ryan family’s Castleton Lyons, founding sponsor of this lucrative competition for racing-oriented literary works since 2006. Jockeys ruled the day in 2015, with two of the three top entries focusing on those brave men and women, who, pound for pound may be the best athletes in all of sport. The third finalist is a well-penned novel about redemption and re-purposing of ex-racehorses. Each had something important to say about individuals who comprise the heart and engine of our sport.
Noteworthy for its $10,000 winner’s prize, the Book Award also allots $1,000 to each runner-up, along with Tipperary Crystal trophies created in the likeness of the farm’s distinctive stone tower.
Dr. Ryan, a scholar, renowned businessman, and philanthropist, founded the award in 2006 as a tribute to his twin passions of horse racing and literature. Since his passing in 2007, his son Shane—current president of Castleton Lyons, near Lexington—continues it annually.
Past winners of this increasingly acclaimed competition have included Pulitzer Prize-nominated and Eclipse and National Book Award-winning authors, with beautifully written novels, histories, biographies, and autobiographies taking center stage.
The winner of the 2015 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award will be revealed at an invitation-only evening catered reception on April 13, held above the historic stallion barn at Castleton Lyons. For additional information, contact Betsy Hager at email@example.com.
Following are finalists for 2015, listed alphabetically by title:
Ride to Win—An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft
Authors: Bob Fortus and Gary West.
Penned by a pair of award-winning turf writers, Ride to Win ventures inside a jockey’s mind before, during, and after a race, while addressing issues like weight management, fitness, and keeping trainers happy. More than 50 riders were interviewed by longtime Times-Picayune racing writer Bob Fortus and former Dallas Morning News journalist Gary West.
Turning for Home
Author: Natalie Keller Reinert
Author Reinert’s fourth “Alex and Alexander” novel touches upon a red-hot and timely topic: re-training ex-racehorses. In Turning for Home, a thoroughbred once schooled by protagonist Alex is found starving, and though faultless, she quickly becomes a target of animal rights activists. The tale follows Alex’s leave of absence from racing to re-school the horse for a new career … and to fight for her own reputation.
Warriors on Horseback—The Inside Story of the Professional Jockey
Author: John Carter
Noted British sportswriter and author John Carter, celebrates the work of jockeys past and present, including such notables as Frankie Dettori, Bob Champion, and top female reinswoman Hayley Turner. While its focus is largely on champions, Warriors also explores routine day-to-day regimens and the struggles required to make it in this dangerous profession.