Edited Press Release
Veteran turf writer Mark Shrager has won the 15th Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, presented by Castleton Lyons, for Diane Crump, A Horse-Racing Pioneer's Life in the Saddle. The winner was announced on May 10 via Zoom conference for the second straight year due to pandemic concerns.
Shrager, a previous Book Award finalist for The Great Sweepstakes of 1877, took top honors for his biography of Crump, who represented the face of hope for aspiring young women in the Sport of Kings in the late 1960s. She would become the first of her gender to ride in a sanctioned North American pari-mutuel race, the first to compete in the Kentucky Derby, and the first to win a stakes event.
As winner of the 2020 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, Shrager will receive a check for $10,000, along with a Tipperary crystal replica of Castleton Lyons' iconic stone tower.
Other finalists were: Linda Shantz for her novel Good Things Come, and Vicky Moon for the biography Sylvia Rideoutt Bishop Had a Way With Horses, both of whom will receive $1,000 and a crystal trophy.