5The 12th annual Martin Wills Memorial Trust awards, for a high quality journalistic feature by a young person on any aspect of, or with a background in, horse-racing, have attracted the third highest ever number of entries (111 - 69 senior and 42 junior).
The under 26 winner is 25-year old Neil Walsh from Dublin, who is employed as web manager of the international business of Stan James, the bookmaker, in Gibraltar, having studied journalism for two years in Dublin. He receives £1,250 for his article, "Lunar Postings - Dateline January 2nd 2525". In addition, he will retain for a year a bronze trophy of two galloping horses by Gill Wiles.
The under 26 runner-up is 25-year old Andrew Plant from Cambridge, who is studying for an MA in Television Journalism at The Nottingham Trent University, having secured a BA in Media & Culture from the same establishment. He receives £750 for his article, "Little Magic Spells".
The under 19s competition has been won by 15-year old Jonathan Monro from London, who is preparing for his first GCSEs at Eton College. He receives £500 for his article, "It's Just Not Cricket".
All three articles will be published in the Racing Post (over the next three Sundays) and Irish Field (next Saturday).
Additionally, 15-year old Catherine Reeves from Edinburgh, a pupil at Fettes School, was highly commended for her article "Anmer, Derby 1913". She receives a £25 book token.
The judges were: Brough Scott, Editorial Director of the Racing Post, sports feature writer of The Sunday Telegraph and for 30 years chief presenter of Channel 4 Racing (Chairman); Chris John, Marketing Director of the British Horseracing Board; Alice Plunkett of Channel 4 Racing; Leo Powell, Editor of the Irish Field; Chris Smith, Editor of the Racing Post; and Catherine Wills, art historian sister of Martin Wills.
Brough Scott stated "The Martin Wills Awards serve a unique purpose in the racing scene - to encourage new ideas in the ancient craft of describing horseracing. This year's winner has taken this to unique lengths - Neil Walsh has placed racing in the 26th Century. Many congratulations to him and to the other award winners." From Saturday, the winning entries can be read on this website.
The Awards are being presented today at the Rowley Mile Course, Newmarket, where the award winners will be given an expenses paid day's racing, including a reception in the Sponsors' Lounge, kindly lent by the Racecourse, plus a tour of Henry Cecil's and James Fanshawe's yards.
The Martin Wills Memorial Trust Awards commemorate Martin Wills, an amateur jockey, point-to-point rider, racing enthusiast and journalist who died in April 1992, aged 39.
Charles Ponsonby (Chairman of the Trustees) 020-7444 4166 (w)/07789-202 312 (m)
Andrew Kavanagh (Trustee) 00 353-5997 73105
Neil Walsh (winner, under 26s award) 00 350-540 099 34 (m)
Andrew Plant (runner-up, under 26s award) 07876-772 097 (m)
Jonathan Monro (winner, under 19s award) 07979-712 940 (m)
Please enter your email below to subscribe to our Newsletter where you will recieve information in every thing to do with the Martin Wills Writing Awards.