Georgetown resident earns rare double win in writing honors

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Natalie Voss/Courtesy of the Kentucky Tribune

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Georgetown, Ky. writer swept both writing divisions of the 2020 Media Eclipse Awards, the highest year-end honor for horse racing journalism.

Natalie Voss, who has lived in Georgetown since 2015, is the first woman to achieve this feat and only the second person to do so in the history of the awards.

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For all intents and purposes, the award is the Oscars of horse racing – a national-level award – and she will get her honors on Jan. 28 alongside the sport’s top owners, trainers, and jockeys.

Before moving to Georgetown, she lived in Lexington after attending the University of Kentucky.

The Paulick Report, North America’s leading independent horse racing publication, was home to three Eclipse Award-winning contributions in the 50th year of the award series.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced this week that both awards in the writing category were won by Voss,  Paulick Report’s editor-in-chief, making her the first writer since Bill Nack in 1991 to win both in the same year. 

“It’s an extraordinary accomplishment to be recognized in the two awards categories in the same year,” said Paulick Report publisher Ray Paulick, “but Natalie is no ordinary journalist. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very good writers and editors in racing over the years. None has been guided by a stronger moral compass in the areas of equine welfare, aftercare, safety and integrity in our sport.”

The winning entry in the Feature/Commentary division of the 2020 Eclipse Awards was Voss’s chronicle of Inked, a claimer who took a long journey to reunite with his exercise rider from his earliest days on the track.

‘An Angel On His Shoulder’ tells the story of three women who, without knowing one another, worked together to secure a loving home for the chestnut gelding who captured their hearts.

Read ‘An Angel On His Shoulder’ here.

Voss won the Eclipse Award in the news/enterprise category for a three-part series on Thoroughbred aftercare, examining the past, present, and future of the infrastructure designed to transition ex-racehorses into the next phase of their lives. She detailed the successes and challenges of the aftercare sector thus far, and presented potential solutions for the future.

Click to read Part 1Part 2Part 3.

“I am tremendously honored to receive these awards,” said Voss. “To me, the winning stories are a good demonstration of what I appreciate most about the Paulick Report – the opportunity to take readers in depth on the topics and stories that are most important to them. Through recent years, it has become clear that aftercare is a big area of interest for them.”

The Paulick Report was also the publication of record for the winning Photography entry. Alex Evers picked up his first Eclipse Award for an image of the 15-horse field in the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby sweeping the first turn before a largely empty grandstand. Evers, who is affiliated with Eclipse Sportswire, saw the winning image published as part of a multimedia piece titled ‘Empty Spaces: Filling The COVID Void At The Kentucky Derby,’ which took readers inside Churchill Downs in a year like no other.

Launched in 2008 by cofounders Ray Paulick and Brad Cummings, the Paulick Report brings readers not just race results, but business news, personality profiles, and horse health content from around the web and from our own stable of contributors.

The publication was home to the winning pieces in both Eclipse Award writing categories in 2016 – a feature by contributor John Scheinman on Andy Beyer and an investigative piece by Voss on the dangers of head injuries in jockeys. Bloodstock editor Joe Nevills won the award in 2019 for a feature on the now-defunct Mount Pleasant Meadows in his native Michigan.