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The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) has elected Rhonda Norby of Equibase Company to serve as president of the organization for 2017 and 2018, it was announced Tuesday at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming. Norby served as a vice president for 2014-16 and succeeds Jim Mulvihill of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA).

At the same time it was announced Joe Bacigalupo, of the NTRA, and Jennie Rees, who handles publicity work for Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), were elected as 2017-18 vice presidents. Additionally, Jeff Maday of Canterbury Park will serve out the remaining year of Norby’s existing term as vice president. This will be a second term for Bacigalupo while Rees and Maday will serve for the first time.

The above trio will join current vice president Lynne Snierson and secretary-treasurer Dave Zenner, each of whom were elected last year to serve two-year terms in 2016 and 2017.

The new slate of officers was installed immediately.


The 2016 Big Sport of Turfdom – recognizing a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists – has been awarded to trainer Art Sherman, the Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced today. 

Sherman, the trainer of all-time North American earnings leader California Chrome, won in a vote determined by the nearly 150 active members of the TPA, a trade organization of Thoroughbred racing publicists and marketing executives. 

“I am so delighted and honored to be among the people that have won this award, a who’s who of racing,” Sherman said. “I’ve always tried to be accommodating to the press and even anyone that asks me for an autograph. It’s for the betterment of the game. Anything for racing.” 

Under Sherman’s care, California Chrome has won 15 of 25 starts while amassing $14,452,650 in earnings across four seasons. As a 3-year old, the modestly bred son of Lucky Pulpit won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes en route to Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old honors. This year, California Chrome won three Group 1 or Grade 1 races, including the $10 million Dubai World Cup, and was second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. 

“Art Sherman is a publicist’s dream,” said TPA President Jim Mulvihill. “For three years he has trained one of the top horses in the world and during that span has made himself available for thousands of interviews. His genuine nature and likability have been major factors in California Chrome becoming one of the most popular racehorses of our time.”  

The Big Sport of Turfdom will be presented to Sherman at the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program’s annual Awards Luncheon on December 6, emceed by Santa Anita Park track announcer Michael Wrona. The luncheon is part of the 2016 Symposium on Racing & Gaming at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. 

The Awards Luncheon is included in registration fees for the Symposium. Additional information about the luncheon may be obtained by contacting TPA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Zenner.

The Big Sport of Turfdom has been presented annually since 1966. Last year’s winner was “Team American Pharoah.” Other previous winners include jockeys Mike Smith, Pat Day, Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero Jr., Eddie Arcaro and Gary Stevens; trainers Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas and Jack Van Berg; as well as other individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport like announcer Tom Durkin, author Laura Hillenbrand, broadcaster Jim McKay, turf writer Joe Hirsch and actors Tim Conway and Jack Klugman. A complete list of past winners can be found online at


The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) announced today that it will sponsor attendance for one of its members at this year’s University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming, Dec. 5-7, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. The trip – which includes Symposium registration, roundtrip airfare and resort accommodations – will provide career development opportunities for a publicist or marketer who might not otherwise experience the industry’s biggest annual conference. 

“Very few of our members these days have the types of travel budgets that could allow them to attend gatherings like the Symposium,” said TPA President Jim Mulvihill. “We are doing this for our hard-working peers at smaller racetracks and organizations who wish they had more chances to engage in professional growth and networking.” 

The Symposium trip is underwritten by the TPA with in-kind support from the Race Track Industry Program. 

Only current TPA members that have paid their 2016 dues in full will be considered. To apply, members are asked to submit an essay of more than 300 words describing their job duties, typical annual business travel, and what they hope to get out of Symposium attendance. Submissions are due by Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. ET and should be directed to TPA Secretary/Treasurer Dave Zenner at 

The TPA, founded in 1951, is comprised of approximately 130 Thoroughbred racing publicists and marketing executives at racetracks throughout North America with the shared goal of promoting the sport of Thoroughbred racing. Each year at the Symposium, the TPA organizes the Mark Kaufman Workshop on a topic relevant to publicists and marketers, awards the Big Sport of Turfdom to recognize an individual or individuals who enhanced the sport of thoroughbred racing through their cooperation with the media and racetrack personnel, and sponsors an annual scholarship for a RTIP student with a strong record of academic achievement and an interest in journalism or publicity.


This year's Big Sport of Turfdom and TPA Scholarship will be presented Dec. 6 at the TPA Awards Luncheon during the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson, Arizona

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