Debbie Burt Scores Success in Journalist Competition

DIAR Journalists Awards winners 22 12 1522 December 2015, UK ~ Specialist Arabian photographer and journalist Deborah Burt has taken the top award in the 2015 Dubai International Arabian Races Journalists and Photographers Competition, repeating her success from 2010.

Staged under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, the competition is now in its seventh year and has become a prominent feature in the promotion of Arabian racing’s showcase fixture which takes place at Newbury Racecourse in July.

Burt, also runner-up in the competition last year, wins £5,000 plus a further £2,000 to be donated to a charity of her choice for her article which appeared in International Thoroughbred Magazine which beat stiff competition in the category for Best Feature Article. Burt said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have won this award. I entered pieces in several categories and to be credited with the best feature article is wonderful.

“Sheikh Hamdan’s generosity and the Dubai International Arabian Races have done so much to promote Arabian Racing globally and it is a privilege to be considered to have played a small part in its success”

Burt received her award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum at a ceremony in London hosted by H.E. Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of the Office of the event’s Patron Sheikh Hamdan who told media and guests, “Sheikh Hamdan’s passion for Arabian racing is renowned world-wide and he is very pleased to recognize the contribution of the media who do so much to help promote the sport. The Dubai International Arabian Races has grown into series of major international events but we are very proud of its origins here in the UK and delighted that this European showcase for Arabian racing continues to grow in stature and popularity.”

The format of the competition was revised this year to reflect the growing importance of online media platforms, and entries in four different categories were considered by a panel of judges chaired by Abdulla Al Ansari. The panel comprised Shadwell Director Richard Lancaster, Newbury Racecourse’s Head of Communications Andy Clifton, leading UAE journalist and publisher Mohammed Taha, Arabian Racing Organization Director Genny Haynes, and Sportsguide’s Managing Director Philip Brannan.

A runner-up prize of £2,000 was awarded to Liz Price, also a previous winner for her article in the French publication Les Cashier du Cheval Arabe.

Commenting on the entries, Abdulla Al Ansari said, “This category in particular provided the judges with a very tough decision. The winner and runner-up both captured the most important aspects of the raceday and did well to educate and inform the reader. We were particularly impressed by the way the winning article charts the development of Arabian racing and the opportunities it provides to promote Arabian culture alongside the sport.”

The award for the Best Column and the first prize of £2,500 went to freelance journalist Nabila Ramdani whose article appeared in Asian World News, a UK monthly publication launched in 2007 which aims to bridge diverse cultures in Britain by offering an array of immediate local, national and international news to its readership.

The runners-up prize of £1,000 in this category also went to Liz Price, this time for an article published in Paris Turf.

The prize for best coverage in the Online category went to another of last year’s winner’s, Geoffrey Riddle who had three entries considered by the judges, one which appeared on the Racing UK website and two which were made available to readers world-wide via the website of The National, Abu Dhabi’s English speaking multi-media title. this win earned him the category’s only prize of £2,000.

The contribution of the photographers was again recognized in a category introduced to reward the photographer of the best published picture which for the second year running was won by Steven Cargill, President of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association for his image of runners bursting from the stalls.
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Photo: L – R: Chairman of the judging panel Abdulla Al Ansari, winner of Best Column Nabila Ramdani, runner-up of Best Column and runner-up of Best Feature Article Liz Price, His Excellency Mirza Al Sayegh, Best Feature Article winner Debbie Burt, Best Photograph winner Steven Cargill, Best Online Article winner Geoffrey Riddle and DIAR Committee member Masoud Saleh.