Horses

You’ve watched him for years on NBC. Lexington native honored for racing coverage.

Lexington broadcaster Tom Hammond has worked for NBC Sports since 1984.
Lexington broadcaster Tom Hammond has worked for NBC Sports since 1984. Staff file photo

Lexington native Tom Hammond has been selected to the National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, which annually recognizes journalists who report on Thoroughbred racing.

Hammond, a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award, was named to the Roll of Honor along with the late Joe Burnham, a cinematographer from Norfolk, Va.

Hammond began covering horse racing for NBC Sports in 1984 and was the network’s primary racing host until 2017. His coverage has included the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, as well as summer races at Saratoga and the Breeders’ Cup.

Hammond, 74, also has also been a cornerstone of NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games since the 1980s and has broadcast numerous college basketball and football games through the years.

A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, Hammond won Eclipse Awards for his racing coverage in 1984 and 1996. He also earned an Emmy Award for coverage of the 1992 Breeders’ Cup. The University of Kentucky graduate has won additional Emmys for sports broadcasting in 1988, 1992, and 1996.

Previous selections to the Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor are Steven Crist (2010), Bill Nack (2010), Red Smith (2010), Charles Hatton (2010), Dr. Russ Harris (2011), Joe Palmer (2011), Jay Hovdey (2012), Whitney Tower (2012), Andrew Beyer (2013), Kent Hollingsworth (2013), George F.T. Ryall (2013), Jennie Rees (2014), Jim Murray (2014), Steve Haskin (2015), Raleigh Burroughs (2015), Maryjean Wall (2016), Jim McKay (2016), Michael Veitch (2017), Jack Whitaker (2017), and Barney Nagler (2017).

The National Museum of Racing’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor was established in 2010 to recognize individuals whose careers have been dedicated to, or substantially involved in, writing about Thoroughbred racing (non-fiction), and who distinguished themselves as journalists. The criteria has since been expanded to allow the inclusion of other forms of media.

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