by Victoria Howard
Kimberly French is perhaps the best “double-paced” writer and promoter in horse racing since the record-breaking Steamin Demon won both free-to-all sprints and trotting, almost at the same time.
Talk about diversification. I don’t remember anyone who went from being an editor to huff beats Simultaneously to NYRA Today’s Associate Director and Production Director for the New York Racing Association.
French is a reporter and writer of double dynasty who writes for both authentic tracks and harnesses, among other things. With a resume like the French, you can see why it was so successful and why our sport has been so lucky to have it on board.
Published in more than 30 international and national publications. I’m a Hervey Award winner and American Horse Publications winner and have worked in television for ESPN, CBS Sports Network, NBC, ABC and now Fox Sports through my contract with the New York Racing Association.
Courtesy Kimberly French Kimberly French.
Many exciting perks come when collaborating with major sports networks such as Fox Sports, such as French who did a broadcast feature and helped broadcast one of the biggest upheavals in Hambletonian history when a 52-1 long hit won Cool Papa Bell for coach Jim Campbell. It also helped broadcast the Hanover Bulldog into setting an exciting new world record.
“I have produced the national news for the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup, and I continue to do so. I also help out at Hoosier Park as much as I can for their big events.”
And the list does not end there. Kimberly was at one time the Special Assistant to the President of the International Association of Racing Commissioners responsible for the Model Rules of Racing.
“I have worked as a production assistant, stage manager, field producer, co-producer and producer for nearly 16 years. My print training was at the American Quarter Horse Association and I was a participant in the Clyde Hirt workshop.
“I also worked for the USTA for about 10 years as a freelance writer and huff beats A contributor, before being appointed director of internet news there – and then working as an editor at huff beats for three years.”
Besides the many hats Kimberly has worn, she lists her biography: Social Media Coordinator for Midwest Harness ReportESPN horse racing programs, production assistant/stage manager/field producer/co-producer, ESPN college football, golf, bowling, Little League World Series and college basketball.
Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, the French did not come from and never owned a horse family, but she always loved horses.
It all started when the French decided not to get a law degree and entered the equine business program at the University of Louisville. In order to pursue a career in horse racing, the French moved to Kentucky.
“After taking a job at a law firm and only three weeks after going to law school, I knew I didn’t want to be a lawyer and attended an equestrian business program.
“I had no intention of writing or working in television. I just wanted a job doing books on a Kentucky horse farm. One of my teachers, Rich Wilk, thought one of my papers was good enough to be published and encouraged me to start writing. I started writing and won a blogging contest for horse player magazine.
“Then I applied for an internship at the American Quarter Association and after receiving it I was accepted by Tom LaMarra who was the news director at blood horse To cover horse racing in Texas as a freelance journalist.
“At the time, Amy Zimmerman was head of HRTV and she referred me to Peter Rotundo (at NTRA) who was with the Breeders’ Cup, and I started my work as a production assistant.
“I also got in touch with Dean Hoffman at the USTA who gave me a chance to write in the newsroom and then Nicole Kraft asked me to write for the magazine. As they say, the rest is history.
“At one point I also worked for the American Quarter Horse Association and have a penchant for fast horses, which is why I love racing – but each breed has its own qualities.
“I love both breeds and am happy to be a part of covering the amazing horses and people working in the industry. I personally have no preference as I like fast horses in general.”
On why thoroughbred racing is more popular than horse racing, French said, “I don’t really think that’s the case. The Thoroughbred industry is just bigger. I’m just as passionate about belt racing as I am about thoroughbred racing and I think belt racing fans would say they are just as passionate about their sport as they are.” Like authentic fans.”
Nowadays, the Frenchie travels extensively between Kentucky and New York for her work with NYRA, covering horses. She says it doesn’t matter if they are racing or not. God has blessed her to live her dream and do what she loves most.
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