Should a horse be eligible to be Sportsman of the Year?

01/19/2016 08:00 AM

Do you think American Pharoah should be eligible to be Kentucky Sportsman of the Year? There is no denying the horse had one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, seasons for a horse. The thoroughbred won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Breeders Cup. He was the first triple crown winner since 1978 and the first Grand Slam champ ever.

Just wrapping up, and being announced on Tuesday January 26th, is the voting for Kentucky Sportsman of the year. This is an award voted on by the media. Point of full disclosure, I was among those who voted. According to the rules, to be eligible an athlete must play for a team in Kentucky, be from Kentucky, or have at one time played for a college in Kentucky.

Horses that were born in the state are eligible. So are horse owners who are from Kentucky or who own farms in the state. Jockeys and trainers who compete regularly at tracks in the commonwealth are also eligible. So according to the rules, American Pharoah is eligible for this award. However there are many in the media who don’t think an animal should be eligible for a human-based award.

This is a similar problem that Sports Illustrated had in its voting for 2015 sportsman of the year. It ultimately went to Serena Williams. S.I. allowed American Pharoah to be eligible but too many voters did not think he deserved to be in the contest.

The contest is put on by the Lexington Herald-Leader. We spoke with Mark Story, the man who coordinates the award.

So, we ask again, do you think American Pharoah should be eligible to be Kentucky Sportsman of the Year? Leave your comments. We’ll use some of them on the air.


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