Racing Officials Accreditation Program
821 Corporate Drive Lexington, KY 40503
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Wendy Culberson, ROAP Coordinator (859) 224-2702
ROAP PEDERSEN AWARD TO BE PRESENTED TO DESHAWN PARKER ON BEHALF OF HIS FATHER, DARYL PARKER, ON JUNE 25, 2022, DURING THE OHIO DERBY FESTIVITIES AT THISTLEDOWN RACE TRACK
Lexington, Ky. (June 16, 2022) — The Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP) announced in December the winners of the 2021 Pete Pedersen Award, which is presented to stewards who have demonstrated professional excellence, integrity, and benevolent consideration in the performance of their duties. Contributions of time and expertise to the horse racing industry on the local and national levels are also significant factors in the selection of Pedersen award winners. The award is named in honor of Pete Pedersen, the nationally recognized California steward and accomplished journalist who set a standard of excellence to which all stewards should aspire.
The late Daryl Parker was one of two winners for 2021. Daryl was the first African-American to serve as a steward in U.S. racing history. Beginning in 1986, he served as a steward at all three of the Ohio Thoroughbred tracks as well as in Michigan. He was accredited by ROAP in 1993. Prior to becoming a steward, he spent many decades on the racetrack working as an exercise rider, pony person, and jockey agent before becoming the second Black racing official in the country, having held various positions in the racing offices at Fairmount Park and the now-defunct Cahokia Downs in Southern Illinois. His son is well-known jockey Deshawn Parker. DeShawn was not able to be present at the Global Symposium on Racing in Tucson in December to accept the award on behalf of his father so arrangements were to be made for a presentation in 2022 at one of the Ohio tracks where Daryl Parker was a steward.
DeShawn Parker will accept the 2021 Pedersen Award on behalf of his father, Daryl, on June 25, 2022 at Thistledown (JACK Thistledown Racino) during the Ohio Derby festivities. Family members and friends will be present to be part of the presentation ceremony.
Pete Pedersen, for whom the award is named, worked as a steward in California for 50 years before retiring at the age of 85 in 2005. The Seattle native became the second steward to receive the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2002. He was also the recipient of the Laffit Pincay Jr. Award in 2008 for serving the racing industry with integrity, dedication, determination, and distinction. Pedersen worked at nearly every track on the West Coast, and his reputation for objectivity and kindness was widely known.
***ROAP, which receives primary funding from The Jockey Club and is based in its Kentucky office, is a 501(c)(6) organization whose board of directors is made up of representatives from 18 industry organizations and eight at-large representatives. Stewards and judges receive their accreditation and continuing education credits through this program. The website address for ROAP is www.horseracingofficials.com.