The University of Louisville Equine Industry Program has named Michael Dickinson the 33rd recipient of the John W. Galbreath Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship in the Equine Industry. In addition to training, Dickinson is also known for developing Tapeta Footings, the synthetic surface widely utilized for both racing and training.
Tapeta has been installed at Turfway Park in Kentucky and at Gulfstream Park in Florida, Golden Gate Fields in California and Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania, as well as facilities in Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
“I am honored and flattered to receive the Galbreath Award,” Dickinson said. “The safety of the horse has always been a long-term goal of mine ever since I was a child when on small ponies I had to keep up with my mother, who was on a Grade A international show jumper. We used to jump post and rail fences, some with ditches and drops, and stone walls. Since then, I’ve always felt very grateful and indebted to all the horses I rode.”
A native of Yorkshire, England, Dickinson is perhaps best known as the conditioner of 1996 and 1998 GI Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Da Hoss (Gone West). He was a champion steeplechase jockey before becoming a trainer, is a member of the Steeplechasing Hall of Fame and has four listings in the Guinness Book of World Records, including the record for the most racing wins  in one day. Dickinson owns and operates Tapeta Farm training center in Maryland.
“We are excited to present the 2022 Galbreath Award to Michael Dickinson for his contribution to the sport of racing through the creation of Tapeta and synthetic track surfaces,” K. Amy Lawyer, assistant professor and chair of UofL’s Department of Equine Administration, said. “The nature of the Galbreath Award is to recognize innovation and business efforts that move the equine industry forward. Mr. Dickinson’s business achievements added a new element to a sport that had been largely unchanged for centuries.”
The Galbreath Award is named for the late John W. Galbreath, a self-made man who distinguished himself in both business and as a horseman. The Darby Dan Farm founder was honored with the 1972 Big Sport of Turfdom Award and in 1974 he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2018 as one of its esteemed Pillars of the Turf.
For information on the award presentation dinner to honor Dickinson to be held Mar. 30, contact Kimberly Spear at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-852-7727.