FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
BORN TO REIN Documentary Gallops On as Producers Sign Broadcasting
Agreement with WyomingPBS; Historic Horse Racing Film Makes First
Primetime Premiere in Wyoming on local PBS stations and Video On
Demand Nationwide Beginning April 28th at 7 PM (MST)
SCOTTSBLUFF, NE – April 21, 2020 – Alert the bugler, sound the trumpet…it’s “Call to Post” time, America!
Join American Doorstop Project Productions co-producers, Jody L. Lamp and Melody Dobson, and WyomingPBS in keeping nearly 150 years of national horse racing tradition alive, as the entities team up for the Primetime PREMIERE of the award-winning documentary film, BORN TO REIN on Tuesday, April 28th at 7 p.m. (MST).
BORN TO REIN will air statewide on local WyomingPBS stations, which also can be accessed by Wyoming residents at http://www.wyomingpbs.org. The documentary film will repeat Thursday, April 30th at 7 p.m., on the WyomingPBS Create/Encore channel; and be available nationwide at http://www.video.wyomingpbs.org beginning April 28th.
BORN TO REIN pays tribute to Sir Barton, as America’s First Triple Crown Winner (1919-2019), and follows his journey from before the founding of his birthplace at Hamburg Place in Lexington, Ky., to his final resting place in Washington Park in Douglas, Wyo. The film recognizes horse racing as America’s Oldest Sport and takes viewers to Long Island, N.Y., where horse racing began in 1667; and it honors Horse Racing Legends, like National Hall of Fame Trainers: John Nerud, Marion Van Berg and Jack Van Berg, all born and raised in Nebraska, and whose impactful careers still influence the industry today.
Lamp and Dobson signed a broadcasting agreement with WyomingPBS earlier this year before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, anticipating airing their independently produced historic horse racing film in Spring 2020.
Under normal “non-pandemic” circumstances, the week leading up to the first Saturday of May bursts with localized festivals in and around the Louisville, Ky., area, and national celebratory events that precede the highly anticipated Kentucky Derby – dubbed in America as the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” The Kentucky Derby, held every year at Churchill Downs since 1875, typically draws on-track attendance of more than 150,000 fans, which is significantly larger than any other comparable sporting events in America; like football’s Super Bowl, baseball’s World Series, or basketball’s NCAA Final Four. And just last year, the 2019 Kentucky Derby attracted 16.5 million television viewers; and is the most-watched Saturday program on any network.
When the BORN TO REIN producers learned that ongoing precautions for the coronavirus outbreak caused Churchill Downs Incorporated officials to reschedule the 146th Kentucky Derby from May 2 to September 5, Lamp and Dobson explained that they were thrilled to already have an agreement and plans in place with WyomingPBS on the BORN TO REIN April 28th and April 30th airdates.
“We’re so thankful to WyomingPBS for this opportunity to air BORN TO REIN to its Wyoming residents and make available to a national audience during this unprecedented time,” state Lamp and Dobson. “We hope the film provides a semblance of normalcy for loyal horse racing fans, attracts some sports-starved newcomers, and inspires other American-history researchers to never give up on their dreams!”
While all other major sports and related-events have affectively and indefinitely postponed or cancelled, America’s horse racing has remained open at various venues across the country, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida. In addition, horse racing remains the only live-broadcasted sporting event currently airing and operating.
“We are delighted for our BORN TO REIN audiences to learn more about one of America’s many segments of agriculture history,” state Lamp and Dobson. “Despite other businesses and activities being forced to close willfully or not, horse racing and the agriculture sectors that serve the thoroughbred industry have continued to provide and maintain employment for thousands of people. “
The American Doorstop Project Production producers started film production at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in November 2017. They strategically launched BORN TO REIN in 2019 to coincide with the 100th Anniversary dates of Sir Barton, winning the 1919 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Lamp and Dobson, had collectively traveled, researched and traced Sir Barton’s journey from Kentucky, to Virginia, to Nebraska and finally to Wyoming since 2014; and Lamp, individually, since 2009.
After successfully screening the film at multiple theaters in Nebraska, the producers worked in partnership with the City of Douglas, Wyoming. City officials unveiled new upgrades in Washington Park, where Sir Barton is buried; hosted a community BBQ; and sponsored a free screening of BORN TO REIN for the public as the culmination of a “SIR BARTON CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION on June 11, 2019, which marked the actual date in 1919 that the three-year-old chestnut colt beat his only two competitors at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and won the mile and three-eighths length of the 51st Belmont Stakes in a time of 2.17 2/5 minutes for a new American record.
At the time of the centennial celebration, the City of Douglas Mayor Rene’ Kemper, stated:
“Commemorating Sir Barton’s history and his heritage here in Douglas provides our community and citizens with a unique connection to America’s oldest sport. We’re honored to share this centennial celebration by welcoming horse racing and history enthusiasts to come visit us soon and are grateful to the Born To Rein producers for including Sir Barton and the City of Douglas in their film project.”
On August 20, 2019, the producers held a National Screening at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to compliment the festivities of the 150th Anniversary week of the Travers Stakes. In addition to recognizing the national records and accomplishments of trainers John Nerud of Minatare, NE., and father-and-son, Marion Van Berg and Jack Van Berg of Columbus, NE., BORN TO REIN, features interviews from other Hall of Fame inductees including:
- D. Wayne Lukas, Trainer of 24 Thoroughbred Champions
- Bill Mott, Three-Time Eclipse Award Outstanding Trainer, one Kentucky Derby winner
- Gary Stevens, Youngest jockey ever to surpass $100 million in career earnings
- Pat Day, Jockey ranking fourth in all-time career victories with 8,803 wins
Born to Rein was selected for the Louisville International Film Festival in Louisville, Ky.; the Prairie Lights Film Festival in Grand Island, NE; and the EQUUS Film Festival at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky., where Born To Rein was the recipient of a WINNIE AWARD in the historic racing category.
The latest public screening of BORN TO REIN was earlier this year when the producers were invited to be the featured Lecture Series program in February at the Keeneland Library, Lexington, KY.
To learn more about American thoroughbred horse racing history and the stories about the owners, trainers, jockeys and horses featured in BORN TO REIN, the filmmakers also wrote and produced a BORN TO REIN COMMEMORATIVE GUIDE to accompany and complement the documentary film. Visit the BORN TO REIN online store at http://www.BornToRein.com/store to purchase DVDs, Commemorative Guide, Movie Posters or Bundle Set packages. To book the filmmakers for a future speaking or virtual programming event, book the film at a theater, or schedule a broadcasting, contact the producers at office@BornToRein.com or call 1-844-858-1299.
MORE ABOUT THE FILM: BORN TO REIN co-producers, Jody L. Lamp and Melody Dobson of American Doorstop Project Productions, LLC wrote the script, directed and independently raised the funds for all the filming and editing. For the first time on film, Born To Rein commemorates the lives and accomplishments of native Nebraskans and National Hall of Fame Horsemen, John A. Nerud, and father-and-son Marion Van Berg and Jack Van Berg.
- John Nerud, a Navy veteran and one of America’s most accomplished and revered thoroughbred horse trainers and breeders, managed the breeding operation of the Tartan Farm, in Ocala, Fla. Tartan Farm-bred Unbridled, a son of the Tartan Farm-bred and owned Fappiano – is one of the most dominant sire influences in the United States. The Tartan Farm breeding influence appears in eight Kentucky Derby winners since 2005, including six of the last seven – Orb, California Chrome, American Pharoah, Nyquist, Always Dreaming and Justify. And the last two Triple Crown winners #12 American Pharoah and #13 Justify. Nerud, who co-founded the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships, lived to be 102 years old and could claim he the only National Hall of Fame trainer alive for all of the first 12 Triple Crown Wins!
- Marion Van Berg was the nation’s leading owner in racing victories 14 times and was the first Nebraskan inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1970. He was the first owner in the history of the sport of horse racing to break the record of 200 wins in a single year. Before his death in 1971, Marion Van Berg was listed the trainer of record of 1,500 winners with a total record of 4,691 races won and $13,936,965 earned as an owner. Marion Van Berg continues to hold the record at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., for the most leading owner titles with eight total racing seasons: 1960, 1963, 1965 through 1970.
- Like his father, Jack Van Berg set state and national records for the most wins. Jack Van Berg won his first American Classic with Gate Dancer in the 1984 Preakness Stakes. His best horse, Alysheba, won the 1987 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic, and was Horse of the Year in 1988. On July 15, 1987 in the ninth race at Arlington Park, Jack Van Berg became the first trainer in North American racing history to record 5,000 wins.
BORN TO REIN film reviews from industry leaders;
Brien Bouyea, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Communications Director:
“Born to Rein is a wonderfully crafted film that takes you to the heart of the stories behind legendary Nebraska horsemen Marion and Jack Van Berg and John Nerud. The depth of the historical research leaves no stone unturned and the filmmakers’ passion for the subject is evident through this realized vision of what it takes to rise from humble beginnings in America’s heartland to the pinnacle of thoroughbred racing. Born to Rein is essential viewing for any fan of horse racing and anyone who just loves a terrific story.”
Steve Haskin, Senior Correspondent for BloodHorse Publications:
“Born to Rein: is a film about three Nebraska-born icons of Thoroughbred racing. But it transcends the stories of John Nerud and Jack and Marion Van Berg, and the Sport of Kings as well. In many ways it is a story about pursuing the American dream and the toughness and determination of the American Pioneer, who settled in the vast desolate Plains of the Midwest.
“Many emerged to change the course of history, and in the case of Nerud, and Jack and Marion Van Berg, they changed the course of Thoroughbred racing. This film is an enlightening and informative slice of American history set against the backdrop of America’s oldest sport and going back to its first Triple Crown winner Sir Barton.
“These blue collar horsemen made a major impact on the blue blood of the Thoroughbred and stamped their place in history. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and the in-depth study of these three iconic figures who personified the American spirit.”
Edward L. Bowen, Thoroughbred racing author and administrator within the community of equine health research:
“Born to Rein is a masterful symphony, giving harmony to such motifs as The productivity of the American soul, Man’s special relationship to the horse, Devotion to family, and Destiny’s capricious appetite for interconnections.
“Do hard-working Nebraska families of horsemen relate to a champion Thoroughbred raised years earlier by a Pennsylvania rowdy with such a penchant for a deal that he named his farm after a bit of horse trading?
“Do those Nebraskan roots give rise to repeating triumphs within the unique tapestry of toil and elegance which is the sport of Thoroughbred racing? Check.
“Does this pattern of upward striving of individuals branch out to buttress such a basic of American life as its military? Check. “Did the character and subtle artistry of the ladies in these men’s live nudge and nurture their success? Check.