AMA’s Horizon Award Renamed To Honor Nicky Hayden
Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Awards To Be Given Annually in Dirt Track, Motocross, and Road Racingby Allyn Hinton, on
The American Motorcyclist Association annually bestows its Horizon Award to amateur competitors for their performance in the professional ranks. This year, the Executive Committee of the AMA Board of Directors unanimously voted to rename the AMA Horizon Award the Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award in honor of Nicky Hayden who was the inaugural AMA Horizon Award winner in 1997. Nicky won the AMA Supersport Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship and the FIM MotoGP World Championship in past years and was in training for the FIM Superbike World Championship when he was struck by a car and subsequently died from his injuries.
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"Nicky Hayden epitomized the spirit of the AMA Horizon Award," said AMA Board of Directors Chair Maggie McNally-Bradshaw. "The award’s first recipient, Hayden was a true sportsman and a stellar representative of not just American motorcycling, but all Americans on the world stage. His ascent to the pinnacle of the sport was marked by the utmost character and class, and it all began on the same Midwestern ovals where today’s amateur dirt trackers race for experience and pride."
The AMA will present the Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Awards each year to the top amateur racers in dirt track, motocross, and road racing. The 2017 Nicky Hayden AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award was presented on the final day of the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championship on July 4 in Du Quoin, Illinois. The 2017 Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award is to be presented on August 5 at the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, followed by the 2017 Nicky Hayden AMA Road Racing Horizon Award to be handed out on Nov. 5 at the conclusion of the AMA Road Race Grand Championship at Barber Motorsports Park. The 2017 AMA Championship Banquet on Jan. 20, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio, will recognize all the Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award recipients for the year.
In response to the committee renaming the award, the Hayden family issued a statement. "Nicky loved racing and he was proud of his roots, which included those early days of dirt tracking in youth and amateur events around the country. Nicky would be honored to know that his memory will help inspire future generations of competitors to race for their dreams."
Nicky Hayden epitomized the spirit of the AMA Horizon Award and it is fitting that the AMA recognize the true competitor that he was in a sport that he loved.