On June 18, the Maryland Hunt Cup Association announced the presentation of the 2014 S. Bryce Wing trophy to two-time Eclipse Award winning photographer Douglas Lees.
Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Warrenton, Va., Lees has been chronicling steeplechasing for more than four decades. His work has appeared in nearly every equestrian magazine and newspaper as well as such books as 100 Runnings of the Maryland Hunt Cup (Margaret Worrall), The History & Origins of the Virginia Gold Cup (William Myzk) and Steeplechasing: A Complete History of the Sport in North America (Peter Winants), to mention only a few.
Given to a person who’s made exceptional contributions to Maryland timber racing, the award honors the memory of S. Bryce Wing, a member of the Maryland Hunt Cup Association from 1939 until his death at age 85 in 1975. He was secretary of the Maryland Hunt Cup from 1956 to 1966 and president of the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association (now the National Steeplechase Association) from 1948 to 1964. He was also a member of The Jockey Club and a Master of Foxhounds at Elkridge-Harford (Md.).
Lees’ interest in country life and photography was fostered by his parents, who were avid foxhunters. At age 17, Lees’ first published photo appeared on the front page of the Fauquier Times-Democrat. He’s won the photography contest for The Chronicle of the Horse and the American Horse Publications and had multiple covers of The Maryland Horse and Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred.
Lees won an Eclipse Award, sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers Association in 1978 and in 2007, one of only four photographers in the country to win more than one such award. He has the added distinction of three Eclipse honorable mentions. Lees is similarly well known for his photographs of foxes, hounds and hunting, plus fly-fishing, his other passion.
The first Bryce Wing award was presented in 1976. In the following 37 years, the trophy has been awarded 28 times.