Controversy threatens Icon Awards

Following the buzz of the 70th Golden Globe Awards, and in anticipation of the 85th annual Academy Awards, Digiturf.com has announced the introduction of their Icon Awards which will be awarded only to the most iconic players in the history of Digiturf.com's virtual horse racing game.

The awards may prove to be too controversial for the virtual horse racing community to handle because some of the community's longest standing players have been overlooked, Championship winners haven't even been considered and being inducted into the Hall Of Fame doesn't guarantee anyone automatic iconic status. Perhaps the most controversial decision was to award iconic status to a rookie trainer who only joined the virtual horse racing community within the last year.

Digiturf.com has been no stranger to controversy; being the world's most dynamic online virtual horse racing game they've attracted more than their fair share of detractors, but to their credit they've welcomed criticism as an opportunity to create an even better online gaming experience for lovers of horse racing. Criticism is inevitable, handling it as constructively as Digiturf.com takes dignity.

It seems hard to believe that Digiturf.com was once a small community. Horses were trained three times daily and they even got their own names instead of the current system of being assigned a randomly allocated alphanumerical reference number. There was little time to complain about everything because in those days trainers worked for everything they got. They even kept small stables because nothing was for nothing. There were no free horses or bonus credits when you joined Digiturf.com, the Tack Shop wasn't selling much for less than $15 dollars and stabling fees weren't being capped or discounted just because trainers ran a few horses around the track. Trainers even had to buy their own silks. But it was an innocent time in the evolution of the virtual horse racing community when hard work was considered its own reward and patience was virtue.

The most controversial issue to plague Digiturf.com was the introduction of a more advanced handicapping system, which included allowances, penalties and single sex races, which almost had the community divided. It took a stranger from far afield to introduce some law and order. It was in September 2001, when a young trainer joined the virtual horse racing community who was able to instill a sense of order. His name was Sharkano. He was shortly followed by another trainer, Pillbutt, who travelled from Germany just to join the virtual horse racing community at Digiturf.com. Both men would become legends in their own right at Digiturf.com.

Sharkano would go on to become one of the most respected trainers in the history of virtual horse racing because he epitomized the best of everything a trainer could be on Digiturf.com, which included winning 25 Championship titles, building one of the wealthiest stables and training the most iconic colt in the history of Digiturf.com, I Am The King. Despite his success Sharkano proved that it's not what you achieve, but how you achieve it at Digiturf.com, that defines you as a trainer.

The late Pillbutt is instantly recognizable as the wealthiest player in the history of virtual horse racing, earning $14 every hour of the day, every day of the year, but he is mostly remembered for his humility; which was never better illustrated than when he declined to have a Championship Series renamed in his honor after winning 10,000 races. Pillbutt maintained that the race program should reflect the collective interests of the virtual horse racing community rather than his personal accomplishments.

Today, we live in an age of instant gratification where patience is no longer a virtue but an inconvenience that keeps us from getting what we want when we want it. We no longer have the time to write letters when an email can get an immediate response. If that's not fast enough we dispense with pleasantries and post generic updates on Facebook or Twitter in the hope that the right person will respond, doesn't matter who they are, just that they respond.

Virtual horse racing is no exception to the rule. Instead of requesting additional races trainers now schedule their own races with 24 hour satisfaction. They can even have the same race scheduled every day of the year for their horses, plus there are Rated Races which allow horses trainers to compete in an additional three races a day. The old adage of eight hours work, eight hours sleep and eight hours play has now become eight hours race, eight hours race, eight hours race, racing 24/7/365.

Considering the advances that Digiturf.com has made over the past eleven years developing the world's premier online destination for horse racing enthusiasts, it is fitting that they acknowledge the horse trainers who shaped their future, and the ones who are extending that legacy. Everyone has their own definition of what makes an icon; Digiturf.com can risk offending people by their omission or their inclusion in the list of Icon recipients. Either way, it promises to be an exciting event.

The Icon Awards will be announced on the January 28, 2013, on Digiturf.com.

Be part of the action by joining Digiturf.com today.