2023 Joe Kelly Unsung Hero Award to Betty McCue

Betty McCue has been selected as the winner of the Maryland Million 2023 Joe Kelly Unsung Hero Award. Presented by the Board of Directors of Maryland Million Ltd, this award honors the memory of Joe Kelly and celebrates important characteristics that are valuable, but sometimes go overlooked.

The award is named for Joe Kelly, the first and only publicist for the Maryland Million, who served in that role from the event's inception in 1985 until his death in 2012. 

McCue is very active in pony racing. She maintains a large stable of ponies and is an avid participant in the U.S. Pony Racing meets held throughout the year in the Mid-Atlantic. Pony racing and McCue's program enable young horsemen to gain race-riding experience and teaching them riding, athletic, and competitive skills, along with good sportsmanship.  Notable riders who started out riding McCue's ponies include Charlie Marquez, Teddy Davies and Maddie Rowland, among countless others who now participate in flat racing, hunt racing, point-to-point action, and fox hunting throughout the region.

"Betty's work has helped enormously to bring us the next generation of race riders," said Ross Peddicord, executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board. "With out her hard work and generosity, we'd be hard-pressed to have a quality pony racing program - the best in the nation."

McCue will be honored at this year's Jim McKay Maryland Million, which will take place at Laurel Park on Oct. 14.

2023 Joe Kelly Unsung Hero Award winner Betty McCue riding Oregon Ridge.