The Rutgers Equine Science Center (ESC) has named Linda Toscano as the 2013 recipient of the Center’s annual "Spirit of the Horse" award. Toscano will receive the award during the Equine Science Update on Dec. 11, 2012 at the Cook Campus Center on the G. H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick, N.J. Liz Durkin, the 2012 recipient and vice chair of the Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement, will present the award.

The "Spirit of the Horse" award recognizes individuals whose lives have been profoundly changed because of their involvement with horses and who have acknowledged the impact by giving back to the horse industry.

"Linda Toscano’s life was forever changed the moment she first set foot on a racetrack," said Karyn Malinowski, PhD, director of the Equine Science Center. "Linda worked under the tutelage of legendary trainers before setting out on her own and, now, she has become a legend in her own right. With her many accomplishments, including becoming the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, Linda is an inspiration to all."

A Brooklyn, N.Y., native, Toscano briefly attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook before finding her calling and beginning her career on the track. She worked side by side with veteran trainer Buddy Regan and hall of famers Buddy Gilmour and John Campbell prior to stepping out on her own in 1985. She trained claimers Storm Dust and David J, and enjoyed great success with trotting mare Giant Mermaid. Her triumphs continued, training world champions Lifelong Victory, Chapter Seven, and Jet Laag, culminating with her pinnacle achievement winning th