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Gary Stevens at Hettrick’s Hollywood awards show

It was 15 years ago this week that I was thrilled to have Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens accept my invitation to be a presenter at my annual DVD Exclusive Awards show in Hollywood.

It was set up perfectly because Stevens starred in the terrific movie “Seabiscuit” that was released that summer, and the DVD was coming out that fall, the DVD awards program was scheduled for Dec. 2, 2003, and it was going to be the first year we got it on national prime time television. We hired Dick Clark to produce the event at the Wiltern Theater on Dec. 2, and it premiered on FX Dec. 9, with nearly 1 million people watching that Tuesday’s telecast and the two replays the following Saturday and Sunday nights, cumulatively.

I couldn’t have been happier to see him work the red carpet like a veteran movie star, and then be introduced by Jenny McCarthy and walk out on stage in front of the likes of mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, blockbuster director Michael Bay, music legend Roger Daltry, comedy icon Dick Van Dyke, comic book god Stan Lee, and more than 1,000 people in the audience. The only person on stage with spotlights shining on him, he delivered his introduction of the next award video package and went backstage to enjoy the rest of the evening as an honored guest.

And it was my honor. 15 years later, here’s a one-minute video of his performance on the red carpet and on stage…

— By Scott Hettrick

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