Click here to view all the 2013 Dan Patch Award photos
Click here to view the entire 2013 Dan Patch Journal
All USHWA members were either e-mailed or mailed, packets of information regarding year-end voting for both people and horse awards along with their official ballot. For your convenience, the same documents you received are now linked below so you can access them at any time in an attempt to make it easier for everyone to make an informed decision and cast their vote.Column one is for human awards info and column two is for horse related info. Please return your vote as soon as possible.
On Saturday December 7, the Upstate New York Chapter held its sixth annual "Night of Distinction" at Batavia Downs to honor the top horses and horsemen in western New York for the year. After a stellar year of racing at both Buffalo Raceway and Batavia, there were many individuals to be feted and they all were in front of a sold out clubhouse. Click here to see a slideshow of all the honorees and their connections. Congratulations to everyone on another successful year of racing.
The Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA held their 55th Annual
Awards Banquet for the second consecutive year in Middletown, NY at The
Fountains on Sands Road on Sunday, November 17. The night got underway
with a cocktail hour at 5:30pm followed by dinner at 7pm. During the
evening awards were presented to the deserving recipients. Click here to view a pictorial highlight of the event.
is moving faster than Golden Receiver paces his opening quarter mile!
can’t remember when we have had such multi-divisional hotly contested racing
action in years and it is exciting. From
the Little Brown Jug through the Breeders Crown it has been non-stop and the
action is still going. And the sale results from Lexington and Harrisburg have
been great indicators that our sport is not stagnant and is moving forward.
we are quickly approaching year-end time and we need for everyone to get ready
with their nominations and biographies for our human awards and for voting for
our Horse of the Year winners. The next thing you know it will be February and
time for our annual USHWA meetings and awards dinner.
Communicators Corner inductee John Pawlak
spoke with fellow USHWAn Mike Tanner at the USTA today and he saw and spoke
with John Pawlak last week. He will hopefully be moved into a rehab facility
shortly and begin his recovery process. John had surgery to remove a brain
tumor on Friday, October 18. He then had surgery again Monday, October 21 to
reduce brain swelling and then had a stroke. But John is tough as nails and we
hope his recovery will allow him to make the national awards dinner in
February. Mike Tanner said one of the first things John asked him about was
that he wanted to attend and work on the 2014 World Trotting Conference that is
scheduled to be held in the USA and that was a great sign that John is on the
mend. Cards and letters should be sent to his attention at the USTA office.
John has recently left the hospital and is now in a rehab facility. I am sure
he would like to hear from you.
Proximity Award Voting Shortly,
all eligible USHWA members will receive a ballot to vote for the 2013 Stanley
Bergstein – Proximity Award. After induction to the Living Hall of Fame and
Communicators Corner, this is the next most prestigious award voted upon by
USHWAN’s. We have two outstanding candidates for this year and they both are
prominent breeders in our sport, Blue Chip Farms of New York and Joe Thomson of
Winbak Farms. Please cast your ballot once you receive it; it will be part of
the Human Awards packet, as described below.
for Human Awards Each
Chapter of USHWA is responsible for sending in nominations/biographies (one per
category) for the following categories in our human awards. They are listed
Breakthrough Award Norman Woolworth
Owner of the Year Glen Garnsey
Trainer of the Year W.R. Haughton
Good Guy Award USHWA Driver of
the Year Lee Anne Pooler
Unsung Hero Award Rising Star
nomination should be accompanied by a biography of the nominated candidate.
Biographies must be no less than 100 words and no more than 300 words please (Chapter
Presidents and Secretaries have been send notices about this). And these
nominations must be in the hands of the USHWA national Secretary no later than WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20! So that
deadline is around the corner.
announcing award winners and finalists
year we have a different timetable for announcing the human award winners and
then the finalists for the Horse of the Year categories.
for Horse of the Year honors will be announced FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20
trainer and driver of the Year winners will be announced MONDAY, DECEMBER 23
other award winners will be announced on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24
USHWA National Dinner Dover
Downs is the scene for our 2014 USHWA annual meetings and awards dinner. If you
are planning to attend and/or if you are a national director or past president,
it is most important that you look into travel arrangements ASAP as the cost of
air travel is going up almost daily. Our
dinner chairwoman, Judy Davis-Wilson, will be sending out information shortly
on making your room reservations for this weekend.
are the tentative arrangements for meetings and the dinner.
21 – USHWA
Executive Board Dinner Meeting
– Check-in for USHWA Directors and Past Presidents, meeting to start at 3 pm to
???; Buffet dinner to follow at end of meeting (spouse or significant other
23 – (early) USHWA
General Membership Meeting 10 am to 3 pm (one hour break for lunch)
– Dan Patch Awards Dinner (Cocktail party starts 6:00 pm)
note that all USHWA Directors will receive transportation costs and two nights
at hotel (Sat-Sun) For Chapter Directors, one night is paid for by National
USHWA and the Chapter pays for the second night. All Past Presidents will
receive two nights at hotel (Sat-Sun)
Ticket Price for
Dan Patch Awards Dinner to remain the same. Tickets
for the dinner will be $125 per person and include the open bar cocktail party.
USHWA members get their ticket and one for their spouse/guest at $100 per
person. Attending Life Members, Past
Presidents, National Officers and Dinner Committee members are entitled to a
maximum of two complimentary dinner tickets.
New addition to
our emcee crew for National Dinner
are sad to report that Gary Seibel, one of our emcees at last year’s dinner,
will not be able to make it this year but that is OK because he is now
gainfully employed at the track announcer and TV host at Cal Expo. We will miss
Gary but USHWA is proud to announce that replacing Gary will be USHWAN Heather
Wilder, who is the public relations director for the Meadows Standardbred
Owners Association. So it will be Heather Wilder and Heather Vitale opening the
program and Roger Huston and Dave Little handling the second half finale.
always, please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or ideas
for USHWA, the more the better!
David Miller, who has won more than 10,800 races and ranks fourth in lifetime earnings among all drivers in harness racing history, will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next summer, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Monday.
William Weaver, who bred influential trotting sire Valley Victory as well as several division champions, also will be inducted during the ceremonies on July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.
In addition, longtime U.S. Trotting Association Publicity Director John Pawlak and retired USTA Stakes Director Carol Cramer will be enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame.
Miller, a 48-year-old native of Ohio, was voted Driver of the Year in 2003, when he led North America in purses and guidedNo Pan Intended to the Pacing Triple Crown. He has won a total of 11 Triple Crown races (combined pacing and trotting) and 12 Breeders Crown trophies. He ranks No. 5 in career Breeders Crown purses with $8.5 million.
He is a three-time winner of the Little Brown Jug and one of only two drivers to capture the Little Brown Jug and its filly companion race, the Jugette, in the same year. Victories in other top stakes include the Adios, Canadian Pacing Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic, Cane Pace, Hambletonian Oaks, Kentucky Futurity, Maple Leaf Trot, Nat Ray and Yonkers Trot.
In 2011, Miller became the 10th driver in North American history to reach 10,000 wins. He has won at least $10 million in purses 11 times, the most of any driver in history, and trails only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance in career earnings.
Weaver, 77, from New Jersey, has enjoyed success as a breeder despite breeding a small number of horses each year.
Valley Victory was the sport's top 2-year-old colt trotter in 1988 and won 11 of 14 lifetime races before being retired at age 3 because of illness. His offspring include Hambletonian winning colts Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee as well as filly Continentalvictory. Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee also produced Hambletonian winners, with Muscles Yankee sons Deweycheatumnhowe, Muscle Hill and Muscle Massive winning the sport's top trotting race in consecutive years (2008-10).
Other notable horses bred by Weaver include U.S. and/or Canadian division champions Chocolatier, Laddie, To Dream On, Was It A Dream and Wheeling N Dealin plus millionaire trotting mare Elusive Desire.
The multiple award-winning Pawlak joined the USTA in 1985 after serving as an announcer and marketing executive at Raceway Park in Ohio. His work with the USTA has ranged from writing to broadcasting, in addition to compiling and editing the annually harness racing fact book "The Trotting & Pacing Guide." He also is known for his work coordinating the biennial World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference. When time permits, he continues to announce races on the Ohio fair circuit.
Cramer retired as a fulltime employee of the USTA in 2007, but remains active as editor of the annual "Stakes Guide," a job she has handled for 45 years. She joined the organization in 1965 as project assistant to James Harrison in the publication of the first "Care & Training of the Trotter and Pacer." In addition, she was advertising manager for "Hoof Beats" magazine and a longtime Grand Circuit steward and secretary.
Veteran writers on a screening committee, after discussion with an advisory committee of Hall of Famers, take nominations sent in by USHWA chapters and select nominees to go before the voters. Nominees must receive 75 percent approval from the voters, which are qualified members of USHWA and Living Hall of Fame members, to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The inductees will be honored twice; first at the annual USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet, Feb. 23 at Dover Downs, and for enshrinement July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.
The Clyde Hirt Media
Workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Harness Writers Association and Meadowlands
Racetrack. It is held in conjunction with harness racing's most prestigious
race (the Hambletonian) and offers college students a chance to learn from
journalism professionals while covering a major sporting event. Students
interact with a variety of sports professionals, write race previews and
results stories for daily newspapers and news websites and attend workshop
sessions with experts from print, broadcasting, public relations and other
Corey Alexander, one of the students from the 2012 workshop, produced a video featuring many of the highlights of the weeks activities. we are making it available here for you to view and see what great exposure the workshop is giving the sport of harness racing to college students who are up and coming media professionals.
Click here to see the video and experience what the young men and women from colleges all over North America have experienced; our sport, first hand.
Click here to read more about the workshop on the USTA website.
Throughout most of its 67-year history, the United States Harness Writers
Association, harness racing’s premier organization for communicators, has had
members who lived outside of the United States. They supported the goals of
USHWA, and benefited from two-way contact with the organization while being in
an “At-Large” category that includes membership near no local chapter of the
But with the membership
totals of one subgroup going over double digits recently, application was made,
and approved by USHWA Directors, for the first organized Chapter headquartered
outside the 50 States -- the Canadian Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers
Association, an embodiment of the nearly-“borderless” nature of current North
American harness racing.
There are 10 charter
members of the Canadian Chapter of USHWA, with that number expected to grow with
organized activities led by the northernmost Chapter giving an added dimension
to the attractiveness of joining USHWA, which votes on the sport’s major awards,
including inclusion in the Living Hall of Fame, which recognizes talent
throughout North America and indeed the world.
The charter members of
the Canadian Chapter have already selected Dave Briggs and Darryl Kaplan to
represent them on USHWA’s Board of Directors during USHWA’s annual meetings at
the upcoming Harness Racing Congress, taking place the weekend of March 1-3 at
the Westin Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In picking this duo, the
Canadians are putting forth a pair of informed and talented communicators: the
last two winners of the prestigious John Hervey writing award for feature
writing about trotting and pacing, with Briggs of the Canadian Sportsman
receiving this year’s award, succeeding TROT magazine’s
“This is a landmark
occasion in the history of USHWA,” said President Steven Wolf. “We are very
proud to welcome the first international Chapter to our association and know
they will develop into a great asset, not only to USHWA but to our
USHWA NEW MEMBER BROCHURE IS HERE-The hard work of the New Member Committee led by Chairwoman Jessica Schroeder has brought to frution a new tool to help broaden and build the membership of USHWA. It is a colorful and informational brochure that will explain exactly what USHWA is, what USHWA does, and why those who work in the sporting media would want to join.
We also had hard copies printed and are looking for all of our members to take this opportunity to help distribute the pamphlets (either electronically of paper copy) to anyone you may think would be intersted in becoming a part of our organization or convince someone who is not. It is inthe best interest of USHWA to get as many people on board with us to help promote our great sport.
The United States Harness Writers Association is a group of more than 250 members committed to the chronicling of harness racing through the print and electronic media. It was founded in 1947 by New York City area sportswriters who were covering harness racing at Roosevelt Raceway. It remains the only media organization in harness racing with a membership of newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, ad agency, publicists and others involved in racing communications. With more than 250 members, most of them allied to one of 12 regional chapters, the association strives to bring about a closer relationship among the media, racetracks and horsemen to promote a centuries-old American-bred sport.
USHWA members, in annual voting, choose harness racing's most prestigious awards like the Living Hall of Fame and the Horse-of-the-Year. Its Proximity Achievement Award is one of the sports most cherished honors. It also recognizes top divisional winners and leading drivers and trainers at its annual awards dinner, which began in 1948.
The association is governed by a member board of directors, which represents the chapters and at large members (those living or working in regions where there is no chapter). Also serving are seven national officers and all past presidents.
USHWA works with the united States Trotting Association in the Horse of the Year balloting. USHWA also presents the John Hervey Awards for excellence in writing and broadcasting. Its members choose Hall of Famers, so the association also works closely with The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame at Goshen, New York.
Many chapters hold annual awards or recognition dinners to salute the leading horses and drivers in their areas. Some chapters also raise money for local charities.