Day At The Track

Carsey & Crawfords to receive Awards

05:12 AM 16 Jan 2016 NZDT
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Breana Carsey & MJB Got Faith Michelle & Albert Crawford
Breana Carsey & MJB Got Faith
USHWA Photo
Michelle & Albert Crawford
USHWA Photo

Friday, January 15, 2016 - Goshen, NY - The generosity and good will of Breana Carsey, the Indiana pre-teen featured on the CBS Evening News, as well as Michelle and Albert Crawford of Crawford Farms, NY, have earned them both the harness racing honor of a United States Harness Writers Association's President's Award.

Not too many 5th grade students get the opportunity to talk about harness racing on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. Nonetheless, Breana Carsey, an 11-year-old Standardbred owner from Connersville, Indiana, did exactly that last October when her homebred colt won the Ohio Sire Stakes Championship.

The story of intense faith begins at a horse auction when Breana was just eight years old.

At his daughter's urging Brian Carsey purchased a mare named Imageofasweetgirl, in-foal to Trainforthefuture for just $1,700. Fast-forward to the resultant colt's debut and, at the time, he seemed to be 'just an average horse' for his first three baby races.

But then, when the money was on the line, he just kept on winning.

MJB Got Faith captured four legs of the Ohio Sires and the $225,000 final, earning $192,500 in just five starts. Named for the three Carsey siblings, 'Mackenzie, Jordan & Breana' and her favorite saying, "got faith," the CBS news broadcast featuring Breana and her racehorse made the entire industry proud.

Despite numerous offers to sell the gelding trotter for a profit, and to race for larger purses, Breana proclaimed that he would not be sold, "not even for a million dollars," and that the horse has "deserved a rest" having done enough racing last Autumn.

Although Breana feels "amazing and very thankful for all the blessings" she has received, the diminutive powerhouse did not take a rest. She began giving away thousands of the horse's earnings to those in need.

The Christian Harness Horsemen's, various horseman's memorial funds, St. Gabriel School (where she attends), American Heart Association, items for overseas military outfits, and local food pantries were just some of the 'pay-it-forward' recipients of Miss Carsey's generosity.

For her efforts Breana received an official "Pen of the City Seal" from the Mayor of Connersville, Indiana for representing the city in a positive way and being a role model for both younger and older generations. In fact, there has been considerable interest by Hollywood to the rights of her "got faith" story...so stay tuned.

Perhaps the other side of the spectrum is the dynamic duo of Michelle and Albert Crawford.

The owners of Crawford Farms in upstate New York have done so much for the betterment of the industry, in a relatively short period of time, that it is impossible to overlook their efforts.

Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford's have sponsored several seasons of the Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic, Crawford Farms Trot and the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet.

The Crawford's operate one of New York's largest breeding facilities with over 75 mares, but are also racing enthusiasts who have several dozen horses in training.

Michelle noted, "We really enjoy our daily involvement in this industry. Al and I love the sport of harness racing and strive to see it prosper. By reinvesting back into the sport, we hope to see it grow and become as visibly recognizable as our thoroughbred counterparts."

But they don't stop at racing. The charitable couple continues to support and donate money to many of the important causes inside and outside of our industry, including the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Amanda Harris Fundraiser, their own ThinkPink Fundraiser for Breast Cancer, Classy Lane, horse rescues, and many more.

While social media savvy, it has become increasingly clear that any noteworthy concern that flies onto Michelle's radar is instantly transformed into a ‘cause célèbre.'

"On the forefront we will be spearheading a new coalition for a pipeline to safety and aftercare programs for our STANDARDBREDS so they no longer need to fall into harm's way after their careers or racing opportunities are done," the Crawfords noted.

Michelle added, "In the next 30 days, those in the sport that share our passion will be meeting to develop a plan and a solution that will assist owners and trainers. We intend to expand and support crucial alternatives to slaughter and kill pens. It is my 2016 goal to make a lot of noise and help our animals that make our sport what it is!"

The President's Awards, along with the Dan Patch Horse of the Year and additional human award trophies will be presented on Sunday, March 6, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet­--Night of Champions, are now available.

All of this information and applicable ticket and advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: USHWA.org

by Chris Tully, President, U.S. Harness Writers

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