Monday evening the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) presented its November Caretaker of the Month award to Mary Birkhold for her work as a harness racing caretaker, trainer and co-owner (with George Birkhold and Ohioan David Reiselt) of the improving trotter Rose Run Nolan.
Birkhold and her brother George selected “Nolan” as a yearling from an Ohio public auction (consignment of Archie Yoder’s Rose Run Farm) and have developed him principally at Pompano Park under the patient driving guidance of Ohio native Tom Sells. The team liked “Nolan” so well that they passed on the “Gator” moniker for this one.
Ms. Birkhold is enjoying her best season as trainer with nine wins, six with Rose Run Nolan (4h Trainforthefuture-Dancin Darvie-Darvie) who now sports a record of 1:57.1f and lifetime earnings of $46,712. Mary, born in Salem, Ohio, resides and trains the Birkhold stable at Sarasota, FL and ventures to Ohio in mid-summer to race at the fairs and in stakes events.
That connection led to her interest in “Nolan” and for good reason. His dam, Dancin Darvie, is a 100% producer with two $100,000 plus performers and second dam Swiss Proxie produced 10 trotting winners from 15 foals, Dancin Darvie being her last and $208,000 winner Proxie’s Garland the first foal. Third dam Proxie produced 10 trotting winners from 14 foals including the $100,000 winners Count Me and Patty Tad. As the name might imply, the fourth dam is Proximity (a 1942 foal that earned $252,929 and a record of 1:59.3) that some believe was one of the greatest American trotting mares. Even ”Nolan’s” sire Darvie shows up from a pedigree perspective, he being a $96,000 plus winner and full brother to Nevele Typhoon ($393,201) and Nevele Thunder ($284,253).
Mary Birkhold knows trotters and richly deserves the USHWA Florida Chapter’s recognition as caretaker of the month…and more! She received a plaque and a check for $100. Congratulations.
By Thomas H. Hicks for the Florida USHWA Chapter
PHOTO by Thomas H. Hicks (Left to right, Rosie Huff, Mary Birkhold and John Berry)