Harness Horsemen International met and concluded their Annual Meetings on March 5 at the Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa, Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Ten horsemen’s associations were represented throughout the four-day conference, including Cloverleaf SOA, Delaware SOA, Illinois HHA, Ohio HHA, Maine HHA, Meadows HHA, Western New England HHA, Pennsylvania HHA, SBOA of New Jersey and Kentucky HHA.
After HHI President Tom Luchento welcomed the assemblage, the current at-large members were re-elected to the HHI Board of Directors, and the decision to hold the 2015 annual meeting at this same venue was approved by the membership.
The “I Can’t Believe This is Happening” Panel continued their discussion on several issues facing harness racing, including: the status of racing in Michigan; funding for racing commissions; and states which are trying to do away with racing through different approaches, such as Iowa, where money is being offered back to the legislature in order to eradicate dog racing.
At the HHI Awards Luncheon, the 2013 Dominic Frinzi Man of the Year Award was presented to Robert Schmitz, Ohio State Racing Commission Chairman for his work on behalf of the Ohio horse racing community. John Brennan, a respected journalist, was honored with the 2013 Clyde Hirt Media Award, and Don Marean, a revered breeder from Maine, was feted via the 2013 HHI Appreciation Award.
A farewell breakfast for HHI association members will be held on Thursday, March 6.
HHI is comprised of horsemen’s associations from the United States and Canada who collectively represent the agriculture based industry of harness racing in North America. HHI’s governing body consists of representatives from its member associations.
by Kimberly Rinker, for HHI