Portland, ME --- The Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association will be holding their annual awards banquet on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the Italian Heritage Center located at 40 Westland Avenue in Portland.
The day starts off at 2:30 p.m. with the business meeting where old and new business is discussed and the election of officers will take place. The festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour that will run in unison with the silent stallion auction. Many top breeders in the state donate the services of their stallions with the proceeds of the silent stallion auction benefitting the MSBOA Scholarship Fund. There will also be an additional auction of harness racing related items that will take place shortly before the awards banquet kicks off at 6 p.m.
The awards banquet will recognize those who have excelled in the state’s sire stakes racing program in 2013. There are various awards based on age, gait, sire and broodmare that will receive acknowledgement for success in their respective categories.
Awards will also be presented to the people of the sport who have contributed and succeeded in the Maine breeders program that represents many jobs and open land opportunities in the Pine Tree State.
One such recipient is Mike Andrews of Gorham who will be receiving the top breeder in the trotting category as his 3-year-old trotting colt Obrigado went undefeated in his 2013 racing campaign as he notched 13 victories with earnings of more than $100,000.
MSBOA president James Kelly will speak and introduce a trio of owners who have found success in harness racing’s ultimate trotting prize. Chip Campbell, Al Ross and Paul Fontaine co-own the 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life. This 3-year-old colt is trained by George Ducharme, who has been voted the Good Guy Award by the United States Harness Writers' Association.
Ducharme, along with Campbell, Ross and Fontaine are New England residents with strong ties in Massachusetts harness racing as well as racing on the national scene. The story of Royalty For Life is one where Chip Campbell owned the stallion (RC Royalty) and Al Ross owned the mare (Bourbon N Grits). The connection of the two brought about a trotter that to date has earned more than $1.6 million in just two years of racing.
The night will also raffles and door prizes.
by Bill Ellis, for the MSBOA