NAADA'S Steve Oldford to represent USA in Europe

03:48 AM 18 Jun 2014 NZST
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Steve Oldford, harness racing
Steve Oldford to represent USA in Sweden
Photo by Geri Schwarz

Last season amateur driver Steve Oldford reined 19 winners in 81 starts and finished with a lofty .355 UDR. He not only was named the 2013 National Amateur Driver of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association but, for the third time, he was awarded amateur driver of the year honors by the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Oldford won 11 races last season in the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series considered by many to be the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing, and as a member of four other Amateur Driving Clubs he won at least one race in each of them. This year, from a limited amount of drives, he has already won four races and currently has 87 career wins.

Soon the Michigan businessman will be winging his way to Finland to compete as the United States representative in the prestigious World Cup of Amateur Racing which will be contested at three different racetracks there.

As a member of the North American Amateur Drivers Association-the American affiliate of FEGAT, the organization which produces the World Cup-- Oldford is eyeing the competitions.

"I'm really looking forward to competing," Oldford said. "This will be the first time that I have the honor of representing the United States in the World Cup although I have driven abroad in the past in Italy and New Zealand.

"I'll be accompanied by my wife Gale and we'll be leaving on June 27th to stop first in Sweden and visit some training centers there. Prior to the World Cup getting underway I will be driving in the preliminaries on July 3rd and 4th. The World Cup festivities begin on Sunday, July 6 and continue through July 9th.

Twelve countries will be represented in the international World Cup. Besides the USA they include Finland, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and New Zealand.

For three consecutive days beginning on Monday, July 7th there will be races at three different racetracks on each day; on Monday at small Riihimaki, a summertrack; on Tuesday at Tampereen Ravirata, the second biggest track in Finland, and on Wednesday at Vermon Ravirata, the main track in Finland.

Along the way there will be many amenities for the competitors, including sightseeing and shopping.

"I'm thrilled just to be able to compete against some of the best amateur drivers in the world," Oldford added.

Steve Oldford is President and owner of Oldford and Associates, providing sales and engineering services to companies supplying the automotive industry. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He has been involved in the industry for more than 40 years as a breeder, owner, trainer and driver, although he didn't earnestly start driving until 2008. He is very active as an amateur driver, winning the CKG Billings point championship four times since 2008 and the Gold Cup final in 2010.

Oldford is also president of the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association, vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Club, and a trustee and a vice president of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and Museum.

by John Manzi, for the NAADA

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