Oldford named USHWA's Amateur Driver of the Year

06:16 AM 21 Dec 2013 NZDT
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Steve Oldford, harness racing
Steve Oldford
Photo by Geri Schwarz

Steve Oldford of Croswell, MI, has been named the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA)  2013 harness racing Amateur Driver of the Year and it is hard to come up with a more stellar list of accomplishments than those Steve has achieved this year.

He is this year's Billings overall point champion as well as the points champ in the Billings mid-west region and a winner of one of the Billings Series Finals.

Besides his prowess this year in the Billings Series--the granddaddy of all amateur clubs-Oldford is a member of many other amateur driving clubs and he has won at least one race in the Great Lakes Club (GLADA), the Florida Club, the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), and the Catskill Club(CADC).

He also was a division winner of the Hambletonian Amateur Trots and he organized the amateur driving portion of the USTA Driving School which was held in and around Goshen, NY this past summer.

Few, if any, are more enthusiastic about amateur racing than Oldford and when told he was named USHWA's Amateur Driver of the Year he said happily; "It's (amateur racing) a lot of fun and I'll go anywhere to drive a harness horse.

"I've had my best year in the Billings this season winning 11 races in the series and I now have 19 wins this year. I'd love to get to 20 and I have a chance next week when I drive against professionals in at Sports Creek (Raceway) in Michigan."

Some might say that Oldford began his amateur driving late in life although he quips; "You're never too old to get involved in such a satisfying endeavor"; hence his Billings nickname of Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford.

This year from 83 starts Oldford has 19 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds for a hefty .355UDR to go along with purse earnings in excess of $64,500.

It wasn't until 2006 that he earnestly began serious participation in amateur racing. However, since then Oldford has recorded 83 driving victories and is a force to be reckoned with every time he's on the racetrack. And as a great supporter of amateur racing there have been many times that he has supplied an extra horse that was needed to fill an amateur event.

Over the years Steve has been a three time winner of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame Amateur Driver of the Year Award; Michigan Amateur Driver of the Year; US representative to International amateur driving challenges in Europe and New Zealand; founder and president of GLADA; Vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series and recently was named a trustee at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. He is also active in USTA affairs and is the District Rep in Michigan.

Patricia Miller, Board Secretary and publicist for the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association and fellow Michigander, sums up the essence Steve Oldford.

"Steve is a fine person to begin with; a very fair and honest horseman, a fine driver, and fierce competitor of the utmost integrity and for me, this is a vital quality, not just important, but vital."

by John Manzi for the United States Harness Writers Association

 

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