The USTA's 2012 President's award winners

10:37 PM 24 Jan 2012 NZDT
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I'm very pleased to announce that Gail Cunard, Callie Davies Gooch, Chris Schick and Chris Wittstruck are the harness racing recipients of the 2012 President's Awards, which will be presented at a luncheon on Monday (March 19) during the USTA's Board of Directors annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

These four are most deserving winners of this year's President's Awards for their outstanding contributions to the sport of harness racing. In their own way, each of them has played an important role in supporting and promoting the Standardbred industry.

Following are the recipients of the 2012 President's Awards:

As director, assistant secretary and treasurer, Gail Cunard is the go-to person at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.

In 2011, not only did she host another memorable Hall of Fame induction and party, but was also responsible for a providing a large contingent of international guests attending the World Driving Championship and World Trotting Conference with a very impressive reception.

Whether it is dealing with school groups or important international visitors, we all know that if you call Gail, she will organize a perfect event.

Callie Davies Gooch is the stakes manager and one of the key employees of the Hambletonian Society. In addition, she is a valuable member of the U.S. Harness Writers' Association where she donates considerable time and effort to the success of that organization.

Callie does a wonderful job in keeping horse owners and trainers updated on race conditions and payments for the multitude of important stakes managed by the Hambletonian Society.

Chris Schick was the mastermind behind the USTA's Strategic Wagering initiative and the driving force in making it one of the organization's most successful promotions ever.

A long-time director, he is extremely knowledgeable about wagering and understanding the bettor's point of view. Schick and his Strategic Wagering committee are already planning for an even more successful effort in 2012.

While Chris will give all of the credit to his panel of experts, he has been instrumental in providing leadership during his committee conference calls and the countless hours of work that he has put into making this program a success.

Chris Wittstruck is an attorney who frequently writes columns for the USTA website. Over the years, he has addressed many varied legal issues that concern horsemen.

One of his strengths in addressing horse racing is that he has been a racing fan since his youth and completely understands all sides of the issues.

He has a great ability to take complex issues and present them in a manner we can all understand.

by Phil Langley, USTA president

Courtesy of The US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

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