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Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced two candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarships. The scholarship was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, was the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. "Both Sarah Birkhold and Jessica Hallett will each receive $1,000 from our Chapter," said committee chair Thomas H. Hicks. "Sarah is a graduate student with a GPA of 3.9 at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Jessica is a college junior at Nova Southeastern University with a 3.4 GPA as a medical major. They are both outstanding students." Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Both women have been prior winners of the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarships and are the children of harness racing parents. Sarah Birkhold of Sarasota, FL is a third-year graduate student at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinarian Medicine seeking her doctorate in veterinarian medicine and is on course to graduate in May, 2021. She is on the Honor Society for the following groups, Alpha Chi, Phi Kappa Phi and the Collegiate Leadership and Achievement Association. Sarah is also Vice-President of the Chapter Society of Theriogenology, Secretary of the Food Animal Club and was President and Secretary of the Gator Collegiate Cattlewoman Organization. Jessica Hallett of Margate, FL, has scholastic honors that include International Baccalaureate (IB), HOSA Barbara James Community Service Regional, State and National Service Awards, NSU Sharks Services Award, President's 64, NSU Honors College, NSU Dual Degree, Student Leader of the Year Award and Star Of Life Award. This past year Jessica, who writes for Harnesslink.com, wrote a story that went national and she was awarded Honorable Mention in the John Hervey Media Awards. She is also on the NSU Equestrian Club and Team, Women's Weightlifting Team, the Emergency and Disaster Medicine Club, Delta Epsilon Mu and Honors College. For more information about the Florida Chapter of USHWA and the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship, visit their website at www.ushwa-florida.com or go to their Facebook page at Florida Chapter USHWA . by Steven Wolf, for the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

Pompano Beach, FL --- Steven Wolf, president of the Florida chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association (USHWA), has announced that the chapter is now accepting applications for its 2019 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. Preference for these scholarship awards will be given to a student majoring in journalism, communications or veterinarian related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Applicants must have demonstrated scholastic ability with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and show evidence of community service and leadership through certificates, awards and/or letters of commendation. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than June 3, 2019, for consideration of a July 2019 award. Recipients may reapply annually for a maximum of four years. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33069. For more information or to receive an application on the internet, contact via e-mail to Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net or Steven Wolf at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dorothy "Dottie" Haughton early Monday morning at her home in New Hampsire, surrounded by family and friends. Mrs. Haughton had been ill the past year. She was 87. She is the widow of the great harness racing trainer and driver, Billy Haughton. After his passing, Mrs. Haughton was a long-time Harness Racing Museum trustee and supporter of the harness racing industry.  She was honored in 2009 by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Further details will be posted.  Harnesslink Media  

Coral Springs, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced four candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization "There were 13 candidates that were eligible for the scholarships," said Thomas H. Hicks, who chairs the scholarship committee. "And our committee worked diligently in deciding who would be the winners. We are very pleased to have had so many applications this year and it was not easy making the final selections." The top scholarship winner of $1,000 was Shiselle Povedano and three students, Ashley Ferrato, Jessica Hallett and Jaimeelee Medoza, will each receive $500. Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. On average, there has been up to $3,000 awarded annually in scholarship money. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Shiselle Povedano of Coral Springs is in her senior year at the University of Florida heading towards duel degrees in public relations and economics. She currently had a GPA of 3.75 and is on the Dean's List. Shiselle is also a co-founder and vice president of the Association for Media Professionals. She recently worked as part of the photography crew for the SuperCon Convention in south Florida and does community service with the CDS Family & Behavioral Health Services, an at-risk youth prevention center. She was the only unanimous choice of the Scholarship Committee. Ashley Ferrato of Palm City is in her freshman year at the University of Florida and is a pre-veterinarian student. She attended South Fork High School and had a GPA of 3.87. She has grown up with her family owning horses her entire life. She worked the past summer as an assistant for the Animal Care Extraordinaire Vet Clinic, competes in Dressage and was an assistant barn manager for Treasure Coast Dressage. Her extracurricular activities included USEF Varsity Lettering and is an officer of Future Farmers of America. Jessica Hallett of Margate has entered her sophomore year at Nova Southeastern University going for a degree in Biology and Behavioral Neuroscience and has a GPA of 3.69. She is the daughter of trainers John & Michelle Hallett of Margate and has spent most of her life around harness racing. Jessica's extracurricular activities are quite extensive including the NSU Equestrian Club, President's 64, Broward Sheriff's Office Police and Fire Cadet Program and many more groups. And Jessica is becoming an accomplished journalist and has been writing feature stories on harness racing for Harnesslink.com for more than a year. Jaimeelee Medoza of Port Charlotte is entering the University of Central Florida as a junior and has a GPA of 3.54 and is studying towards a degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing. She was Dean's List the past two years at Florida Gulf Coast University. An avid singer, Jaimeelee performs at local churches, nursing homes and has also worked for Habitat For Humanity. She also worked on the school newspaper as a news writer, worked in radio and on the Yearbook Committee. For more information about the Florida Chapter of USHWA and the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship, visit their website at www.ushwa-florida.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA    

Victoria M. Howard, co-author of Roosevelt Raceway Where it All Began and Meadow Skipper The Untold Story and author of the acclaimed Kentucky Horse Park Paradise Found and the New York Equus Film Festival Award winner Junior And Elena a horse love story has decided to concentrate strictly on harness racing with an exciting series of articles that will document Girl Power: The Superstar Women Of Harness Racing. Said Howard, a recent inductee to Florida’s USHWA Hall Of Fame as a Communicator, "Paradise Found was one of my favorite books to write for after visiting the prestigious park in Lexington, I was blown away with the many breeds of horses that are housed there.” GIRL POWER—The Superstar Women of Harness Racing will appear as a monthly series of articles authored by Ms. Howard that will illustrate the achievements and accomplishments of female trainers, drivers, industry executives, breeders and publicists, in addition to highlighting those who might be ‘behind the scenes’ while in support of their significant male others. Potential subjects include Hall of Fame nominee Linda Toscano, Casie Coleman, Michelle Crawford, Laura Young, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky, Nancy Johansson and many other accomplished harness racing ladies. “Now that I’m devoting my full energies to Harness Racing,"Howard said. "I’m overwhelmed, though not surprised with the success of so many of my sisters and I’ll be honored to have the opportunity to document their accomplishments.” by Bob Marks

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has debuted their new website at www.ushwa-florida.com. The Florida Chapter has also developed a Facebook Page at Florida Chapter USHWA. "The Florida Chapter has dedicated this year to working harder than ever to help promote the sport of harness racing in Florida and across the nation." said Florida USHWA Chapter president Steve Wolf. "The debut of our website and our new Facebook Page is just the start of our 2018 program. "The harness racing industry, especially in Florida," Wolf explained, "needs to have more exposure to the general masses. We will be doing more stories on owners, trainers, drivers, caretakers and the many training/breeding farms throughout the state, working on special events in the local communities, and hopefully help educating new fans to this great sport through our chapter. "Our Chapter's treasurer, Thomas H. Hicks," Wolf credited. "created and developed the website and did a super job." The Florida Chapter of USHWA was first formed in 1964 following the opening of the Pompano Park racetrack. Over the many years the Chapter has worked with racetrack management and the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association in helping promote the sport both locally and nationally. The Chapter annually hosts the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Banquet, has given out tens of thousands of dollars through the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship for Florida residents studying journalism or equine related majors, and provides special funding for Florida horsemen and women in need due to poor health, accidents and/or dire financial situations through the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA          

Pompano Beach, FL --- Steven Wolf, president of the Florida chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association (USHWA), has announced that the chapter is now accepting applications for its 2018 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park, and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. Preference for these scholarship awards will be given to a student majoring in journalism, communications or veterinarian related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Applicants must have demonstrated scholastic ability with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and show evidence of community service and leadership through certificates, awards and/or letters of commendation. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2018, for consideration of a July 2018 award. Recipients may reapply annually for a maximum of four years. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33069. For more information or to receive an application on the internet, contact via e-mail to Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net or Steven Wolf at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Deerfield Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) held its 27th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame banquet Friday evening, March 2 with three new members inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Royal Fiesta Ballroom. There were 14 awards given out with the three Hall of Fame inductees the highlight of the evening. Induction recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry. The inductees were owner, trainer and driver, Dan Daley of Vero Beach, long time trainer/driver Warren Harp of Bell, and renowned second trainer, Odell Thompson, of Lauderdale Lakes. "What a special honor this is tonight for all my years working in harness racing," Said Warren Harp. "I could not be prouder with this award and am especially thankful to the Florida USHWA Chapter." "It is so great to get this special honor," said Dan Daley, "And to have my family with me tonight made it all the better." "I was just about speechless when I went to the podium to get my trophy," said Odell Thompson. "I could not thank enough people to have helped me throughout my career and who have been my friends for so many years. It's a blessing I will never forget." Elected to the Communicators Corner of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame was renowned author, owner and publicist Victoria Howard, of Boca Raton. "This is one of the biggest thrills of my lifetime," Howard said. "I could not be happier. I love writing about racing, owning and breeding race horses, everything about harness racing. It has been in my blood for most of my life and I could not think of doing anything else but being in this great sport." The William Popfinger Award for developing outstanding juvenile pacers went for the second time to trainer Kim Sears of Osteen. Kim could not make the dinner but her trophy was accepted by horsewoman Donna Richardson and former USHWA national Chairman of the Board, Chris Tully. The current president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA, Tully was also the events special auctioneer for the evening. Florida Chapter treasurer, Thomas H. Hicks, was the Emcee for the evening presentations. All money raised from the silent auction, live auction and program journal go to support the Allen J Finkelson Scholarship Fund and the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. The Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of young trotters, was presented for the first time to trainer-driver Jason MacDougall of Astor. Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport went to Elizabeth Hennessey Schaut of Pompano Beach. The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport was presented to Kathy Breedlove of Pompano Beach. The Peter Haughton Award, which goes to an upcoming young driver at the Pompano Park meet went to 23-year-old James "JD" Yoder of Bell. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2017 was presented for the first time to Marianne and Maggie Audley of Gold Star Farm in Bell. The Florida USHWA Chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to longtime trainer/driver Tom Merriman of Delray Beach and caretaker, racetrack maintenance man, Emmitt Davis of Pompano Beach. The annual Caretaker of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding individual who, over his or her career, has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year's winner was Joanie Uszak from the Mike Murphy Stable, who has been grooming horses for nearly 60 years. "It was a superb event tonight," said Florida USHWA Chapter president, Steve Wolf. "Everyone had such a great time with family and friends and those who won awards I know were well earned and will cherish them always. We even had a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday for Ann-Mari Daley's mom, Cookie Fedun, the long-time horsemen's valet at Pompano Park, who was celebrating her 89th birthday. It's all made for a fun-filled evening." From the Florida Chapter USHWA

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the States Harness Writers Associations' president, Steven Wolf, has announced the Hall of Fame inductees for 2018 and the annual award winners for the 2017 harness racing season. They will be honored at the association's 27th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Friday, March 2, 2018 at the Royal Fiesta Catering Ballroom in Deerfield Beach. Elected to the chapter's Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are owner, trainer and driver, Dan Daley of Vero Beach, trainer/driver Warren Harp of Bell, and renowned second trainer, Odell Thompson, of Lauderdale Lakes. Elected to the Communicators Corner of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame is renowned author, owner and publicist Victoria Howard, of Boca Raton. The William Popfinger Award for developing outstanding juvenile pacers goes for the second time to trainer Kim Sears of Osteen. The Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of young trotters, goes for the first time to trainer-driver Jason MacDougall of Astor. Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport goes to Elizabeth Hennessey Schaut of Pompano Beach. The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport goes to Kathy Breedlove of Pompano Beach. The winner of the Allen J. Finkelson Award recognizes an individual in the sport who has contributed to the positive promotion of the Standardbred industry and being honored this year is amateur driving champion Dein Spriggs of Jupiter. The Peter Haughton Award, which goes to an upcoming young driver at the Pompano Park meet goes to James "JD" Yoder of Bell. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2017 goes for the first time to Marianne and Maggie Audley of Gold Star Farm in Bell. The Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award, presented annually to an outstanding individual who has always contributed positively to the sport, goes to FSBOA President and amateur driver Joe Pennacchio of Delray Beach. The Florida USHWA Chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to longtime trainer/driver Tom Merriman of Delray Beach and caretaker, racetrack maintenance man, Emmitt Davis of Pompano Beach. The annual Caretaker of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding individual who, over his or her career, has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year's winner is Joanie Uszak from the Mike Murphy Stable, who has been grooming horses for nearly 60 years. Tickets are $80 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:30 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. There is free parking at Royal Fiesta Catering, located in the Cove off Hillsboro Blvd at 1680 SE 3rd Court, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757 or email stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter USHWA

Coral Springs, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) has announced five candidates who will receive awards this year from the Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization "There were eleven candidates that were eligible for the scholarships," said Thomas H. Hicks, who chairs the scholarship committee. "And our committee worked diligently in deciding who would be the winners. We are very pleased to have had so many applications this year and it was not easy making the final selections." Two students, Daniel Clien and Jessica Hallet, will both receive scholarship checks for $750 each as the two top candidates. Students Amber Kelley, Paul Levia and Sarah Birkhold will each get $500. Preference for these scholarship awards were given to a student(s) majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. On average, there has been up to $3,000 awarded annually in scholarship money. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Daniel Clein will start his freshman year this fall at the University of Central Florida with a goal of becoming a veterinarian. He is a graduate of Wellington High School with a GPA of 3.6, was in the Wellington HS Equine Pre-Vet Academy Magnet Program and participated in numerous community outreach programs, including creating a 501C3 not-for-profit charity. Jessica Hallett will be a freshman at Nova Southeastern University. She is the daughter of trainers John & Michelle Hallett and has spent most of her life around harness racing. She graduated from Deerfield Beach High School with an impressive GPA average of 5.12, was a star athlete, volunteered in numerous community service activities and has been writing feature stories on harness racing for Harnesslink.com. Sarah Birkhold is from Sarasota and is a first year graduate student at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinarian Medicine. She has been an Allen J. Finkelson scholarship winner the past four years. Her GPA is 3.72 and she has been President of the Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen Society, Treasurer of Block & Bridle Group, a teaching assistant in Equine Management and did an internship at Firethorn Equine in Ohio. She is the daughter of FSBOA Director and horse owner, George Birkhold. Amber Kelley is from North Lauderdale and is a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University and is majoring in Multi Media Journalism Studies. She has a GPA of 3.789 and was nominated for both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Society for Collegiate Leadership. She is also secretary of the Kiwanis Circle K International local chapter and is involved with a Mentoring Project. Paul Levia hails from Pembroke Pines and is a junior at Florida International University and is majoring in Broadcast Media. He has a GPA of 3.875 and is an AP Scholar, National Honor Society since 2014 and is a volunteer at the Broward Public Library. By Steve Wolf, for the Florida USHWA Chapter  

Pompano Beach, FL - Harness racing gets its name from the fast-paced beating of hooves and crowds cheering as the thundering hooves pound towards the finish line. Although the talented horses steal the spotlight, accentuated by the roar of the fans, the real action is orchestrated behind the scenes, beginning in the early hours of the morning before the first beam of sunlight and often ending in the deepest and darkest of the night. At the center of it all, the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) holds the key that unlocks the magic that hits the racetrack every race night. They represent and assist the horsemen and women who work at the track including owners, breeders, trainers, drivers and grooms.   And currently running the office at Pompano Park is a New York bred woman raised into the harness racing sport, Rosie Huff. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Rosie was one of four children in the Villante family.  At the age of 10, her father, Vincenzo Villante, moved to Englishtown, New Jersey in hopes of finding more work as a bricklayer. Buying seven acres of land, Vincenzo built a home next door to his brother, Joe Villante, who, of course, was Rosie’s uncle. At that time, Joe owned riding horses; however, he later transitioned into owning Standardbreds. Pete Villante, another uncle, had owned and been racing Standardbreds. Already riding horses for most of her time in New Jersey, Rosie would begin to learn the basics of the Standardbred racing industry from her uncles.  Her teenage years marked the era she would begin training and jogging horses, signifying the years of her first arrival into the business. Raised in New Jersey, Rosie migrated south to Florida in the summer of 1982 and worked as a caretaker for her uncle Pete at the South Florida Trotting Center and, on occasion, traveling up to the Meadowlands Racetrack on occasion until August, 1983. At this time, Rosie moved to Freehold Raceway to work for her uncle Joe before subsequently becoming a “free-lance” caretaker for many top Stables, including the Caraluzzi-McNichol Stable and Ray Vaughn-Thomas.  From 1991 to 1994, Rosie worked for the legendary Stanley Dancer, working with many world class stakes horses, including Lifelong Victory, At The Top and Donerail. While working for Stanley Dancer, Rosie found a new love while on her way to the track for a jogging session—and it was not a horse! From the seat of the jog cart, Rosie spotted a fresh face on the racetrack and, as she said, “it was love at first site” The mystery man was identified as Jake Huff, who shipped in the night before and worked for Gordon Norris. Day after day, Rosie worked in the barn stabled close to Jake, but she didn’t have the nerve to strike up a conversation. One night, though, March 7, 1993, she worked up the courage to have a talk with him. That initial talk turned into a love affair which blossomed over the years as Rosie and Jake moved to Michigan, taking positions in the Gordon Norris Stable. Three years from that first March 7 encounter, Rosie and Jake were married in Maui, Hawaii in 1996. Soon after, the Huff family began to grow with first-born, Ronnie, entering the world on February 1, 2000 and brother Ryan joining the family on July 11, 2001.  After working for Gordon Norris for two years, Rosie had to stop working with the horses due to her health. “It practically killed me to stop working with the horses, but it was a necessity for health reasons,” she lamented.  But, finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel as Rosie discovered a position available at the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) in 1997.  Rosie approached Jay Sears, the president of the association, to conduct a plan of action to work part time in the FSBOA on a trial basis. With the help of Jim Ripoll showing her the ropes, she was able to continue the job full time.   She then worked full time until 2000, when she took a leave of absence to assume her new role as a mother. In 2004, Rosie resumed working for the FSBOA under Jane Murray and, to this very day, she is seen as a critical part of the success of that organization. When asked about her daily routine at the office, Rosie related that it's anything but a “routine.” “Every day is different for me,” Rosie said. “The only thing that is constant is the time the alarm clock goes off -- 5:15 a.m. “After getting the kids (Ronnie and Ryan) off to start their day, I am usually at the office by 7:30. “There is never a day when there aren't challenges, whether it be helping our horsemen and women with the insurance programs the FSBOA administers or helping with the draw, if necessary, or taking care of the stakes program and our breeding program or making sure that all Florida Bred horses are eligible to our stakes program. “If there is a special race going on, I have to be at the races to present blankets and make presentations---it's never ending, but it's a great never ending!” “It can be very challenging at times, however, it's a challenge that I love.” Of course, that is only a fraction of Rosie's daily routine. “Sometimes, it seems like there is not enough hours in the day when it comes to balancing work and the family. “My kids are very active in sports---a lot of sports---from wrestling and football to bowling and baseball. “There is practice to take care of, games to attend and, of course, mouths to feed and, as a parent, making sure that homework is done. “I'm lucky to get four or five hours of rest a day.” Rosie has been honored along the way for her great service to the horsemen and women in Florida. In 2008 she was awarded the Frances Dodge Van Lennap award and in 2016 was made an honorary member (only the second one ever in 26 years) of the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Rosie and Jake Huff continue to be prominent players in harness racing with Jake one of the most respected trainers in the sport and Rosie participating in the training of the Florida youngsters when not administering the FSBOA’s Stakes programs and insurance coverage for the horsemen and women in Florida. As Hall of Fame journalist John Berry says, “Rosie is one of those rare individuals that can play ‘every instrument in the orchestra’ when it comes to the sport of harness racing. She is indeed, irreplaceable!” By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink   This is Jessica Hallett's first professional story as she is a new correspondent for Harnesslink. Jessica, 17, lives in Margate, Florida and is currently a senior at Deerfield Beach High School. She is the daughter of Pompano Park owner/trainers John and Michelle Hallett.

Pompano Beach, FL --- Steven Wolf, president of the Florida chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association (USHWA), has announced that the chapter is now accepting applications for its 2017 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. Preference for these scholarship awards will be given to a student majoring in journalism, communications or veterinarian related studies. On average, there have been up to $3,000 awarded annually in scholarship money. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Applicants must have demonstrated scholastic ability with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 and show evidence of community service and leadership through certificates, awards and/or letters of commendation. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than May 29, 2017, for consideration of a June 2017 award. Recipients may reapply annually for a maximum of four years. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33068. For more information or to receive an application on the internet, contact via e-mail to Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net or Steven Wolf at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Pompano Beach, FL - More than 125 horsemen and women were in attendance Friday night at the 26th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Dinner held at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort & Spa in Pompano Beach. The highlight of the evening was the inductions into the Florida Hall of Fame. Entering were horsemen Mark Friedman and Dan Hennessey and horse's Rock On and Royel Millennium. Hosted by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, there were also special human awards given out for the 2016 season and presentations were also made to the Horse of the Year by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Florida Amateur Driving Club. Hall of Fame inductee Mark Friedman has been in harness racing for more than five decades as an owner, breeder, trainer and driver. His Polo Stables has had many top Florida-bred champions, none better than the top pacing mare, Bling, p,1:51, a career winner of more than $610,000. "To have worked most of my life in harness racing and now receiving this award is a highlight of my career and I thank everyone who has helped me along the way," Friedman said. Hall of Fame inductee Dan Hennessey, who is nearing his 1,000th career training win and $6 million in earnings, closed out 2016 with a UDRS of .420 despite nearly going blind two years ago. His brother, Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey, summed it up well in his introduction. "I don't think we ever could have had our stable going steady for forty plus years if not for Dan," Hennessey said. He is the one who always held the fort down between Pompano and Saratoga year after year. Many of you don't know that he holds a world record as the only trainer ever to use same driver on nearly every single horse he ever trained, and that was me!" Taking home the most hardware on the evening and it was a good thing she came to the dinner with her pickup truck, was Owner-Breeder Laurie Poulin. In addition to her horse, Royel Millennium, being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Laurie was named Breeder of the Year for the second straight time and also received the Dana Irving Award for the second straight year. Poulin also received four Horse of the Year Crystal Awards for her stables Prairie Panther, Prairie Sweetheart, Prairie Jaguar and Prairie Fortune. All of the horses were bred by Poulin and co-owned and trained by Mike Deters. FLORIDA USHWA AWARD WINNERS Hall of Fame - Mark Friedman Hall of Fame - Dan Hennessey Hall of Fame - Rock On Hall of Fame - Royel Millennium Delvin Miller Award - Fred Morosini Dana Iriving Award - Laurie Poulin R.D. Ricketts Award - Kevin Kelly Stanley Dancer Award - Sergio Corona Lifetime Achievement - Leon Cable Dan Gawlas Award - John Berry Bill Popfinger Award - Mike Deters & Maggie Audley France Dodge Van Lennep Award - Marianne Audley Allen J. Finkelson Award - Gabe Prewitt Caretaker of the Year - Gary McQuaid FSBOA CRYSTAL AWARD WINNERS 2YO Pacing Filly - Gold Star Aurora 2YO Pacing Colt - Prairie Panther 2YO Trotting Filly - Atlantic Crest 2YO Trotting Colt - I'm Done 3YO Pacing Filly - Prairie Sweetheart 3YO Pacing Colt - R Chism 3YO Trotting Filly - Gold Star Briana 3YO Trotting Colt - Rexamillion Older Pacing Mare - Goldstar Rockette Older Pacing Horse - Prairie Jaguar Older Trotting Mare - Selena Older Trotting Horse - Prairie Fortune 2016 Breeder of the Year - Laurie Poulin 2016 Florida Amateur Driver of the Year - Tony Dinges From the Florida Chapter of USHWA  

Pompano Beach, FL (February 18, 2017) - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is pleased to announce its annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. Scheduled for March 10, 2017 at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Resort and Spa (1200 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062), this event honors the Standardbred horsemen and horses that created memorable performances in 2016 and during their careers. Hall of Fame inductees includes trainers Dan Hennessey and Mark Friedman, and the stalwart Florida-based pacing stallions Royel Millennium and Rock On. The event also includes presentation of the FADC Amateur Driver of the Year and the FSBOA Crystal Awards. Proceeds provide for continuation of the promotion of harness racing, plus funding of the annual Allen J. Finkelson scholarship awards and the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. Join us for the celebration and networking on March 10 at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $80.00 each and tables of ten are available. Price includes dinner, one hour open bar and cocktail hour. To purchase tickets and to place congratulatory advertisements in the Hall of Fame Awards Program, contact Rosie Huff at the FSBOA office (954-972-5400) or Steven Wolf (954-654-3757). Email rosie@floridaharnessracing.com or stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. by Thomas H. Hicks, for the Florida Chapter USHWA    

The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Racing Writers Association has announced the recipients of its 2016 Allen J. Finkelson Scholarship Awards. The scholarship fund was established in memory of Hall of Famer Allen J. Finkelson, the former Vice President of Public Relations at Pompano Park, and longtime Chairman of the Board of the national USHWA organization. The 2016 recipients include Sarah Birkhold of Newberry, FL, a senior at the University of Florida, majoring in animal sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sarah is a member of the Golden Key honor society. She is actively involved in the equine industry, training Standardbreds, participating in rodeo events and involved in equine reproduction. Rebecca Soodeen of West Palm Beach, FL is also a scholarship recipient. This senior and honor student at the University of Florida (major in applies physiology and kinesiology) has been involved in equine related activities such as being a research assistant for the UF Wildlife Department and volunteer assistant for Bit by Bit Medical Therapeutic Riding. Both scholarship recipients plan to begin post-graduate studies. We are delighted to assist Sarah and Rebecca with financing their academic pursuits and wish them continued success. For 2017 the Finkelson Scholarship program continues with preference for the scholarship awards given to students majoring in journalism, communications or equine related studies. Applicants must be a resident of the state of Florida and currently accepted or enrolled in a fully accredited college or university in the United States. Criteria for selection include community service, academic achievement, and leadership. Fully completed applications must be postmarked no later than July 15, 2017. Applications should be submitted/addressed to the Florida Chapter USHWA, Scholarship Committee, 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33068. For more information or to receive an application for 2017 on the internet, contact Steven Wolf via e-mail at stevenwolf1956@gmail.com or Thomas H. Hicks at renparlc@gate.net. By Thomas H. Hicks for the Florida USHWA Chapter  

Pompano Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the States Harness Writers Associations president, Steven Wolf, has announced the Hall of Fame inductees and the annual award winners for the 2016 harness racing season. They will be honored at the association's 26th annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner on Friday, March 10, 2017 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa in Pompano Beach. Elected to the chapter's Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are veteran breeder, owner and trainer, Mark Freidman of Delray Beach and trainer Dan Hennessey of Coconut Creek, the older brother of Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey. Also, being inducted into the Hall of Fame are two stallions whose foals have been dominant in the Florida Sire Stakes Program, pacing stallion Rock On and the pacing stallion and racehorse, Royel Millennium. Rock On is owned by Gold Star Farm, Marianne, Maggie and the late Tom Audley of Bell. Royel Millennium is owned by Laurie Poulin of Okeechobee. For the first time in the history of the Florida Chapter of USHWA, there was a tie for the William Popfinger Award for developing outstanding juvenile pacers, and this year the organization will present awards to trainers Mike Deters of Coconut Creek and to Maggie Audley of Bell. For Deters it is the third straight year he has won this award. The Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of young trotters, goes to trainer/driver Sergio Corona of Delray Beach. Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport, goes to longtime owner/breeder and popular horseman, Fred Morosini. The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport, goes to Marianne Audley of Gold Star Farm. The winner of the Allen J. Finkelson Award recognizes an individual in the sport who has contributed to the positive promotion of the Standardbred industry and being honored this year is Gabe Prewitt, Director of Racing at the Isle Pompano Park. The R.D. Ricketts Award, presented to an owner whose contributions to Florida racing have been outstanding, goes to Kevin Kelly of Tamarac. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2016 goes for the second straight year to Laurie Poulin. The Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award, presented annually to an outstanding individual who has always contributed positively to the sport, goes to Hall of Fame Communicator John Berry of Pompano Beach. The Florida USHWA Chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to longtime Pompano Park blacksmith and amateur driver Leon Cable. The annual Caretaker of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding individual who, over his or her career, has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year's winner is Gary McQuaid of Pompano Beach, who has worked many years for trainers Jay & Kim Sears. In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter's awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2 and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2016 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards. Tickets are $80 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972-5400, rosie@floridaharnessracing.com, or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. From the Florida Chapter USHWA  

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