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MANALAPAN, NJ - July 2, 2014 - Rob Pennington, an award-winning caretaker and activist for Standardbred causes, has been named assistant racing secretary and program director for Freehold Raceway, effective August 2014. The Freehold meet begins on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Pennington, a 34-year-old Ohio-native who currently lives in Allentown, NJ, was honored as the Harness Tracks of America Caretaker of the Year in 2013 and has been a groom for the Noel Daley Stable since 2009. "I am very excited [about this new challenge]," said Pennington. "I wanted to stay in the standardbred business yet put myself out there in a position where I could better myself and the business. I am extremely passionate about the standardbred industry as well as the breed." Pennington is on the board of directors of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization [SPHO] and has volunteered his services to the Open Space Pace Committee, the Riding Under Saddle program and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. "I've worked with Rob on several committees, and I know how passionate he is about the industry," said Karen Fagliarone, Freehold's director of racing and racing secretary. "Although he has never had any race office experience, he is a quick learner. Aside from assisting in the race office in the mornings, he will be the attendant in the winner's circle and will expand our social media sites in the afternoons." Peter J. Iovino, the former assistant racing secretary at Freehold, accepted a position as racing secretary for Saratoga Harness. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

The following official statement is from Paul Fontaine, president of Harness Tracks of America   Harness Tracks of America (HTA) is embarking on a new chapter in its storied history. Our executive committee and directors have decided to repatriate our office to East of the Mississippi, bringing our focus and manpower closer to our membership, geographically. We will be closing our offices in Tucson, Ariz., and henceforth will be operating at Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio.   Our executive vice president, Paul Estok, is anchored in Tucson and will regrettably be leaving his executive position at HTA due to our relocation.   This is an exciting time at HTA as our membership is close to an all-time high and our services continue to be sought by our tracks and the entire Standardbred industry. We will continue to be available to provide the resources to which our industry has become accustomed and we look forward to the new experiences and challenges occasioned by our move to Northfield.   HTA wishes to thank Mr. Estok for his 20 years of service during which he served as Stan Bergstein's right hand and then continued on as the steward of our association after Stan's passing. His work, dedication and loyalty to HTA has always been exemplary and well appreciated by our members.   We invite not only our track members but all who toil in our Standardbred vineyard to partake of our new experience and share with us the excitement and enthusiasm generated by our relocation.   Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions, comment or information or you may reach out to Brock Milstein, Northfield Park, Northfield Road, Northfield, Ohio , phone #330-467-4101 or bmilstein@northfieldpark.com. You may also contact Tom Aldrich at taldrich@northfieldpark.com for any HTA matters or HTA scholarship questions.  

Rob Pennington, a native of Marion, Ohio, has been named 2013 Groom of the Year in the annual competition sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms and Harness Tracks of America. Now a resident of Allentown, New Jersey, Pennington works full time for trainer Noel Daley, caring for five horses, most owned by William B. Weaver III’s Valley High Stable. In nominating Pennington, Christie DeBernardis, a Thoroughbred Daily News employee, wrote “this year Rob went above and beyond the normal groom’s job when Mr. Weaver had an accident in Lexington and had to undergo surgery and rehabilitation. Weaver’s band of broodmares needed to be booked and bred to stallions, so Rob made countless trips to the rehabilitation center to discuss breeding possibilities and strategies. Rob filled out the breeding contracts and mailed them to the breeding farms and would bring them back to Mr. Weaver to be signed when they were returned.” DeBernardis went on to describe other ways Pennington has made his vocation his avocation. As well as grooming full time Pennington stays busy in a number of other capacities within the Standardbred world. He is a board member for the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey, a new board member of the Open Space Pace Committee, an active volunteer for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, as well as an active member of the group starting a Racing Under Saddle Association. In addition to the horses he cares for in the Daley stable, Pennington owns two retired Standardbreds, Larry and Sadie. He shows the horses in state and national competitions and has won awards with each of them. Of Pennington, DeBernardis says, “Rob will tell you the day his life becomes a job he won’t want to do it anymore, so for now he is enjoying life doing what he loves, caring for what I would say are the seven luckiest Standardbreds in the world, the two he owns and the five he cares for at work.” From Harness Tracks of America

The Harness Tracks of America College Scholarship Fund is offering three, $5,000 scholarships for post-secondary education to students actively involved in the sport of harness racing or to the children of harness racing professionals (living or deceased), including licensed drivers, trainers, caretakers or management officials. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, financial need and active harness racing involvement. Applications are available now by contacting Harness Tracks of America via phone at 520-529-2525 or e-mail at delight@harnesstracks.com. The deadline for returning all application materials is June 20, 2013. Applications can also be completed/downloaded from the following Web site: www.harnesstracks.com/scholarships.htm The scholarship program, begun in 1973, has made 202 grants to 135 worthy students involved in harness racing since its inception with the scholarships totaling $762,950. HTA 2014-2015 Scholarship Application>>2014-2015 Scholarship Application  

LEBANON, OH - Hall of Famer Dave Palone, the winningest driver in the storied history of North American harness racing and the reigning Harness Tracks of America 'Driver of the Year', has accepted an invitation to compete on the inaugural three racing programs at the brand new Miami Valley Raceway in southeast Ohio. He will join Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Dan Noble, also recent national dash champions, and a host of other talented reinsmen during the gala Grand Opening Weekend February 7 through 9. Palone has won over 16,000 races and horses he has driven have earned over $116,000,000 in purses in his illustrious career. The 51-year-old driver has won over 500 races every year since 1992 and has won the driving title at The Meadows racetrack in Pennsylvania an astounding 24 consecutive years. He has won the national annual dash championship four times, including 2012 with 674 victories. Among his most notable accomplishments are winning The Little Brown Jug, The Adios, a Breeders Crown, The Jugette and the Kentucky Filly Futurity. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York in 2010. Wrenn, who has only been driving for six years, burst onto the national scene in 2013 by winning the national dash crown with 714 triumphs. The talented 27-year-old didn't start taking the sport seriously until 2011 when he won 150 races, followed by a 437 win season in 2012. A nephew of Peter Wrenn, who ranks 13th on the all-time wins list with over 9,000 trips to the winner's circle, Ronnie was Northfield Park's leading driver in 2013 and raced at over a dozen other venues on his way to the national laurels. He is currently recuperating from wrist surgery he had January 6 to fix an old football injury, but reports the cast has been removed and he will return to the racing wars before the calendar turns to February. Noble, the son of Ohio Harness Hall of Famer Sam "Chip" Noble III-who recently passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer, won the national dash championship in 2011 when he recorded 773 wins. He has followed that record-setting performance with 537 tallies in 2012 and 421 more in 2013. At age 30, Dan has already amassed better than 3,500 victories and has averaged over 300 annually over the last 11 years. Raised in nearby Xenia, Noble has fashioned a Universal Driver Rating System (UDRS) average over .320 in each of the last five years. Owners of the horses he has driven have been rewarded with over $14 million in purse money to date. The three most recent national dash champions will sign autographs for patrons at the new Miami Valley Raceway from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday nights, February 8 and 9. Beginning February 7 racing will be conducted every Wednesday through Sunday night until May 4. The first race each night will be scheduled for 6:30 pm. Submitted by Miami Valley Racing  

Tucson, AZ --- Dave Palone, the 51-year-old Waynesburg, Pa., native is Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year, the formidable achievement that remains the most difficult award in the sport of harness racing to win. It is the seventh time Palone has won the title! The evidence of the accomplishment is clear in the fact that of the 3,156 drivers who competed for purses in North America in 2013, only six were able to finish in the top 10 in money won, races won and UDR in-the-money percentage. Under the HTA formula, points are awarded on the basis of 25 for first down to one for 25th in the standings in money won, races won, and UDR, with a 25-point bonus for finishing in the top 25 in all three categories. Palone’s 2013 Driver of the Year trophy will be presented as part of the United States Harness Writers' 2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet Night of Champions, on Sunday (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs in Dover, Dela. Here are the complete standings for 2013 for the top 25 drivers in North America: Drivers--Wins (Rank)--Earnings (Rank)--UDR (Rank)--Bonus--Total Points Dave Palone--645 (2T)--$6,128,869 (12)--.385 (3)--25--85.5 Yannick Gingras--537 (8T)--$14,231,476 (2)--.367 (8)--25--84.5 Tim Tetrick--582 (5)--$16,164,822 (1)--.320 (13T)--25--83.5 Brian Sears--507 (12T)--$13,737,691 (3)--.368 (7)--25--80.5 George Napolitano Jr.--551 (7)--$6,068,813 (14)--.315 (18)--25--64 George Brennan--450 (14)--$9,134,699 (7)--.311 (20T)--25--61.5 Corey Callahan--619 (4)--$9,708,323 (6)--.281--(unranked)--42 Ronnie Wrenn Jr.--714 (1)--$2,480,373 (unranked)--.361 (10)--41 Trevor Henry--529 (10)--$2,458,956 (unranked)--.392 (2)--40 Ron Pierce--537 (8T)--$11,550,300 (5)--.281 (unranked)--38.5 Michael Oosting--511 (11)--$3,535,283 (unranked)--.373 (5)--36 Jim Morrill, Jr.--343 (unranked)--$6,116,760 (13)--.383 (4)--35 Bruce Aldrich, Jr.--645 (2T)--$2,764,419 (unranked)--.316 (17)--32.5 Matt Kakaley--446 (15)--$7,527,717 (8)--.287 (unranked)--29 David Miller--388 (22)--$12,230,914 (4)--.268 (unranked)--26 Winston Campbell--321 (unranked)--$835,983 (unranked)--.416 (1)--25 Aaron Merriman--568 (6)--$4,165,510 (24)--.292 (unranked)--22 Bruce Ranger--254 (unranked)--$1,216,733 (unranked)--.369 (6)--20 Jason Bartlett--362 (24)--$7,136,699 (9)--.260 (unranked)--19 Jim Marohn Jr.--390 (21)--$1,762,040 (unranked)--.331 (12)--19 Jody Jamieson--352 (unranked)--$6,300,192 (11)--.307 (23T)--17 Andy Miller--354 (25)--$7,122,058 (10)--.254 (unranked)--17 Luke Plano--262 (unranked)--$765,014 (unranked)--.363 (9)--17 Heath Campbell--202 (unranked)--$817,779 (unranked)--.349 (11)--15 Chris Page--428 (16)--$2,478,072 (unranked)--.308 (22)--14

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (January 13, 2014) - The New York State Gaming Commission and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine today announced the appointment of Scott E. Palmer, VMD as the state's Equine Medical Director after conducting an international search.   Dr. Palmer, a renowned veterinarian from New Jersey with more than three decades of experience in providing medical care for horses, will oversee the health and safety of horses at all New York State Thoroughbred and Standardbred racetracks. He was selected from an international pool of finalists by a blue-ribbon search committee of veterinarians and horse industry professionals.   Dr. Palmer will be responsible for all aspects of equine health, safety, and welfare at New York racetracks and will advise the Commission on equine medication policies as well as the safety and condition of racetrack facilities and surfaces. He will supervise all on-track regulatory veterinarians as well as the New York State Equine Drug Testing Program laboratory. He will oversee equine testing procedures, ensure compliance with regulatory veterinary protocols, investigate incidents and monitor the Commission's necropsy program.   As New York's Equine Medical Director, Dr. Palmer will also serve as an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where he will be responsible for developing and coordinating continuing education programs for veterinarians and trainers related to medication and equine injuries. He will coordinate research on equine sports medicine topics and collaborate with faculty on epidemiological studies to analyze equine safety issues.   Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, "Dr. Palmer brings a wealth of experience and expertise that will benefit the entire horse racing community. His skills and knowledge are crucial to the safety and well-being of New York's world-class race horses and I am proud to welcome him to the Gaming Commission.   Robert Williams, Acting Executive Director of the Gaming Commission, said, "We are honored to have Dr. Palmer on the team. His decades of work creating critical health and safety improvements in horse racing are well recognized and make him the ideal candidate to bring important equine safety measures to life at all New York State tracks. Dr. Palmer is an outstanding veterinarian and a consummate professional and we look forward to working with him."   Michael I. Kotlikoff, Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, said, "I congratulate the Governor on his commitment to improving the health and safety, as well as the economic vitality, of New York racing. This appointment is an important step in a process that began with the Governor's mandate to reorganize the regulatory agency overseeing horse racing, restructure NYRA, and commission a task force to improve equine safety. The designation of a highly experienced veterinarian with broad authority to oversee all aspects of racing regulations, testing, and compliance, as well as research and education, will ensure the integrity of, and public confidence in, New York State's premier racing programs."   Dr. Palmer said, "I am honored to join the Commission and to help bolster New York's ongoing commitment to equine health and safety. Having a sole veterinary point of contact overseeing all New York race horses and having access to Cornell's array of resources is simply smart policy. I am eager to get to work, and I look forward to working with our partners to create as safe an environment as possible for our horses."   Since his graduation from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine in 1976, Dr. Palmer has worked as a staff clinician at the New Jersey Equine Clinic, serving as the Hospital Director since 1997. He is a two-time recipient of the New Jersey Equine Practitioners Veterinarian of the Year award, as well as a recipient of the AAEP President's Award in 2009 and the AAEP Distinguished Service Award in 2010.   Dr. Palmer is board certified in equine practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He has authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications and is a featured speaker at veterinary conferences world-wide. He is a member of several professional organizations and has held leadership positions in many, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, and the New Jersey Association of Equine Practitioners.   Dr. Palmer chaired the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety, which was formed at the request of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2012 in the wake of 21 equine fatalities during Aqueduct's 2011-12 Winter Meet. The New York State Equine Medical Director position was established last year as a key recommendation of that Task Force.   Dr. Palmer serves as a Board Member for the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance Advisory Board and the Thoroughbred Charities of America. He previously served on the ARCI Special Task Force on Medication and chaired the International Summit on Race Day Medication as well as the Ad-Hoc RMTC Committee on Race Day Security and served two terms as member of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Advisory Committee.   Jerry Bailey, a Hall of Fame jockey, television analyst for ESPN and NBC, and member of the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety, said, "Scott Palmer is an outstanding selection to lead New York's equine medical program. As he proved during his work on the Task Force, he has the knowledge and foresight to delve deep into complex issues surrounding equine health and come up with sound, effective solutions, as well an unparalleled work ethic. I am very happy for Scott and congratulate him as he embarks on this latest endeavor."   Alan Foreman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and a member of the New York Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety, said, "I had the good fortune of seeing Scott's excellent work in person while on the Task Force on Racehorse Health and Safety. He's the ideal candidate to serve as Equine Medical Director. His knowledge of the horse will be an absolute asset for New York State's robust horse racing industry. I congratulate Scott on the position and applaud Governor Cuomo for appointing such a seasoned professional."   James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club, said, "The appointment of an Equine Medical Director clearly reinforces New York State's commitment to horse health and safety. Dr. Palmer is highly regarded throughout the Thoroughbred industry and we look forward to working with him, and with the New York State Gaming Commission, to further enhance the safety of our athletes."   Chris Kay, CEO and president of The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), said, "Scott brings outstanding credentials to this important new position, and he shares our steadfast commitment to equine safety. Our newly hired senior vice president of racing operations, Martin Panza, also brings a wealth of experience to his new role, and he and Scott will work very closely together on behalf of all thoroughbreds at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course."   Paul J. Estok, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Harness Tracks of America, said, "The appointment of Dr. Scott Palmer as New York racing's first Equine Medical Director is good news for racing. Dr. Palmer's impeccable credentials as a practitioner combined with his work as an advocate for better drug testing, as a leader dealing with retired and "unwanted" racehorses, and his understanding of racing's varied stakeholder interests make him the ideal candidate to lead New York's effort to lead North America in health, safety, and integrity initiatives for the equine athlete."   Lawrence R. Bramlage, DVM, partner and equine orthopedic surgeon at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital located in Lexington, Ky., said, "Dr. Palmer is a widely respected and talented veterinarian who has broad experience on the backside, as a surgeon, and as a member of numerous committees and task forces on racing. He will be a real champion for New York's racehorses. His record as a racing advocate and in equine practice speaks for itself and I congratulate him on his new position, as well as New York State for bringing him on board."   The Equine Medical Director Search Committee consisted of: · Michael I. Kotlikoff, VMD, PhD. (chair) - Dean, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine · Robert Williams - Acting Executive Director, Gaming Commission · Mary Scollay-Ward, DVM - Equine Medical Director, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission · Lisa A. Fortier, DVM, PhD. - Associate Professor, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine · Thomas J. Divers, DVM - Steffen Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine · Jerry Bilinski, DVM - Proprietor, Waldorf Farms · Terry Finley - Founder and President, West Point Thoroughbreds · Kenny McPeek - Trainer, McPeek Racing · Bennett Liebman - Deputy Secretary for Gaming and Racing, NYS Executive Chamber · Anthony Bonomo - NYRA Reorganization Board member · C. Steven Duncker - NYRA Reorganization Board member   by Lee Park for New York State Gaming Commission    

Saturday (Dec. 14), the "Fourth Annual Horsemen's Christmas Drive" will be at the Dover Mall from 7 a.m. until closing for a fund raiser. People are urged to shop for those in need of items to enable local families and children to have a Merry Christmas. Last year, under the direction of trainer Jane Davis, 77 local families and more than 220 children were able to have a Christmas to remember. Already, $1,000.00 has been given to the Food Bank of Delaware. All donations are Tax Deductible. Make checks out to 'Horsemen's Welfare Trust Fund,' and present at the DSOA Paddock Office or DSOA Office, 830 Walker Square, Dover DE 19904 or contact Janet Davis at 302-632-7915. ------------------------------------------ Last Thursday (Dec. 5) Dover Downs horsemen contributed around $7,500, "In Support of Anthony Coletta." After a horrendous racing accident at Harrah's Philadelphia on Nov. 10, Colette has been in Hospital University of Pennsylvania where he is still in a coma but breathing on his own. Local horsemen are among the many throughout the country supporting Coletta, A "Stay Strong A. Coletta,"fund set up by his close friend, trainer Anthony DeFrancesco will aid Coletta and his family. To contribute, donations can be sent to: 'Stay Strong A. Coletta', c/o TD Bank, 2653 S. 5th St., Phila. PA 19148. Trainers Janet Davis and Crissy Bier are selling wrist bands and ribbons in the Dover Downs paddock to support the Co0letta fund. ------------------------------ The traditional Delaware Horsemen's Christmas Break begins on Friday, Dec. 20 and continues the holiday week through Dec. 28. Live racing will return on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. Dover Downs will also be dark on Tuesday, Dec. 31, New Year's Eve. There will be racing on Jan. 1, New Year's Day. ------------------------------------------ Corey Callahan has already come up with several 'big win' days with seven and six wins cards. On Wednesday (Dec. 11), Callahan won five races to bring his current meet-leading total to 70 wins. He now has 71 winning drives. Allan Davis is runner-up with 37. Ross Wolfenden ha 33 wins, Vic Kirby has 32 and George Dennis has 27 wins, completing the top five winning drivers standings. ------------------------------------ Wayne Givens holds the top spot in the trainer standings with 22 wins. Dylan Davis is now second with 18 wins. Eric Ell is third with 14, Joe Hundertpfund and Les Givens are tied for fourth with 14 winners.. ----------------------------------- Time is running out for nominations for 2013 'Groom of the Year' award, sponsored by Harness Tracks of America (HTA) and Hanover Shoe Farms. Caretakers at Dover Downs have been the last three Grooms of the Year; Tom Cugel in 2010, Greg Haverstick in 2011 and last year, Florzell 'Georgie Boy' Daniels. Dec. 31 is deadline to nominate a groom. Send a nomination to HTA, 12025 E. Dry Gulch Pl., Tucson AZ 85749; by fax to 520-529-3235; or by email to delight@harnesstracks.com. Information must contain name, address, telephone number and jacket size (S, M, L, XL, XXL) for the nominated groom, along with name and address of the nominator. --------------------------------------- Heather Vitale will again MC the annual DSOA Awards-Dinner. The big night for Delaware men and women horsemen will be held at Modern Maturity, on Route 8, in Dover on Friday, Jan. 10. Tickets are now available. Contact Sal DiMario, DSOA executive director. Already, Friday (Dec. 5) was a banner night for Delaware harness horsemen and families attending the 17th annual Delaware Standard bred Owners Association (DSOA) Christmas Party by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 Groom of the Year Award. The award, sponsored annually by Harness Tracks of America and Hanover Shoe Farms, recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport, the grooms who maintain the health and welfare of the sport's horses. All that is needed to nominate a groom for the 32nd annual Groom of the Year Award is a letter from an individual or group to Harness Tracks of America detailing the skills and special qualities of the groom. The winning groom receives an oil painting of himself or herself with the horse of their choice. All individuals nominated for the award receive a certificate of excellence and the first 50 grooms nominated also receive an embroidered jacket as a groom of the year nominee. The Groom of the Year Award was founded in 1982 after Delvin Miller, addressing attendees at the annual HTA meeting as its Messenger Award winner for that year, noted the sport gave no recognition to its grooms, its unsung stars. The 2012 Groom of the Year was Florzell "Georgie Boy" Daniels. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31. All letters detailing why candidates are deserving of the honor as groom of the year should be mailed to Harness Tracks of America, 12025 E. Dry Gulch Pl., Tucson, AZ, 85749. Nominations also may be submitted by fax to 520-529-3235 or by e-mail to delight@harnesstracks.com. Letters must contain the name, address, telephone number and jacket size (S, M, L, XL, XXL) for the nominated groom, along with the name, address and telephone number of the nominator. Submitted by Harness Tracks of America  

The Conger family is finding success in harness racing both on and off the racetrack.  Hudson, Ohio’s Jeff Conger trained Colby D to victory in the ninth race on Wednesday (October 30) at Northfield Park, a mere two days after the Harness Tracks of America announced that his daughter, Ashley Conger, is one of three recipients of a $5,000 scholarship. Wednesday’s triumph marks the fifth win this year for Colby D (Emile Angus-Royal Two-Royal Troubador), who now has 13 career victories and earnings of $63,563.  Ashley Conger, 17, is one of three recipients of the Harness Tracks of America’s (HTA) annual scholarship program.  She is a 2013 graduate of Hudson High School with a 3.8 GPA.  Ashley is a third-generation horsewoman with ties to harness racing that began with her grandfather, Joe Urban.  As an owner, trainer and driver, Joe Urban has been involved with racing horses for 45 years.  He campaigned horses such as Anastasia Brat and Anastasia AJ. Ashley’s parents Jeff and Linda Conger have been involved with racing as owners, trainers and have both driven horses.  Jeff campaigned Northfield Park Wall of Fame inductee Berlin Flyer.  He has 650 driving wins with purses totaling nearly $3,000,000 and Linda has 153 driving victories to her credit.   Ashley received her groom’s license in 2012 and has spent a great deal of her free time working with her family in the standardbred industry.  She has also been active in 4-H, holding officer positions within two clubs; both as secretary and president.  Ashley is currently a freshman at the University of Findlay where she plans to study Pharmacology.  She was one of 25 applicants this year according to Delight Craddock, administrator of the HTA scholarship program. 2013 marks the 40th year that the HTA has granted scholarships and have given 199 scholarships to 138 different individuals, for a total of $747,950. Ayers Ratliff

Three college students with high marks, high hopes and high ideals have been named winners of Harness Tracks of America’s 2013 college scholarships. Each recipient has harness racing family connections and each receives a $5,000 check toward their college education. Each of the winners has worked with harness horses and in harness racing. The 2013 winners are: CHELSEA FAHY, 22, Washington, Pennsylvania, daughter of William and Moira Fahy, harness racing owners, trainers and William is also a driver. A graduate of The University of Findlay, Fahy is now in her first year at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Fahy is a third-generation horsewoman who, along with her parents, has a successful stable of horses. She was active in the Harness Racing Youth League at the Meadows and worked as a veterinary assistant for Canon Hill Equine Clinic. She credits her positive experiences growing up at the racetrack to her lifelong dream of becoming an equine veterinarian and owning her own practice. AMY NAROTSKY, 20, Willowbrook, Illinois, daughter of Eliot Narotsky, director of racing/racing secretary for Maywood Park and Balmoral Park, and Jean Narotsky, financial manager for Francenter.- Narotsky is a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying Animal Sciences with plans to attend veterinary school upon graduation. She chose the University of Illinois because of the opportunity to work with Dr. Kevin Kline and the Standardbred breeding program there. Narotksy’s great-grandfather was racing when Maywood Park first opened. After discovering harness racing at Buffalo Raceway while in high school, her father “Doc” went on to become the youngest racing secretary of the time. She has spent her life “hanging around” in the race office with her father and a few years ago was offered the opportunity to work at the Illinois State Fair in the race office and as the ringmaster an experience she likens to a dream come true. She has since moved her way up to being a placing judge and helping in the race office at Maywood and Balmoral. ASHLEY CONGER, 17, Hudson, Ohio, is the daughter of Jeff Conger, a Standardbred owner/trainer, and Linda Conger, a physical therapist. Conger is a third-generation horsewoman with ties to harness racing that began with her grandfather, horseman Joe Urban, over 45 years ago. Both her parents received their racing licenses as teenagers and she has followed by acquiring her groom’s license in 2012 at Northfield Park. Conger has spent a great deal of her free time working with her family in the Standarbred business as well as holding the officer positions within two 4-H clubs; one as presidnt and the other as secretary. With a cumulative high school GPA of 3.8, Conger is studying Pharmacy at The University of Findlay. The winners were selected by HTA’s Scholarship Committee, consisting of 10 HTA directors and racing industry executives from around the country, cochaired by former HTA president Jeffrey Smith and David Snyder of International Sound Corporation. Submitted by Harness Tracks of America

Columbus, OH --- LaVerne Hill, a former vice-president of Scioto Downs and the wife of the late Charlie Hill, who was founder and chairman of the board of the Columbus racetrack, died Wednesday (Oct. 16) morning. Both Charlie (1985) and LaVerne (2001) won Harness Tracks of America’s prestigious Messenger Award, the first husband and wife so honored. Mrs. Hill was also presented with the Sulky Sweeties Good Guy award, the U.S. Harness Writers’ Presidents Award, HTA’s Good Gal Award and the Social Service Award from the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association. In 2001, Mrs. Hill was the honoree for the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair’s Lady Pace. Three years later, she donated the funds needed to finance the construction of the Jugette Barn at Delaware, a memorial to her late husband. The new barn was the largest single gift ever made to the Delaware County Fair. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on Jugette Day in 2004 and the barn opened a year later. She was formerly a director of the Little Brown Jug Society and Harness Tracks of America. Mrs. Hill was active in many charities including the Buckeye Ranch and Recreation Unlimited. Arrangements will be posted when available. Reprinted with permission from www.ustrotting.com

Over the decades the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has held annual awards banquets to celebrate the accomplishments, both human and equine, at Monticello Raceway and Historic Track. Along with those accolades the scribes have also honored special individuals whose contributions to the sport have been exceptional. Tom Charters, president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown, will be the recipient of this year's Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA's Lifetime Achievement Award at the chapter's upcoming banquet in mid-November. If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Charters talk about his life you'll hear a soft-spoken, almost humble, account of a long and meritorious career in harness racing. As he expounds his voice never changes a decibel but the more he tells of the people, places and things he been involved with, the more you realize you are listening to one of the true superstars in the sport. Like most who are successful, Charters didn't start at the top. A native Buckeye from Springfield, Ohio, he began his distinguished career as a groom for Dick Hackett. In the spring of 1968, while studying print making and painting at Ohio's Miami University he took a summer job grooming horses for legendary Hall of Famer, Delvin Miller, a move that was to play a key role in his life. After a two-year stint in Vietnam, Charters returned to college this time at the University of Kentucky earning his degree in animal science in 1973. "When I returned from Nam I wrote Delvin a letter stating if I bring my own rub-rags and my dog could I have a summertime job again to which Miller replied 'yes but leave the dog home and I'll supply the towels'. That was the last job application I ever made," Charters said with a laugh. Working for Miller for four years Charters cared for the 1974 Yonkers Trot winner Spitfire Hanover and then toured Europe with Delmonica Hanover, one of the greatest trotting mares the sport has ever known. "My family was real proud," Charters said with tongue in cheek. "Here I am with a college degree working for $100 a week caring for horses!" In February, 1976, Charters was named assistant racing secretary at The Meadows, the western Pennsylvania track founded by Miller, and in January 1980 he became racing secretary there. In May, 1983, he left the Meadows on a long jaunt to China, where he became director of racing and racing secretary for the newly opened Macau Trotting Club. A year and a half later, again at Miller's suggestion, he returned stateside to become executive director of the Breeders Crown, a year-end, the year-end championship series formed under the aegis of the Hambletonian Society, Inc., one of the most prestigious and important organizations in the sport. After ten years of distinguished leadership of the Crowns, Charters was named executive director of administration for the Society, overseeing its administration of 130 races it owns or services across North America, including the sport's ultimate prize the Hambletonian. Four years later in 1998, he was named president and chief executive officer. During his outstanding career Charters has been honored in the Standardbred industry with the 1993 Bill Haughton "Good Guy" Award from the United States Harness Writers Association and the 1998 Meritorious Award which is presented annually by the Ohio Chapter of that group to an native Ohioan for a dedicated and significant career in the harness industry over the previous two decades. He also was recognized by the Hambletonian Society in 1994 with the F. L. Van Lennep Memorial Award, citing extraordinary and important contribution to the harness racing industry and in 1999 by Sports Eye, the former New York area harness paper, with their William Haughton Award. In 2001 he received Harness Tracks of America's first Distinguished Service Medallion and in 2004 he was the recipient of the Proximity Achievement Award. Charters is a director of the Hambletonian Society, Inc., as well as the Society's representative on the Racing Committee of the American Horse Council and the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium. He is a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum, a steward of the Grand Circuit and formerly president of the American Harness Racing Secretaries, and trustee of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation,. He is a member of: the U.S. Harness Writers Association (N.J. chapter); the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association, the Cranbury Lions Club and a parishioner of the Queenship of Mary R.C. Church in Plainsboro, N.J. He resides in Cranbury, N.J. with his wife, Dr. Susan Saravalli, Ph.D. Charters will receive his Lifetime Achievement Award when the scribes hold their 55th Annual Awards Banquet at the Fountains in Middletown NY on Sunday, November 17. For reservations, or to place a congratulatory ad in the chapter's charity journal, please contact banquet chairman John Manzi at 845.794.4100x455 or email him at jmanzi@empireresorts.com . by John Manzi for Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA  

Dean A. Hoffman will join the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) in January, 2014.  Hoffman will teach racing courses as well as support the Program’s marketing efforts and its yearly conference, the Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming. The announcement was made by RTIP director Doug Reed. Hoffman, long-time executive editor of the United States Trotting Associations’ Hoof Beats magazine, brings a wealth of talent to the Program and greatly increases the depth of knowledge of national and international harness racing to the faculty. “We are excited to have Dean join the team.  He adds a tremendous amount of experience and greatly expands the diversity of the faculty here,” said Reed. After earning a degree with honors in Journalism, Hoffman started his career with advertising and public relations agencies before redirecting his skills to the harness industry and joining the USTA in 1981. Since then, he has written five books on harness racing and breeding including the recently published Harness Racing in New Your State, A History of Trotters, Tracks and Horsemen.  Hoffman has won numerous awards for his contributions to racing including Harness Tracks of America’s Messenger Award, the highest honor given by the HTA, as well at their the Dan Patch Award for “immense contributions to the literature of harness racing.”  In 2006, he was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame’s Communicator’s Corner.    Submitted by RTIP

Chicago, IL --- Members of Harness Horsemen International today unanimously agreed to support the Sept. 25 decision by the Executive Committee of the United States Trotting Association to reject The Association of Racing Commissioners International proposed model medication rules, and to withdraw the USTA membership from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, Inc. The harness racing industry has provided more than $1 million in funding to the RMTC in the past decade. The consensus from the USTA is that while they support uniform medication policies, breed customization should be mandatory, given that the breed characteristics between Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds and Quarter horses are significantly different. “We believe the money can be better spent on research and testing in areas more concentrated on harness racing,” USTA President Phil Langley stressed. “We believe both breeds, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds, will benefit from having rules concentrated solely on their needs. Trying to fit them together makes little sense.” “We work closely with the USTA,” confirmed HHI President Tom Luchento. “We are in full agreement with the decisions they have made regarding this issue.” The USTA, with the combined support of Harness Horsemen International and Harness Tracks of America, will ask RCI to maintain the current rules in effect for Standardbreds, instead of having one set of model rules for two breeds with significantly different requirements. by Kim Rinker for HHI

The Executive Committee of the United States Trotting Association unanimously voted to reject The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) proposed model medication rules on Wednesday. In a separate unanimous vote, the committee agreed that the USTA will immediately withdraw its membership from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, Inc. (RMTC). "We have carefully considered the RCI proposals and have come to the conclusion that the physical characteristics of the breeds are significantly different. Trying to fit them together makes little sense," said USTA President Phil Langley. "We believe both breeds, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds, will benefit from having rules concentrated solely on their needs. "Many safeguards now in use in harness racing would never be acceptable to the more high-strung Thoroughbreds, including Lasix barns, two- to four-hour paddock times and racing on a weekly basis," added Langley. "On the other hand, both the frequency that Standardbreds race and the lack of catastrophic breakdowns in harness racing make the utilization of some therapeutic medications much different between the breeds." As a result, the USTA, with the support of Harness Tracks of America (HTA), will ask RCI to maintain the current rules in effect for Standardbreds instead of having one set of model rules for two breeds with significantly different requirements. "After studying these proposed rule changes, it is apparent to us that they are entirely focused on the needs of Thoroughbreds with little consideration for Standardbreds," concluded Langley. The USTA supports uniform medical medication policies, but thinks that they need to be customized for each breed. "We want to make it very clear the USTA supports uniform rules," said Langley, "but we strongly believe they should be by breed. Things like blood doping, out- of-competition testing, EPO and Shock Wave Therapy are high on the list of USTA research projects." In other action, it was determined that the USTA will immediately withdraw from RMTC. During the last 10 years, the harness racing industry has supported the RMTC with more than $1 million in contributions. "While we applaud the intentions of the RMTC, we also feel that their efforts concentrate on the Thoroughbreds with little consideration for Standardbreds," explained Langley. "We believe that the money can be better spent on research and testing in areas more concentrated on harness racing." by Dan Leary for USTA

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