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It was unanimous. The USHWA National Amateur Driver of the Year Award Committee has named "Yankee Joe" Lee the National Amateur Driver of the Year for 2017. The ever- improving 38-year-old Bronxville, NY native is enjoying his best season in the harness racing sulky while being a member of multiple amateur organizations. When contacted, Lee was at Yankee Stadium where he is the New York Yankee's assistant equipment manager, thus the moniker "Yankee Joe." When told of his recent accolade, Lee paused a moment and then said: "I'm greatly honored and I'm humbled by the award. This is only my third full season of amateur driving and I love it. And I'm especially grateful for the confidence that the owners and trainers have shown in my abilities" Lee could be considered a true amateur in that he owns no racing stock nor does he have any specific trainer to drive for exclusively (save Bruce Aldrich, Sr. at Monticello Raceway) and has taken the reins from at least 15 different trainers this year alone. This National Award comes on the heels of the local Amateur Driver of the Year Award from the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA ,which, by the way, pioneered showcasing the talents of amateur drivers back in the 1980's. Currently Lee has a career best 15 driving victories to go along with 11 seconds and 10 thirds. Arguably the most prolific was the triumph in the 1-1/4-mile $25,000 CKG Billings Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway with Dizzy Rizzy on November 26. However, it didn't come easy. And Lee recalls that triumph vividly. "We had tough trip that that night but we got the job done. I tried leaving but Steve Oldford , with Gonna Fly, was giving Paul Minore and Wygant Prince a tough time. I then tried to slip down along the pylons to no avail but got lucky when Bob Krivelin's horse made a break. "Sitting third I thought I had a good spot. Then Oldford pulled the pocket with over a half mile to go so I got to slip into the two hole. At the top of the stretch I rolled out of the pocket grunted at her (Dizzy Lizzy) a little and she scampered past the leader and got there in time. I was real honored to win the Billings Gold Cup for her connections." However, Lee's fastest victory this year was a 1:54.3 triumph with Soul Train at the Meadowlands on September 8th for trainer Al Annuziatta. Not bad for a kid who began with show jumpers. "Once I jogged a (harness) horse I never had anything more to do with jumpers," he said. Lee credits his friend Buzzy Sholty as his mentor. " I love the sport and once this game gets into your blood it consumes you. And the more involved you become the more dedicated you are to the sport of harness driving." Lee alleges. Says competitor and two time National Amateur Driver of the Year, Dein Spriggs: "Joe Lee demonstrates what I feel is required to receive the 2017 National Amateur Driver of the year Award" "He's a strategic driver using tactics and not losing composure during a race while readjusting strategies during the race to overcome his competition. He's of good character and moral standing besides being the 2017 Billings Gold Cup winner." Lee will receive his accolades at the National US Harness Writers Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida during late February, 2018. by John Manzi for USHWA National Amateur Driver of the Year Award  

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Caretaker of the Year. The award, in its third year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the harness racing sport - the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 25, 2018, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "It is so important that we recognize the people who are hands-on everyday with all our great horses because they are the ones the animals most closely relate to and are responsible for the care that keeps them sound and competitive week to week," said Tim Bojarski, president of USHWA. "I along with all the members of USHWA could not be more proud to co-sponsor this award and take the time to appreciate and thank not only the winner, but all the nominees as well." Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is need to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

TORONTO, November 14 - Carmen Auciello has been racking up victories and making an impact on the Woodbine harness racing trainer standings for many seasons and Friday night at the Toronto oval he reached a career milestone. Four-year-old pacing mare SodwanaBay captured the evening's sixth-race to give Auciello 1,000 career training victories. The 37-year-old trainer from Stouffville, Ontario came into the night just a win shy of the milestone. Driver Jonathan Drury steered Sodwana Bay to the victory to give Auciello the milestone victory. Auciello recorded his first-training victory in 2005 and has gone on to send out the winners of over $14 million. He is currently in the midst of his sixth-consecutive 100-plus win and $1 million season. A special presentation from Woodbine Entertainment was made to Auciello following Sodwana Bay's sixth-race victory. Friday evening's card also featured one of the top pacing mares in the sport competing. It may comes as a surprise, but L A Delight, a winner of over $1.5 million, was winless this season coming into Friday's action at Woodbine. The losing streak came to end Friday, as the Bob McIntosh trained four-year-old pacing mare scored a decisive six and a half length victory in a $25,000 overnight event. A champion at both two and three, L A Delight has been dealing with the typical struggles any four-year-old will face when moving up to face the top older horses. Despite not getting into the winner's circle until Friday, the daughter of Camluck had been holding her own in her division's biggest races, including posting a runner-up finish in September's Milton Stakes. Trainer McIntosh handed the lines to driver Trevor Henry for the first-time Friday and L A Delight was blasted to the front by her new reinsman. The four-year-old cut out fractions of :26.2, :56 and 1:23.3, before kicking home in :27.3 for the 1:51.1 victory. Friday's start was the 13th outing of the season for L A Delight and her 21st victory overall for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. L A Delight has now banked $101,400 this season to bring her career earnings to $1,593,633. The McIntosh trainee paid $2.80 to win. Live racing resumes Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Members of the St. Catharines Sports Wall of Fame’s 27th induction class had all bases covered, except the one that uses bases. No, that was touched on, too. Before going on to be enshrined in five and, now, six sports halls of fame, Diane Hilko played softball in Manitoba as well as in her native St. Catharines. Baseball was very much on Mark Johnston’s mind when he was 13 and had to make the difficult decision of one sport on which to focus his attention. Broad shouldered, Johnston could blaze a fastball across the plate but those same shoulders gave him a swimmer’s build. He took the plunge. To say the least, 14 national champions, a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, two bronze medals at the world swimming championships and advancing to the final at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics proved that baseball’s loss was swimming’s gain. Johnston, 38, pointed out he was never alone in the pool. He was always supported by family, friends, teammates and coaches. “Swimming is definitely a team sport,” said the Denis Morris Catholic High School Hall of Famer who now lives in Vancouver. “You can’t achieve anything in life without a support group.” He said one of his proudest memories was competing along with his brother at the Ontario Summer Games when the swimming events were held at Brock University. “That’s a moment I will always remember.” Dave Gorman also took swings at the plate, tearing around the bases for the Grantham Optimists while playing in the Ontario Hockey League with the St. Catharines Blackhawks. Veteran St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, one of the speakers at Thursday night’s induction ceremony at Meridian Centre, recalled being the Optimists’ first base coach at the time. He would hold up his hand signalling Gorman to stop, but the fleet-footed Gorman always kept going and going. “When he got a hit out of the infield, he would be on second base,” Bradley said. Gorman kept going and going in hockey, too. After leading OHL right wingers in scoring with 53 goals and 76 assists with the Blackhawks in 1973-74, Gorman went on to play six seasons in the World Hockey Association and briefly with the then Atlanta Flames in the National Hockey League. Tim Twaddle was part of an entirely different team when he, like Gorman, made a living competing in sports. Twaddle, now 55 and living in Canonsburg, Pa., southwest of Pittsburgh, began gravitating toward the former Garden City Raceway. “I did whatever I could do to be around a horse,” said Twaddle, who since suffering nerve damage in his hand has trained trotters. Because Thursday was Thanksgiving in the U.S., Twaddle, at times choking back tears, touched on everything he was thankful for in his remarks, such as the support of family and friends. “No. 1, I’m thankful there was a racetrack in this town called Garden City Raceway,” he said. “The highs were extremely high, but there were a lot of lows, too. “I would hit the ground a lot of times, and I didn’t bounce very good. “I’m grateful for the Niagara Rehab Centre. I’m sure they don’t remember me, but I remember all of them very well.” Now 58 and still very much involved in sports coaching boys basketball in Calgary, where she teaches high school, Hilko was being inducted for her achievements in basketball and track. A two-time athlete of the year at the former Grantham High School and also Brock University, Hilko was a four-time conference all-star in basketball, when she wasn’t winning gold medals in discus. No one achievement stands out above the rest in a lifetime of competing and coaching. “I did so many things, and I loved everything I did that it’s hard to choose,” she said when asked if only one achievement could be on her plaque, what would it be.” She won a national championship in 2001 as an assistant coach with the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Gorman called getting to play professional hockey and representing Canada at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland was “living the dream.” In his case, seeds for that dream were planted when he was growing up in Oshawa watching Bobby Orr playing for the Generals. He also remembered seeing Bobby Hull taking part in a parade and getting the Golden Jet’s autograph afterwards. “That’s what I always imagined a hockey player would look like,” said Gorman, 62, who now lives in Niagara Falls. In his very first game with the Blackhawks, he played with future hall of famer Marcel Dionne. With the Birmingham, Ala., Bulls in the WHA, he played with another future hall of famer, Frank Mahovlich, and against Hull as well as the legendary Gordie Howe. Each member of the Class of 2017 made a name for himself or herself on the national and international stage, but St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle’s constituency aide, Zach Dadson, pointed out the roots all go back to St. Catharines. “Even our biggest national stars are hometown heroes somewhere,” he said bringing greetings from Bittle. St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik thanked the inductees for representing the community well as they competed in their respective sports. “You brought pride to our community through your sport,” he said. “Today’s honourees are part of who we are.” Hank Cielsa, who won a Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1954 and played four years in the NHL, was inducted posthumously. Induction of the Class of 2017 brings to 168 the number of people enshrined since the St. Catharines Sports Wall of Fame was established in 1990. It was founded to recognize the accomplishments of athletes and builders who have either made a significant contribution to sports at the community level or who have gone on to enjoy success provincially, nationally as well as internationally. By Bernd Franke, Postmedia News Reprinted with permission of The St Catharines Standard

The 1st Annual Team Allard Yearling Giveaway is in the books, as they say! Rene Allard became the 2017 leading harness racing trainer in both wins and UTRS% at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and to celebrate, Team Allard gave away lots of free stuff! Dave Erickson was the lucky Grand Prize winner and he won 5% of a yearling with Team Allard. That’s right, no gimmicks, no purchase fees, no expenses or bills….His only hardship is to pick either My Sweet Memory (A Sweet Lou filly) or Bettor’s Account (A Bettor’s Delight Colt), the two yearlings selected to choose from. We won’t put any pressure on Dave just yet to select, as he probably will want to research their pedigrees, scan pictures, watch some of the replays of their sires winning Grand Circuit races and setting world records! There were also 8 Consolation prizes offered up to anyone who signed up, including a set of Tim Tetrick Racing colors; New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Gift Bag; Team Allard custom winter jacket; Brian Sears Hall of Fame Memorabilia, and much more!  All winner’s names will be available at TeamAllard.com. The bottom line is that Dave Erickson has never owned a horse...and now he does. He lives in Niagara Falls, and is within driving distance to a lot of racetracks. It’s never too late to get involved in harness racing and now Dave has a reason to bring all of his friends and family to the racetrack and learn all about the sport! In an interview after accepting his award, Rene was excited about the Yearling Giveaway, and looking forward to doing it again next year.  “It gives everybody a chance to get part of it, and we like to give back to the sport we love,” he said.  About his 2017 Leading Trainer award, he was equally emotional, accepting with his parents and brother, Simon Allard at his side, along with members of Team Allard.  “Growing up, I dreamed about racing horses, never mind getting those kind of trophies.”.  He praised his team, saying it is much more than Rene Allard contributing to his award. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono closes out their 2017 season on Saturday, November 25th.  The Breeders Crown returns October, 2018.   Jennifer Starr with Team Allard

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica is excited to announce that the nominations for the 2017 Post Time with Mike and Mike harness racing awards are now open.   Listeners can access the nomination form on the Post Time Awards mini-site here. The site will give an explanation of the criteria for each award.   Nominations will be taken for the following categories: USTA Innovator of the Year, Ted Barcus Race Fan of the Year, Larry Rheinheimer Small Stable of the Year, Sam McKee Race Call of the Year, Horsewomen of the Year, Foiled Again Iron Horse of the Year, Upset of the Year. Nominations will be open until Noon on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.   Voting for the awards will begin at Noon on Thursday, December 7, 2017 and run until noon on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.   Advertising opportunities are available for the awards show by contacting Post Time via mike@posttimewithmikeandmike.com.   Listeners can hear the program each Thursday morning at 10:30 AM via their website, www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at wwww.betamerica.com/BARN.   By Michael Carter for Post Time with Mike and Mike

Prominent owners Adam, Ben and Terry Cormack were big winners at the 2016/2017 Harness Racing South Australia awards day on Sunday. Three-year-old trotter Rocknroll Baby, squaregaiter Al Bundy and quality mare Just Rockon Bye collected awards. The Cormacks have developed an impressive property outside Two Wells with Greg Norman as their stable trainer. Gallifrey Mystique, trained by Jake Webster and Aaron Bain, was named the Leading State Horse for most wins, but the trainer revealed the mare had finally succumbed to injury leading up to the awards day and had been retired. The mare had leg issues when she arrived in South Australia, but the trainers were able to get her to the racetrack where she proved a star winning 12 races during the season. All the award winners were: Horse of the Year: Emain Macha 2YO pacer (filly): Renesmae 2YO pacer (colt/gelding): Bulletproof Boy 3YO pacer (filly): Crystal Sparkles NZ 3YO pacer (entire/gelding): Emain Macha 4YO+ pacer (mare): Just Rockon Bye NZ 4YO+ pacer (entire/gelding): Tie; Bettor Party & Whenmechief 2YO trotter: Muscle Hillbilly 3YO trotter: Rocknroll Baby 4YO+trotter (mare): Im Princess Sophie 4YO+trotter (entire/gelding): Al Bundy NZ Leading State Horse: Gallifrey Mystique Leading Claiming Horse: My Man Dan NZ Leading State Driver: Danielle Hill Leading Young Driver: Jayden Brewin Leading Concession Driver: Jayden Brewin Leading State Trainer: Ryan Hryhorec SA Young/Concession Drivers Series Winner: Bradley O’Keeffe  Chairman’s Award: Claire Goble Jim Hurley Award winner:  Ryan Hryhorec The Broodmare of the year for 2016/17 is Aratusa Lass.   Media Awards: Literary: Graham Fischer – Wayne Hill’s greatest night in harness racing’ Photography: Joint Winners: Graham Fischer – ‘When is it my time? Horses watching Ryan Hryhorec work Live For Peace around his track at Two Wells’ and Jodie Hallows – ‘Son Breaks Dad’s SA Cup Record’ Television/Video/Film - Best feature ‘to air’. Dean Baring 'Sales Day Video Interview with HRSA Chairman Chris Hartwig'    SARA (SA Reinswomen Association) State Trainer and Driver: Dani Hill 2nd state trainer: Jill Neilson 3rd state trainer: Leah Harvey 2nd state driver: Lisa Ryan 3rd state driver: Kaela Hryhorec   Square Trotters Association Trotter of the Year – Liava 2yo Trotter of the Year – Muscle Hillbilly 3yo Trotter of the Year – Rocknroll Baby Trainer and Driver of the Year – Ryan Hryhorec   SABOTRA Breeder: Viv Clark Owner: A B & T Cormack Trainer: Les Harding Driver: Wayne Hill Industry Participant: Sam & Pauline Spirou  Life membership: Naomi Shelbourn   ​SAHRC Horse with the most number of wins at Globe Derby: Gallifrey Mystique Graham Fischer

The fairytale success story of harness racing pacer Emain Macha reached a new peak on Sunday when he was named South Australia’s Horse Of The Year for 2016/2017. Emain Macha had an illness-shortened three-year-old season, but still managed to score seven wins from nine starts to take out the award. Among the gelding’s wins were the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton, the Victoria Sires Classic at Melton and the Mildura Guineas. Emain Macha is trained at Naracoorte in the South-East by Greg Scholefield who is a part-owner along with Peter Lamond, Gail Davis and father and son John and Sean Penny. For the Pennys, Emain Macha’s successes are quite emotional as both had the misfortunes to lose their wives several years ago, and harness racing is a release, but both are sad their partners cannot be around to enjoy the success. Mr Penny said he was shocked by the Horse Of The Year award. “I went along Sunday believing he had a chance of winning the three-year-old pacers colts and gelding award (which he did win), but never did I consider he would take out the overall award,” Mr Penny said. “He has taken us on a fabulous ride and we were very disappointed when Greg (Scholefield) said he had contracted a virus and would miss the Southern Cross.” Emain Macha became ill after his last win in the Mildura Guineas on April 7 and Mr Penny said there were fears the gelding could pass away. “He was really sick, and Greg sought advice from a few different sources and eventually an equestrian vet gave a suggestion which put the horse on the road to recovery. “Emain Macha is back in work now and we hope to have him back on the track in December. Greg has tentatively looked at races at Bendigo and Melton to start him off again. “I can’t give enough credit to Greg, to our family, he is a champion trainer. “His property is spotless, and the horses want for nothing. If they have the ability, he will get it out of them.” Graham Fischer

An emotional harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec was overwhelmed by the announcement he had won the Jim Hurley Medal for 2016/2017. A strong family man, Hryhorec’s first thought was for his father Jon who passed away about 12 months ago aged 71, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I would love to be able to show the Medal to Dad,” Hryhorec said, “I’m sure he would be so proud. “He was such a strong influence on my life and I owe him so much.” The Jim Hurley Medal, was introduced by Harness Racing South Australia for a trainer or driver who performed consistently at a high level throughout the racing season. Hryhorec said he had not given a thought to winning the Hurley Medal. “To be honest I wasn’t going to attend the awards day because things were very busy at home. However, Dave Battye had a talk with me about the importance of industry participants supporting awards presentations, and I agreed, and so we came along. “This is an amazing honour. “I knew of Jim Hurley as a trainer and driver when I was a kid and by the time I was starting my career he had scaled right down but everyone talked of him in legendary terms.” The medal is named after Jim Hurley who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing. He was still training at age 90 until his passing in March, 2016. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner. Hryhorec had a very successful 2016/2017 season winning the SA Trainers premiership with 72 winners and finishing second on the SA Drivers premiership with 129 winners. He paid tribute to Victorian owner Paul Brumby. “Paul has been a massive supporter of mine since I took up training and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for him and his group of friends I would not have been able to set myself up as I have.” The Hurley medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting. Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia. Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances. Graham Fischer

Grand Circuit winner Bling It On was crowned New South Wales Horse of the Year at tonight's Arthur J. Gallagher Harness Racing NSW Awards Night at the Hilton Sydney. Having received 100 per cent of the votes to be given this prestigious honour, Bling It On had a stellar 2016/17 season winning the A.G. Hunter Cup, the Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint, a Group 2 Inter Dominion Heat and a fast-finishing fourth in the Inter Dominion Final. The positive news revealed when driver Luke McCarthy accepted the award was that Bling It On's rehabilitation progress has been successful following his potentially career-ending race-fall at Albion Park in June 2017. After standing a season at stud following the incident, the seven-year-old is set for a racetrack return. Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of tonight's award winners and nominees. Please see full list of awards below that were presented in front of the large crowd, hosted by the legendary John Tapp, at tonight's function. HORSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS Arthur J. Gallagher NSW Horse of the Year: Bling It On Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old of the Year: Castalong Shadow Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Castalong Shadow Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: My Sweetchilliphilly IntelliTek NSW Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year: Viksun Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old of the Year: Don't Think Twice Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Atomic Red Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Don't Think Twice Albury HRC NSW 3YO Trotter of the Year: Pegasus Elegance KS Black & Co NSW Aged Horse of the Year: Bling It On KS Black & Co NSW Aged Entire/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Bling It On KS Black & Co NSW Aged Mare Pacer of the Year: Cyclone Kate Bulli HRC NSW Aged Trotter of the Year: On Thunder Road TRAINER AND DRIVER AWARDS TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence: Darren Hancock Daily Form Service Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Country): Brad Elder Lexus of Parramatta Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Metro): Ellen Rixon Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Driver: David Druitt Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Trainer: Matt Schembri Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Trotting Trainer and Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Junior Driver: Chris Geary Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Driver: Amanda Turnbull Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Trainer: Steve Turnbull Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle First Lady: Lauren Tritton Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Driver: Todd McCarthy Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Trainer: John McCarthy BREEDING AWARDS Bankstown HRC NSW Broodmare of the Year: Miss Brazillian Wagga HRC NSW Sire of the Year: Million Dollar Cam Stablecraft Outstanding Service to the Breeding Industry: the Carmody Family DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS HRNSW Don Clough Award: Wayne Smith HRNSW Industry Contribution Award: John Crittenden HRNSW Club Volunteer Awards: Helen Leonard (Bankstown HRC), Geoff Cole (Western Districts and Parkes HRC), Ian Warren (Bathurst HRC), Jon Watts (Inverell HRC), Linda Taylor (Eugowra HRC), Bill Taylor (Eugowra HRC), Ronald Jones (Eugowra HRC) and Maree Brown (Hawkesbury Trainers Association) TABCORP CLUB AWARDS Best Community Engagement Club: Maitland HRC Best Fraternity Engagement Club: Bathurst HRC Best New Innovation Club (Promotion/Marketing): Orange HRC Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $50,000: Leeton HRC Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $25,000: Orange HRC Best Club with a feature to race to a maximum of $14,000: Temora HRC Best Club with a feature to a maximum of $12,000: Cootamundra HRC AMANDA RANDO

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) in conjunction with IRT, the world’s most trusted international horse transport company, is pleased to announce the awards to our industry’s premier breeding achievers for the 2016/2017 season. These awards recognise the achievements of harness racing’s top sires and broodmare sires. Congratulations to all the winners and their connections. Geoff Want Chairman   2016/2017 GLOBE DERBY AWARDS - (Proudly sponsored by IRT) BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 6th time) - Leading Sire by Stakemoney BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 3rd time) - Leading Juvenile Sire by Stakemoney MAJESTIC SON CA (for the 2nd time) - Leading Sire of Trotters by Stakemoney   2016/2017 Statistics LEADING SIRE BY STAKEMONEY BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 6th time) 511 starters 370 winners 1026 wins $10,843,324 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY  ART MAJOR USA (for the 6th Time) 92 starters 34 winners 66 wins $930,065 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY  BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 5th time) 101 starters 75 winners 199 wins $1,866,923 LEADING JUVENILE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY (2&3YO’S)  BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 3rd time) 145 starters 104 winners 250 wins $2,474,601 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY  CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ (for the 1st time) 294 starters 203 wqinners 601 wins $5,869,396 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY  ART MAJOR USA (for the 1st time) 42 starters 23 winners 47 wins $634,477 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY  CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ (for the 2nd time) 63 starters 44 winners 139 wins $901,867 LEADING SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY  MAJESTIC SON CA (for the 2nd time) 80 starters 43 winners 95 wins $1,077,192 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY  SUNDON USA (for the 7th time) 153 starters 89 winners 218 wins $2,145,529 LEADING SIRE BY WINNERS  BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 2nd time) – 370 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS  ART MAJOR USA (for the 7th time) – 34 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS  BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 4th time) – 75 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY WINNERS  HOLMES HANOVER USA (for the 10th time) – 212 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS  ART MAJOR USA (for the 1st time) – 23 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS  CHRISTIAN CULLEN NZ (for the 2nd time) – 44

The rise and rise of harness racing trainer Emma Stewart continued unabated at Gordon Rothacker Medal 2017 on Sunday night. Stewart’s powerhouse operation, top-three on the national top 20 chart three years running, was honoured with numerous Victorian season accolades at Crown Palladium. And while Stewart’s third successive metro and state trainers’ Victorian premiership double had the champion trainer both thrilled and full of praise for her dedicated team – including husband Clayton Tonkin, who she said was “the backbone of the operation” – it was the announcement that Stewart was the 2017 Angelique Club Pearl Kelly Award recipient that had her most taken aback. “I’m accepting this award, but everyone who works for me is involved, family, owners, it’s their award as well. I’m so humbled to get this. It’s something I never thought would happen,” Stewart said. “Our parents – both our mums – look after Willow, and our dads are really important as well. “Our staff are terrific … we’ve got so many good people who work for us. And with our big numbers you need people you can trust and we’re so lucky they love our horses as much as we do.” Stewart spoke of her career beginning with legendary Great Western horseman Peter Manning and declared one of her stable’s biggest opponents on the track, Natalie Rasmussen, as the woman in harness racing she “especially looks up to”. “I started out with Peter and he was terrific to me. Kerryn (Manning) and Natalie at the time were dominant drivers. We’ve always had great female role models,” Stewart said. “In fact it’s a female dominated sport you could probably say, which is just terrific.” Stewart’s role in the sport today transcends the winners she produces on the track. She has charisma in spades and has embraced the media and promotion of the industry wholeheartedly in recent years. Both are traits that also embodied the late, great Vin Knight in an era many describe as the halcyon days. Stewart-trained horses won four Horse of the Year titles on Sunday night, Poster Boy (2yo pacing colts & geldings), Nostra Villa (two-year-old fillies), Our Little General (three-year-old colts & geldings) and Heavens Trend (four-year-old mares). And season 2017-18 looks set to be another Stewart success as she is already leading the way on the national premiership with a phenomenal 42.5 per cent strike rate. Jim O'Sullivan was awarded the Gordon Rothacker Medal on Sunday night, while HRV honoured Doug Gretgrix for his years of service by awarding the long-time starter the HRV Disitinguished Service Medal. For a full recap of awards, click here. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Trotting stalwarts Peter Sullivan and John Heath were honoured at the inaugural Trotters Association of New South Wales Awards Night at Penrith Paceway on October 13. Both were presented with Honorary Life Membership in recognition of their distinguished service and dedication to the advancement trotting in the state. There were many other highlights that entertained the 135 guests in attendance with the Master of Ceremonies, the voice of racing, John Tapp setting the tone for the evening. Special guests were trotting icons Chris and Graeme Lang who flew from Victoria to take part in the “On The Couch” interview with ‘Tappy’ with the father and son sharing stories of their training exploits and their thoughts of the future for totting in Australia. This proved to be a very popular, well received and a much talked about segment. At the conclusion of the Awards ceremonies the guests danced the night away to the live music from the rock and roll band Midlife Crisis, led by David Tapp. Other Awards: The Allied Express TANSW Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year 2016/17 was won by the elegant Queen of Clevedon, a brown Filly by Rock N Roll Heaven (USA) from Clevedon Betty owned, bred and raced by the well-known father and daughter partnership of Danny and Christie Rothwell. Queen of Clevedon was the winner of the HRNSW Trot and Heat 3 of the NSW Trotters Foundation Series. The NSWSOA TANSW Three-Year-Old Trotter of the Year 2016/17 was won by the talented Empire Bay, a bay gelding by The Pres (CA) from Miss Adelade (NZ) owned and raced by well-known Trotting aficionado Michael Taylor. Empire Bay was the winner of the HRNSW Trotters Foundation Series and the HRNSW Trot. Empire Bay is trained and driven by the talented horseman Blake Fitzpatrick. The HorsePower TANSW Open Class Trotter of the Year 2016/17 was won by the flamboyant Quillabamba, a bay gelding by Yankee Paco (USA) from Urabamba owned, bred and raced by trotting enthusiast Kevin Hipkins. Quillabamba was the winner of The Trotters Marathon and The Trot It Out Saturday just to name a few. Quillabamba is trained and driven by Blake Fitzpatrick. The Fitzpatrick Family Racing Stables TANSW Trotting Mare of the Year 2016/17 was won by the stylish Rompers Monarchy, a bay mare by Monarchy (USA) from Amandas Gem (NZ) owned and raced by the adept husband and wife training partnership of Joe and Mary Rando. Rompers Monarchy won six races last season and was the second-fastest trotter winning in 1:54.9. Rompers Monarchy is trained by Joe and Mary Rando. The Global Bloodstock TANSW Trotting Driver of the Year 2016/17 was won by talented reinsman Blake Fitzpatrick from the gifted young duo of Chris Geary and David Morris. The Agnes Banks Equine Veterinary Centre TANSW Trotting Trainer of the Year 2016/17 was a strongly contested category won by Blake Fitzpatrick from the dynamic training duo Joe and Mary Rando closely followed by the “first lady” of harness racing KerryAnn Turner. The Trotters Association of NSW Awards Night would not have been able to “Trot It Out” without the generous support and sponsorship from Agnes Banks Equine Veterinary Centre, Allied Express, Daniel Cordina, Global Bloodstock, Garrards Horse and Hound, Horseland Richmond, HorsePower, Harness Racing New South Wales, Mitavite, and Zilco. New South Wales

Gorse Bush has long been considered one of Tasmania's best broodmares and that status was confirmed when she was inducted into the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Gorse Bush was Tasmanian Broodmare of the Year six times with her first being awarded in the 2006/07 season. She is the Dam of 10 foals of which nine are winners with her greatest claim to fame being the dam of Beautide, the dual Inter-Dominion Champion in 2014 and 2015. Gorse Bush won 10 races herself a had earnings of $48,413. She is by Ticket To Heaven from the Holly Sand mare Barrington Lass. Beautide was the winner of 49 races including the 2013 Miracle Mile and is the highest stake money earner in the history of Tasmanian harness racing... winning in excess of $2 million dollars. Gorse Bush's success doesn't end with the dual Australian Horse of the Year, she is also the dam of Death and Taxes, winner of 15 races including the 2006 Bandbox Final and Ashkalini the 2009 Evicus Stakes winner. Ashkalini has gone on to become the dam of three foals, all winners including Ignatius, the Australasian record holder for a 2YO, recording a mile rate of 1:51:3 when he won the Breeders Challenge final at Menangle this year. The mare is owned and was bred by Barrie and Denise Rattray. Gorse Bush will deservedly go down in history as one of the all-time greats of the states breeding industry and richly deserves her place in the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Peter Staples

Lochinvar harness racing stalwarts Pam and Bill Tomlin are coming off their greatest win but not expecting another at Newcastle International Paceway on Saturday night. The Tomlins were given the Dick Osborn Medal for services to the industry at the Newcastle and Hunter Valley awards last week. The couple are life members of the Newcastle Harness Racing Club and remain involved in owning, breeding and training. Pam was the NHRC secretary for more than a decade and Bill was instrumental in constructing the Newcastle track and maintaining it over several stints as curator. They were both friends of Osborn, the late legendary trainer-driver, and said it was a great thrill to take out the award. Superstar Glowie, the only pacer trained by Bill, will race in the C1 heat of the Menangle Country Series at Newcastle on Saturday night but will start from the extreme outside in gate 10. “No hope, not from out there,” Bill said. “If Dale [Spencer] drives her out of the gate, she doesn’t get home. She’s going to have to drop out and get a cart and hopefully she gets home. It’s a pretty good field.” Also at last week’s function, Peter Allen won the Ros Falconer Memorial Award for services to the industry. The Aaron Goadsby-trained Takara Truffle was named Newcastle Horse of the Year, Clayton Harmey claimed the Newcastle and Hunter Valley premierships, Mark Callaghan and Brad Elder shared the drivers’ titles and Stacie Elliott and Laura Spencer took out the Newcastle lady trainers’ and drivers’ titles respectively. Yourblueyescrying was most successful filly and Lethal Star the top mare. The Mathew Jenkins Encouragement award went to Jake Hughes. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald  

Riverina harness racing driver Cameron Hart drove 50 winners during the 2016/17 season and subsequently has been nominated for this year's Daily Form Service Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award. Hart started his driving career on a winning note in April 2016 and last season was honoured for his efforts when asked to represent the Riverina in the New South Wales Rising Stars Series. Alongside Hart in this year's nominees for the Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award is fellow Riverina reinsman Peter McRae who also represented his region in the Rising Stars Series. McRae steered 26 winners last season and drove a winner during the Rising Stars Series and finished third overall. Meanwhile, fellow drivers that competed in this year's Rising Stars Series and also nominated for the Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award are Brad Elder, Madi Young and McKayler Barnes. Brad Elder, had a memorable 2016/17 season driving 55 winners which included his first Group winner. Madi Young from Worrigee also has her best season to date, travelling throughout state and landing 19 winners while also being an ambassador for Team Teal. Bathurst based driver McKayler Barnes tripled her previous best season during 2016/17 driving 15 winners. The recipient of this Award will be given a travel scholarship to New Zealand where they will spend two weeks learning from leading trainers and drivers. Nominees for the 2016/17 Daily Form Service Country Junior Driver Encouragement Award are: Brad Elder Cameron Hart Madi Young McKayler Barnes Peter McRae Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the nominees and look forward to the Award announcement on Saturday October 28 at the Hilton Sydney Grand Ballroom. For tickets to the event please contact Kate Dumesny at kdumesny@hrnsw.com.au or (02) 9722 6672. AMANDA RANDO | MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

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