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It is not uncommon to see an athlete wearing a cap during a postgame press conference. It is uncommon for the hat to feature a harness racing logo. But perhaps not for long. Max Siegelman, a social media entrepreneur who is the son of trainer Robbie Siegelman, has created a line of sportswear centered around the family's Siegelman Stable design. The line features crewnecks, caps, and a tote and a portion of proceeds goes to support equine therapy programs for military veterans, nurses, and doctors with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Tim Hardaway Jr. sported a Siegelman Stable cap during his press conference following the Dallas Mavericks Game 4 playoff win over the Los Angeles Clippers last month. Siegelman has cultivated a network of athletes, musicians, and celebrities through his work as a social media collaborator and marketer. "This kind of just happened, not randomly, but I had some more free time because I wasn't traveling for work as much the last five or six months," Siegelman said. "My dad has had his own stable since the '80s and any time I wore one of the original Siegelman Stable pieces that I have, which he designed before I was born, I got asked where someone could buy it or if they would ever be released again. Finally, I just kind of ran with it." Siegelman wanted to not only design his own line of sportswear but honor the family's tradition of helping those in need. His father has received numerous awards for his philanthropic efforts, beginning with the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and continuing with his "Hands On" equine program for underprivileged inner-city teenagers, his "Horses with Hearts" project for children undergoing cancer treatment, and his work with equine therapy programs. "Career wise I do a lot of social media and marketing, kind of like experiential marketing, for different celebrities, music artists and athletes," Siegelman said. "What I do varies, whether it's trying to sell their merch or trying to get their music out in fun and creative ways. "Taking something with your own name on it, a family brand, is definitely a lot more fun and I wanted to keep to the brand values. My dad has been successful in harness racing as a trainer but has always prioritized giving back to the community. So as much as we want to create great pieces that the public wants to wear every day, we also want to make sure that people know the story and that there is a cause, there is a purpose, and that a portion of the proceeds goes toward these types of programs and organizations. "Our first program to support nurses and doctors that was paid for by Siegelman Stable sales was in partnership with HorseAbility for Northwell Health in Huntington, Long Island. Being the first event we organized, it was a very special milestone for me." Siegelman started his own social media company after college and soon thereafter met rapper LL Cool J through a trainer at the gym where they both worked out. LL Cool J became a partner in the business, which was invaluable to Siegelman. "Working with LL for about three or four years, I met a ton of people, networked and continued to build those relationships. It's been great to see the outpouring of support for this venture from the network of people I've worked with in the past and present. "At the end of the day we want to create a line of pieces that many will love and at the same time let our customers know that they are contributing to a good cause in the process." For more on the Siegelman Stable, visit its website here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

In an effort to aid those whose invaluable service is given to this country, Paul Martinez and the Robbie Siegelman Stable are piloting a transition program for active and recently retired veterans that centers around driving and other equine opportunities in harness racing.  SSG(ret) Paul Martinez is a former Army Ranger Sniper who  advocates for veteran’s in transition through various organizations such as Mentors For Military Podcast and Equine ImmersionProgram (EquineImmersionProgram.com). Paul, accompanied by Jordan  Puccio, US Army, and Elizabeth Quinones, US Marines,  toured the Yonkers Raceway oval thanks to the efforts kindness of trainers Robbie  Siegelman and Dennis Laterza, aided by SOA director Peter Younger. Robbie, whose  efforts on behalf of our military personnel has not waned one bit, continues the work in helping our dedicated service men, aided by Yonkers Raceway.  “There are many benefits in equine programs such as this” said Siegelman, “and we can all do a part to help.” One  big benefit  as Winston Churchill once said, “ because there is something about the outside of a horse,  that is good for the inside of a man”.  Hats off to all who helped and hopefully more can be done in the future. by Joseph Faraldo, for the SOA of NY

Cream Ridge, NJ - 9/16/19 - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation's, (SRF) horses had a presence at the Trail to Zero ride in Manhattan on Saturday, Sept. 15th, 2019. They participated in the the effort to raise awareness of suicide among our veteran service men and women. The ride was 20 miles long and represented the number of veterans who take their own lives each day.   The Newark, NJ Mounted Unit has fourteen SRF horses serving, and numerous cities across the country are staffed with this "Brainiac Breed" from SRF, several prison patrol units, as well as Sheriff Departments, including Texas. NYC still has just one. Coincidentally he was owned by Jeff Gural of the Meadowlands, and Monica Bencal.   With more than 4,000 adoptions, SRF feels it can bring together enough adopters to participate in 2020 to support this effort to help our country's veterans.   "I feel very strongly about supporting this," one adopter expressed. "Next year I will help coordinate it, and appreciate the help of any other adopters to make it happen." SRF will keep a list of those interested in participating, and planning for this very worthwhile cause, and will contact all in 2020; email your interest to SRFFundraising@gmail.com.   Our thanks to Robbie Siegleman for recognizing SRF's horses and photographing them.   From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation  

On Saturday, a group of military veterans will ride on horseback through Manhattan to raise awareness about the high rate of suicide among former servicemen and servicewomen. The third annual "Trail to Zero" ride will cover 20 miles, which represents the number of veterans lost to suicide on average each day. When harness racing trainer Robbie Siegelman heard that number, he was stunned. When he heard about the Trail to Zero event, created in 2017 by the Illinois-based nonprofit therapeutic equine organization BraveHearts, he wanted to provide support. For the past seven years, Siegelman has volunteered with HorseAbility, a center for equine-facilitated programs located near his home on Long Island. There, Siegelman has worked with veterans through the group's HorseAbility for Heroes program, which was one of the reasons he was drawn to the Trail to Zero ride. Siegelman and a group of volunteers from HorseAbility will assist BraveHearts with its ride through New York City. In addition, Paul Martinez, an Army veteran who is the facilities manager at HorseAbility, will participate as a rider. Martinez, who also is the director of HorseAbility's veterans' program, served from 2006-2014. He was an Airborne Ranger Sniper, deployed six times to Afghanistan with the 3rd Ranger Battalion. "We're just trying to do our little part and also get the word out there," Siegelman said about participating in the Trail to Zero. "There is a huge need for it." There are four Trail to Zero rides this year. The first was held last week in Washington, D.C. Following the New York event, there will be rides in Chicago (Sept. 28) and Houston (Nov. 2). In addition to raising awareness about veteran suicide, the mission of the Trail to Zero is to educate veterans and their families about the healing benefits of equine-assisted services. BraveHearts has the largest equine-based program for veterans in the nation and offers services free to veterans. The program seeks to provide emotional, cognitive, social, and physical benefits through riding, ground activities, carriage driving, and gentling wild mustangs. "What the horses have done for these veterans is amazing," Siegelman said. "Horses have turned around their lives and now they're trying to help other people out there who need it. "It really does work. Most people in the horse business know that animals are the best medicine for anything. That's why I come to HorseAbility and work." Veterans in the Trail to Zero group have said they will continue to ride each year until the average of 20 suicides a day becomes zero. Siegelman has spent much of the week with the participants at events leading up to Saturday's ride. "I'm doing this for the same reason that I've always done it. It's what I know," Siegelman said. "I know about horses and I like to help people. I enjoy it and it's rewarding. For me, it's a no-brainer." For more information regarding Trail to Zero, click here. For more about BraveHearts, click here. For more about HorseAbility, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, April 13, 2017-- Yonkers Raceway's Thursday night (Apr. 13th) harness racing program was sponsored by the letter 'S'. 'S,' as in Stratton, as in driver Jordan Stratton. 'S,' as in Siegelman, as in trainer Robbie Siegelman. 'S," as in Southern Pursuit N, as in the 62-1 ($126.50) upsetter--driven by Stratton and trained by Siegelman, of the break-filled, $15,000, third-race pace (life-best 1:55.1). The eight-hole bombardier led a $652 exacta and $2,308 triple, while ending a $5,393 Pick 3. 'S' also, as in Sears, as in season-debuting Brian Sears. The Hall of Famer-in-waiting made his first appearance since late last season after laser eye surgery. Sears went 1-for-8 Thursday night, lasting on the lead with odds-on One Through Ten ($3.60) in the $25,000, 11th-race pace (1:53.2). Sears has seven drives Friday (Apr. 14th) and six Saturday (Apr. 15th). The Friday/Saturday cards feature the fifth and final preliminary rounds of both the Blue Chip Matchmaker (two $40,000 divisions) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (three $50,000 divisions). Frank Drucker

Among those enjoying Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night soiree were some special harness racing guests. The Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York hosted approximately 100 metropolitan-area veterans for dinner and an up-close look at the harness racing drivers, trainers, trotters and pacers. Leading the post parade for first three races were vets representing three branches of the military--Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The same three races saw veterans groups in the winner's circle for an impromptu meet and greet. Trainer Robbie Siegelman once again acted as "point person." Siegelman has been a long-time, active volunteer with HorseAbility (www.horseability.org), an Old Westbury, NY-based non-profit organization offering therapeutic riding programs, hippotherapy and a summer day camp to children, adults, and families with special needs. "Everyone had a great time," Siegelman said. "We may have to do this more often." Frank Drucker

Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York are again playing grateful hosts to some very special harness racing guests. Saturday night (May 14), the Raceway and its horsemen's association shall welcome approximately 100 veterans to enjoy dinner and a night at the races. It's the second such endeavor for the heroes, all of whom are from the greater New York area. Trainer Robbie Siegelman is once again acting as "point person." Siegelman has been a long-time, active volunteer with HorseAbility (www.horseability.org), an Old Westbury, NY-based non-profit organization offering therapeutic riding programs, hippotherapy and a summer day camp to children, adults, and families with special needs. Many of the veterans have become involved with the HorseAbility program, including those chosen to lead Saturday night's first three post parades (one vet each from Army, Navy and Marines). "We're always happy to welcome our veterans," Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. "It's a thrill for us, and we're doing what we can to make it a special night for them." "Everyone from our group is going out of our way to make sure these veterans have a terrific experience," SOA of NY president Joe Faraldo said. Post time for the 12-race card is the usual 7:10 PM. A friendly reminder regarding Yonkers Raceway’s scheduled mid-season intermission. After the matinee program of Tuesday, May 31 (post time 1 PM), the Raceway’s next play date is Monday, June 13 (post time 7:10 PM). At that time, the five-program per week (Mon/Thu/Fri/Sat @ 7:10, Tue @ 1 PM) returns. Afternoon simulcasting—highlighted by the June 11th Belmont Stakes—continues to be offered during the break (save for Tuesdays), with evening simulcasting suspended during the hiatus. As always, a complete schedule is available at www.empirecitycasino.com. Frank Drucker

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