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Goshen, NY -- Brandon Parker and Stephen & Carole Crevani of Crevani Farms will be honored by Monticello-Goshen USHWA when the chapter hosts its 59th annual harness racing awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. Brandon Parker, son of Monticello Raceway's all-time leading driver, Billy "Zeke" Parker, Jr. will receive the Rising Star Award and Crevani Farms will receive the inaugural Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award. Brandon Parker, has been around horses his entire life. Soon to turn 19, he was born and raised in Monticello. In this, his first year of driving, the soft spoken young man has done all his talking out on the race track. As of Dec. 2, "Lil Zeke" has had an unparalleled 448 starts in his first year of driving, posting 42 wins, 56 seconds and 57 thirds and a UDRS of .206. That may be a record for a rookie! In fact, he ripped through his "Q" drives in a few weeks and just got his "P" license in May. Basically, amassing all those starts in just over half a year! But for a kid who was hanging around the barn at age 6, with a world-class driver for a father, harness racing came relatively naturally. He watches race tapes of all his favorite drivers and tried to learn their style. With an attention to detail he pours over replays like Mike Tyson reviews fight footage. Parker likes to study the film and pick out their nuances. He is also admired by his peers for his poise at such a young age. Of course the Monticello Raceway drivers colony has always been known to produce more than its share of successful reinsmen. *** For decades, Stephen Crevani balanced a demanding career as a high-rise builder with his interest in breeding and racing harness horses. Now that he is retired, the 75-year-old has been able to focus all of his attention on the horse business and is reaping greater rewards as a result. He bred, owned and trained Bullville Powerful p,3,1:49 ($870,812), a son of Bettor's Delight who won the Empire Breeders Classic and the NYSS final at 3. He was the sparkle of Crevani's eye, despite having the misfortune of being born the same year as Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official. "I'm retired and spending more time with the horses, and I'm having more success," said Crevani, whose business holdings also included a bank. "This is my life blood now. I was a workaholic when I was a builder. Now my wife says I'll never get ulcers, I'll just give them." Crevani always has a small but sincere group of horses in training and handful of broodmares at the family farm in Bullville, New York. All of his horses bear the "Bullville" moniker. Crevani began breeding and racing horses in 1975 and his name has been a consistent presence in the Meadowlands program since the track opened the following year. He purchased the original Excelsior Farm in Bullville and at one time had well over 150 horses on the ground. Over the years, well over 400 horses have been bred by Crevani. Crevani's wife, Carole, and many of their five children and 15 grandchildren think he may be somewhat eccentric the way he drives all his own babies at Goshen each summer. But that is what he lives for...the excitement and the passion for the sport. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Herbie Burns (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Goshen, NY -- You can't help but like a guy like Herbie Burns. He is just fun to be around. Whether you are standing on the outside rail cheering for your horse, or stuck out in a field chasing a mare, Herbie will always make you laugh. He just has that way about him. Don't get it wrong...he is a serious veterinarian. But one that is more likely than not to crack a joke when things seem to get too serious. It is that affable charm and devil may care attitude that puts him on the top of many successful people's list of people they call friends.   That is why Burns will be honored with the 2017 Monticello-Goshen USHWA's John Gilmour Good Guy Award when the chapter hosts its 59th annual awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. His success at business, and in life, could perhaps be attributed to his working philosophy: "I only do business with people I like!" It sounds simple enough, but in the Standardbred industry, not everyone is of the same mindset. Herbie's however, comes from his humble beginnings, and prospered out of his keen sense of horsemanship and his pleasant bed-side manner. Although born in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Herbert J. Burns III was raised in Tamaqua, a sleepy town in Eastern Pennsylvania, and got his start in the horse business as a caretaker for his father at Pocono Downs. Burns started working with his Dad in late 1970s, training horses around the likes of Billy and Frank Popfinger and Larry Dumont. By 1980, he had worked his way up the harness ladder and was driving horses at Pocono and eventually earned a full "A" USTA driver's license. In fact, Herbie the driver had reached the winners circle 32 times in his relatively brief career. When asked why he stepped away from driving, Burns was quick to say that "a more secure income stream became very attractive." While training and driving, he also honed his horsemanship skills as a farrier, which led to his interest being piqued by veterinary medicine. Burns decided to take the plunge and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. While there, and still very much in love with the harness game, he met Dr. Michael Ross, a renowned surgical vet at New Bolton Center...and also an owner of Standardbreds. Those two struck up an instant friendship and professional relationship that revolved around their mutual fondness of Harness Horses and how to treat them. Herbie recalls, "Dr. Ross kind of took me under his wing and introduced me to a lot of great people in the industry during the early 90s." At the time, Dr. Ross was providing a lot of services to trotting guru Ron Gurfein and was himself immersed in the happenings on the Grand Circuit and the Meadowlands. Upon graduation Ross introduced Burns to Orange County icon Doctor Howard "Doc" Gill in 1992. From there on out, Herbie was on call 24/7 for Doc Gill, performing rounds at all the farms and training centers in the area. Some could say it was baptism by fire, but for Herbie it was just the beginning of great things to come. Five years later, Herbie bought Doc Gill's practice and then proceeded to build a brand new equine clinic, on land he also bought from Doc Gill. Pine Bush Equine Clinic was re-born and has now grown to 5 associate Vets, 1 intern and 13 employees. Eventually, as the business developed and grew, a 13-stall barn and a full surgical suite were constructed to accommodate the demand. Herbie's specialties include reproduction, surgery and lameness and he is also the staff veterinarian at Blue Chip Farms. "My relationship with the Brown family has been strong since the 1990s, but I developed more of a permanent place with Blue Chip in 2003. That is when I started going to the farm on a daily basis. I absolutely love it." From mare booking meetings with Tom Grossman, to evaluating stock from birth to sale, Herbie is involved with every aspect of a Blue Chip horse's life. In his not-so-spare time, Herb enjoys spending time with his daughters, playing golf and watching his Standardbred horses race. An avid Steelers fan, Burns takes his two daughters to NFL games at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. With Ashley (20) and Amanda (18), it is an annual ritual that they keep private. "No boyfriends," he exclaims. "That is my time with my girls." Quite fond of Bass fishing, Burns has now added Striper fishing on the Hudson to his repertoire of weekend warrior activities. 'Work hard and play hard,' may be another one of his mantras. And although he hung up his colors long ago, he did come out of retirement to drive one race at Goshen Historic Track in 2006. With a young pupil trained by Paul Doherty, he drove his own horse, Chippewa Street that he co-owned with Ray Schnittker. A 2-year-old daughter of Credit Winner, Herbie left among breakers from post five in a NY Fair Stake and never looked back. Tripping the timer in a pedestrian 2:101h, the mare went on to become a multiple stakes winning earner of $232,000, that is after Herbie bravened her up. But his success with horse ownership certainly didn't start or end there. He was "brought in" on a Credit Winner colt originally named Dag Hanover. Ray purchased the horse at Harrisburg in 2003 for $47,000. Turns out he was the first foal from D Train, whose second foal was an Andover Hall colt named Donato Hanover As the story goes, Deb and Ray were waiting for their friend Dr. Burns to arrive, and upon his grand entrance, a phrase was coined. And it stuck...'Here Comes Herbie.' Here Comes Herbie (1:52, $365,541) went on to win an elimination heat of the Hambletonian and was World Champion. Now standing in Indiana, his foals have earned nearly $10 million. Herbie, however, is outstanding in his field and has earned the admiration of all those that make his acquaintance. Always larger than life, that's why the Monticello-Goshen Chapter has honored Herbie Burns with the 2017 John Gilmour Good Guy Award! This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Crevani Farms (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); Brandon Parker (Rising Star); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

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

Goshen, NY - Few individuals in upstate New York have influenced so many New York bred harness racing horses. Yet Dave Hanson has put his stamp on nearly 500 trotters and pacers over his lengthy career.   In recognition of his dedication and selfless contributions of time, talent and energy to the improvement and integrity of Harness Racing in the State of New York, Dave Hanson will be honored with the 2017 Monticello-Goshen USHWA Excelsior Award at the chapter hosts its 59th annual awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club.   In 1980, Dave Hanson started his Standardbred breeding career as a night watch/foaling attendant at Hempt Farms in New York. In 1981 Dave accepted a position as a farm hand and worked his way up the ladder to Farm Manager at Walnridge Farm in New Jersey, leaving in 1988.   From 1988 to 1993, Dave worked at Pine Hollow Stud Farm in Pine Bush, New York as the General Manager.   He returned to Morrisville State College in 1993, where he graduated with an AAS in Equine Management, to teach equine reproduction wet labs, manage the Standardbred breeding program, as well as manage the annual Standardbred yearling sale.   While serving as Institute Manager at Morrisville, Hanson was an integral part of the success of the college's breeding program as well as mentoring the next generation of breeding managers...many of which can be found at such top Standardbred nurseries as Winbak Farm, Diamond Creek and Allerage.   Under Hanson's guidance the Morrisville Yearling Sale grew and prospered. For well over a decade Morrisville was the only regional Standardbred auction held in New York State, featuring Empire State-bred consignments from Winbak Farm, Blue Chip, Cameo Hills and of course the Morrisville Foundation's own yearlings, which Dave had a large hand in cultivating.   In fact the Morrisville College Foundation has bred over 450 horses, many of which are a product of Hanson's two decades of expertise at the college...including the dam of 2-time New York Sire Stakes champion BARN BELLA 3, 1:51.3 ($688,725).   Hanson became a "go-to guy" in upstate New York for his knowledge of stallions and breeding. Hall of Famer Alan Leavitt often sends horses such as Deweycheatumnhowe and Conway Hall to Hanson.   He is also responsible for RC Royalty, and cared for dozens of other stallions when they called a New York breeding shed home.   Dave joined Leatherstocking Veterinary Services in fall of 2014. As the Leatherstocking General Manager, Dave manages the Standardbred breeding program. Always eager to lend a helping hand, Hanson can also be found pitching in wherever he is needed, such as moving hay, assisting with surgery recovery, sale prep of yearlings, equipment repair, etc.   Hanson still sells yearlings at the Morrisville sale under his own Lakeview Equine banner. A big proponent of the academic/horse sale environment, he noted, "It's a big thing for the (Morrisville) students,"   "It's the same in that aspect as it was when I ran the sale. It is the one event that all the disciplines work together to pull off. The hunt seat students are here. The western riding students are here. The draft horse, the thoroughbred and, obviously, the Standardbred students are here. They all get together and pull off what is really a pretty significant fundraiser here for the equine program."   When Dave isn't busy with horses and farm management, he is a scuba diving instructor, and enjoys hunting with his wirehair pointers.   Betty Holt, the long-time executive director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State had this to say about the organization's past president, "Dave is one of the most knowledgeable people in our industry today. I have the utmost respect for him and value his advice."   "He says what he thinks and if you don't want his honest answer don't ask him a question!"   This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Dr. Herbie Burns (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Crevani Farms (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); Brandon Parker (Rising Star); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation).   Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com.   by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA    

HARRISBURG PA - Four men instrumental in the growth and sustaining of harness racing's pre-eminent position in the state of Pennsylvania - Walter "Boots" Dunn, Roger Hammer, Harry Harvey, and Jim Simpson - have been selected by the Keystone Chapter of the U. S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) as the second group of inductees into the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Along with this quartet, a Veterans Committee of Keystone USHWA has selected "Judge" Joe McGraw for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Hall. These men join the first Pennsylvania Harness Hall's inaugural class - Bowman Brown Sr., Max C. Hempt, Roger Huston, Delvin Miller, Dave Palone, Ed Ryan, Lawrence Sheppard, John Simpson Sr. and Paul E. Spears, plus Veteran selection Mary McCune. Walter "Boots" Dunn was a positive factor in every area of the sport in which he participated; as the longtime Chairman on the USTA's Board of Directors representing Pennsylvania; as a horsemen, breeding and training generations of champions and setting a record with 1179 victories as an amateur driver; as consultant to one and all, especially on his beloved county fair circuit, where he oversaw the racing at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville; and as a friend, sounding board, and invaluable sharer of advice. Roger Hammer has won the national title for his category of the Universal Driver Rating (UDR, similar to a baseball players' batting average) eight times, tying for the all-time lead with the immortal horseman Stanley Dancer. He campaigned Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo and many other fine racehorses, notably the "Keystone" horses of his fellow PA Hall of Famer Max Hempt, and to this day he continues as an annual major factor on the Pennsylvania fair circuit. Fearless, impervious to injury or fatigue - always driving to be first. Harry Harvey worked for Pennsylvania's #1 horseman, Delvin Miller, for many years, and drove the Miller-trained filly Helicopter to victory in the sport's premier race, the Hambletonian. He then took over the day-to-day operation of Miller's Meadow Lands Farms, and became so adept at that facet of the sport that he wrote a chapter on farm management in the seminal book Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer. He also gave early lessons to the star pacer Albatross, and trained and drove him in his two-year-old form. Jim Simpson has a noble a personal pedigree as a person can have in harness racing - his father, John Simpson Sr., is already in the Pennsylvania Harness Hall. Jim had success on the racetrack for many years, then followed his father into management at the world-famous Hanover Shoe Farms, the sport's leading nursery, and under his able leadership the farm has maintained its place in the industry, changing with the times and reinvesting in both top stallions and broodmares. Like Harry Harvey, he is a member of harness racing's National Hall of Fame. Joe McGraw started his career working with the harness horses in southwest Pennsylvania, but his work led him to such occupations as handicapper, timer, and most notably judge, from whence he got his nickname. He worked the Grand Circuit of harness racing for nearly half a century, and earned the respect of both colleagues and horsemen alike. He also was an innovator, designing a method for starting races just before the starting gate was introduced, and he also was one of the first to use claiming races in filling cards. He was elected as a national Hall Immortal in 1975. Pictures of and further biographical information about the members of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame can soon be found at the Keystone/USHWA website, www.keystonechapter.com; the new electees are being added at press time. To contact the Keystone/USHWA chapter, write to ushwainfo@gmail.com. Keystone Chapter, U.S. Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG PA---The United States Harness Writers Association has announced its new website is now up and running. The site has gone through a complete make-over and is now state-of-the-art in terms of optics and functionality, with many enhancements that will make everyone's user experience pleasant. It now has streaming ability and also a marketplace, where members can pay their dues and the organization can sell items such as Dan Patch Awards Banquet tickets, making these transactions much easier. USHWA also now owns three domains for the site: ushwa.org, ushwa.com and ushwa.net. Any one of the three will get you to the same site. "We are very excited about the release of our new website. Its look and versatility will enhance the user experience of our members as well as everyone in the racing community that visit it regularly," said Tim Bojarski, President of USHWA. Although the site has published, it's still a work in process, so bear with us if any glitches occur over the next few weeks. We do not expect any interruptions but cannot rule out the possibility. From the U. S. Harness Writers Association  

Becker & Briggs to Communicators Hall of Fame

Harrisburg, PA - Jules Siegel, owner of Fashion Farms in Pennsylvania, twice national owner of the year in the U.S. and Owner of the Decade (2000s) as named by Standardbred Canada, and Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, an important breeder, owner, and board member of organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, were named ballot candidates for the sport's most prestigious honor, the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, this past weekend by the Hall of Fame Screening Committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Siegel, who will turn 90 this year, graduated from Rutgers with a degree in pharmacy, and operated a chain of drug stores for 40 years. When he sold the drug stores in 1995, his wife and partner Arlene, who passed away in 2010, insisted, "you cannot retire to nothing," so the Siegels' Fashion Farms soon became home to some of Standardbred racing's best broodmares and racehorses. Tagliabue won the Hambletonian the year Jules Siegel retired - the first of eight Dan Patch Award winners for him. He has five Breeders Crown victories to his credit as well, three of them homebreds with the farm's "Broadway" first name: Broadway Hall, Broadway Schooner, and Broadway Donna just last year. Wallenius-Kleberg is the owner of Menhammar Stuteri AB, the most successful breeding farm in Sweden for the last nine years; her family has owned the farm for 70 years, having been purchased in 1947 by her father Olof Wallenius. Menhammar Stuteri is noted for having stood the transcontinental champion Mack Lobell at stud, and also for standing two stallions sent to Sweden by Wallenius-Kleberg's business partner, the late Hall of Famer Norman Woolworth: Zoot Suit and Smokin Yankee. A tireless worker for the sport, Wallenius-Kleberg is a director of the Hambletonian Society in the U.S., and in 2011 received the Pinnacle Award for promotion of the sport. In Sweden, she was the former chair of the Swedish Breeders Association and of the organization operating Solvalla Racetrack, home of the famous Elitlopp, and is an honorary lifetime member of these two organizations and of the Swedish Trotting Association. If elected, Ms. Wallenius-Kleberg would become the first woman enshrined in the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Siegel and Wallenius-Kleberg were among nominees sent in by the chapters of USHWA for the consideration of the Screening Committee. After meeting with an Advisory Committee comprised of Hall of Famers, USHWA's Screening Committee made its decisions on the day of the annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, the first Sunday in July. Siegel and Wallenius-Kleberg will be joined on the midsummer ballot by Carl Becker, race-caller/auctioneer/pedigree authority, and Dave Briggs, nine-time winner of the Hervey Award for outstanding writing about the sport; they are the candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame. If a nominee receives 75 percent of the yes-no votes cast, she or he will be elected. The results will be announced shortly after Labor Day. The new Hall of Famers will be first feted at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held Sunday, February 25, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, in conjunction with USHWA's annual meetings. The new Hall of Fame class will be formally inducted during the Hall of Fame Sunday Dinner in 2018 on July 1. U.S. Harness Writers Association

Marcia Louise (Bickford) Stearns of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, died Saturday, June 17, after a long illness. She was 76.   Born and raised in Wolfeboro, NH, she graduated from Brewster Academy and earned a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire.   Mrs. Stearns began her career teaching elementary school in Farmington, NH. Later she was elected Town Clerk of Hampstead, NH and served two terms until she moved to Newtown, PA. She then returned to teaching at St. Ignatius School in Yardley where she taught the fourth grade for nearly two decades.   She was married for 35 years to the late Bruce Adams Stearns, a prominent harness racing leader who served as executive director of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program in the State Department of Agriculture before his passing in 2001. Previously, Mr. Stearns was publicity director at harness racetracks, including Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania and Rockingham in New Hampshire. He was elected posthumously in 2002 to the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame.   Survived by daughters Christine Stearns and Catherine (Stearns) Medich, son-in-law Benjamin, granddaughter Elizabeth Medich, sisters-in-law Elaine Bickford and Gail Bird (David), and several nieces and nephews.   She was predeceased by her parents, Frank Lovewell Bickford Jr. and Eleanor (Kenney) Bickford; husband Bruce Adams Stearns, and brother Kenneth Bickford.   Family visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM on Wednesday, July 21, at the Orender Home for Funderals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ. Burial will be in New Hampshire.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the George School and sent to the Advancement Office, 1690 Newtown Langhorne Rd, PMB 4438, Newtown, PA 18940, or to the charity of your choice.   From Leon Zimmerman, USHWA      

The U. S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the trade organization of harness racing communicators and the largest organization of its kind in the world, has announced that it will be holding its 2018 Dan Patch Awards Banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, February 25, with the organization's annual meetings to be conducted the day before and that day. Located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from the many area attractions, Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. The stunning 230-acre property includes an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-redesigned golf course, four swimming pools, a spa that includes nine treatment rooms, two lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There are 15 restaurant/lounges located on the property, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, and a 24-hour deli. Rosen Shingle Creek offers more than 1,500 smoke-free guestrooms, which include Creek Sleeper Beds with designer linens and pillows, plush robes, 40-inch TVs and a spa-like bathroom. Dan Patch Awards banquet ticket prices will be announced later, but a special price offering will be available for children 12 and under. Also, attendees will receive a greens fee discount at the adjacent golf course. Rosen Shingle Creek offers complimentary shuttles to area theme parks and Orlando Premium Outlets. Attendees will be able to purchase theme park ticket packages at a discount via USHWA, with that information also available at a later time. To see a promotional video of Rosen Shingle Creek, please click this link: RosenShingleCreekSizzleVideo2.mp4 "Through the hard work of our location committee,"said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "USHWA now has a unique opportunity to host our Dan Patch Awards banquet at a truly luxurious location. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort has facilities and amenities far beyond anywhere we have ever stayed in the past and we look forward to welcoming all of our award winners and guests to this property next February." The Dan Patch Awards Banquet annually honors the best and brightest performers, both human and equine, of the previous season. The award winners are selected by USHWA, which will be holding its directors meeting on Saturday and its general membership meeting on the banquet Sunday. Details will be made available at the USHWA website, http://www.ushwa.org/, and through trade media as they become available. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

Goshen, NY - When the directors of Goshen Historic Track met for their monthly business meeting, the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) presented the non-profit harness racing organization with a donation of three thousand dollars ($3,000).   John Manzi, the driving force behind the chapter's benevolent activities for the past four decades was on hand to make the presentation of funds.   "This is our Cooperstown!" the affable publicist proclaimed in his signature style. "The track and the [Harness Racing] Museum are to Harness Racing what Cooperstown is to Baseball. And we are darn proud to continue to donate to both of these important institutions." In just the last ten years the Monticello-Goshen chapter has donated well over $30,000 to the "World's Oldest Harness Track." President Steve Jones stated, "The board of directors at Goshen Historic Track is grateful to the Monticello-Goshen chapter for their continued financial support. These sizable contributions allow us to carry on with improvements to this National Historic Landmark...which due to its advanced age constantly requires renovation and updating." In preparations for the track's 107th racing season, as well as to accommodate a few training stables arriving from down South, several ongoing projects were in mid-stream or nearing completion. The largest undertaking is the painting of the century-old grandstand. In addition, the BOCES barn has been completely re-sided and the floors of the stalls replaced. Repairs to the Arden Clubhouse, the track's operating office, are also in the works. Matinee racing begins in just seven short weeks on June 4, and again on subsequent Sundays 11 & 18. Grand Circuit racing starts at the 'Cradle of the Trotter' on Saturday, July 1. Hall of Fame day is Sunday, July 2, with two more race dates slated for Monday (July 3) and Tuesday (July 4). Established in 1838, Goshen Historic Track encourages membership in their iconic facility. For more information check out their website: GoshenHistoricTrack.com By Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA

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

LAS VEGAS NV - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the world's largest organization for industry communicators, conducted its annual two days of business meetings this past weekend at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino along "the Strip" in this renowned gambling mecca. The weekend culminated in the Sunday evening celebration of the sport's best and brightest stars of 2016, both human and equine, at the annual Dan Patch Annual Banquet, for which Hoosier Park in Indiana joined with USHWA as its first Dan Patch Banquet title presenters.   The presence of Hoosier Park, and several other high-recognition entities of the sport providing sponsorship of phases of the Dan Patch Banquet, was reflective of the hard work of many individuals in shoring up the financial bottom line of the organization, and then developing a plan upon which to expand and help make USHWA's economic base even stronger.   This was perhaps the major theme of the USHWA weekend meetings, with Florida member Tom Hicks earning USHWA's Member of the Year award for spearheading a diverse, hard-working committee that took a look at all of USHWA's spending and income of recent years, and tried to find ways to minimize the former while maximizing the latter. A detailed report, emphasizing expansion of avenues of income, especially through the group's website (www.ushww.org), was prepared, explained, and distributed to the assembled as a baseline for ongoing activities.   Association economics were very much prevalent in the annual by-law and rules & regulations change proposals. One proposition argued in most years again was taken to a vote: the debate whether it was more advantageous to continue the current method of announcing Horse, Trotter, and Pacer of the Year at the end of the calendar season to take advantage of significant international press exposure, or to announce these awards for the first time at the Dan Patch Banquet in order to heighten the drama and perhaps bring in additional revenue (e.g., through sponsoring streaming video). This year's tabulation revealed that both sides' arguments had merit: 20 Directors voted to move the announcement to the banquet while 15 favored keeping the announcement at year's end, but this vote meant that the announcement will stay when it is, as under USHWA's by-laws a 2/3 majority (here, 23 votes) would have been necessary for a by-law change.   The Directors of USHWA also voted on the two ballot candidates for this summer's election for the Communicators Hall of Fame. Veteran Midwest announcer and auctioneer Carl Becker garnered the most support; the contest for the second spot was extremely tight, with the nod going to Dave Briggs of Harness Racing Update, who at the banquet would collect his record ninth John Hervey Award for excellence in writing about the Standardbred sport.   USHWA's officers generally work on a two-year cycle, and since this was an "off-year" election, the same officials were retained for another year: Tim Bojarski as President; Shawn Wiles as 1st Vice President; Kim Rinker as 2nd Vice President; Chris Tully as Chairman of the Board; Barry Lefkowitz as Treasurer; and Jerry Connors as Secretary.    

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

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) are again teaming up to offer an exciting silent auction to benefit both harness racing organizations at the Dan Patch Awards Dinner Sunday, February 26 in Las Vegas. For those who are on the go, one lucky bidder may attend the 2017 Preakness on May 20. That package includes two tickets to Turfside Terrace at Pimlico, including admission, seating, buffet, beer and wine, and parking. And while what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, one successful bidder can choose a two-night stay at any Caesar's property, along with a dinner for four. Special works of art, including a 22x8x22 inch stone, fiberglass and resin horse head statue title "Champagne," a framed, double matted 25x33 inch "Stretch Drive," signed print by renowned artist James Crown and a 14x18 inch Greyhound framed print by R.H. Palenske are also up for bid. For that special female, the auction features a Bow River two heart horse pendant and necklace featuring a .10 carat diamond and 14K gold necklace. Also offered is an equine-themed L.V. Harkness etched whisky decanter. In addition to on-site bidding in Las Vegas, USHWA and HHYF are offering advance bidding on all of these items. Contact Steve Wolf at 954-654-3757, or Ellen Taylor at 317-908-0029 for bidding requirements and information. Now in its fifth decade of service to harness racing, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org. The United States Harness Writers Association is a group of more than 220 members committed to the chronicling of harness racing through the print and electronic media. It was founded in 1947 by New York City area sportswriters who were covering harness racing at Roosevelt Raceway. It remains the only media organization in harness racing with a membership of newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, ad agency, publicists and others involved in racing communications. With most of USHWA's members allied to one of 12 regional chapters, the association strives to bring about a closer relationship among the media, racetracks and horsemen to promote a centuries-old American-bred sport.  

Let's Go Racing LLC's feature, "Always B Miki's Miraculous Return," which aired during the Breeders Crown telecast on SNY (SportsNet New York) on Oct. 28, was named the winner of the 2016 John Hervey Award for excellence in harness racing broadcasting, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Wednesday. Winners in the Hervey writing categories and Smallsreed Award photography divisions were announced last week. Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeffrey Gural is continuing his longstanding sponsorship of the Hervey and Smallsreed awards by providing USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet tickets for the winners. The broadcasting division was judged by Kurt Becker, track announcer at Keeneland and an Eclipse Award-winning broadcaster. "Always B Miki's Miraculous Return" chronicled the pacer's comeback from two leg surgeries to become a Breeders Crown champion and the fastest horse in harness racing history. The piece was produced by Bruce Casella and narrated by Heather Vitale. Becker said the production was "well-edited, with a keen sense of what was pertinent to the storyline" and "told the story in an efficient and powerful manner." Honorable mention was presented to WISH-TV's "Indiana Born" feature that focused on the career of pacer Freaky Feet Pete and his owners/trainers the Rheinheimer family. It appeared on Indianapolis' WISH-TV on Oct. 16. It was produced by Peggy McClelland. Winners will be recognized at USHWA's Dan Patch Awards dinner presented by Hoosier Park at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Feb. 26. For more information, visit www.ushwa.org. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

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