The 56th annual awards banquet of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will be on Sunday, November 16 at the Fountains at the Wallkill Golf Club on Sands Road in Circleville, NY. A social hour begins at 5:30 p.m with dinner to follow. Honorees are Ted Gewertz, Crawford Farms, Ken Weingartner, Jason Settlemoir, George Casale and Geri Schwarz. The evening will break from the usual format of presenting awards early, to a friendly roast of longtime master of ceremonies and banquet chairman John Manzi. Manzi also has been the eyes of the Monticello Raceway, heading the public relations team for so many years that his name is synonymous with the track. The roast should be quite a lot of fun. (He also is host of the Bop Shop Radio Show that coincidentally is celebrating its 31st anniversary today, October 10. Tune in from 8 p.m. to midnight on WVOS-FM.) Manzi is co-chairing the banquet this year with Chris Tully, president of the national USHWA, and Shawn Wiles, second vice president. The banquet will continue the tradition of donating the profits from the printed journal with congratulatory ads and messages. Recipients are the Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, two separate entities although next door to each other in Goshen. Tickets are $65 per person and to place a congratulatory ad in the awards journal please call the raceway at 794-4100, ext. 455. From the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA
With the resignation of John Berry from the US Harness Writers Association's Hall of Fame Screening Committee USHWA president Chris Tully has appointed Shawn Wiles to replace Mr. Berry. Due to personal family issues, Mr. Berry could not make it to Goshen this weekend. Wiles, a vice president and longtime member of the Monticello- Goshen Chapter USHWA and general manager of Monticello Casino and Raceway is a current USTA District 8 Director as well as second VP of USHWA National and he has a long history in the sport. His career in harness racing started in the backstretch of Monticello Raceway during the 1970s where he worked as a groom for Richard Sturgis, Robert Camper and Jim Grundy. He then went on in search of a Grand Circuit stable to work for and found success with the famed trotting specialists of Continental Farms under the guidance of Hakan Wallner, Hall of Famer Berndt Lindstedt, and Jan Johnson. Wiles was the first American second- trainer to work for the famed Scandinavian trotting experts from 1980-1986. During his tenure as a groom he rubbed many top performers, most notably the crack stakes filly Dominant, and then worked for Castleton Farms from 1986-1988. Wiles joined Monticello Raceway in 1996, working under John Manzi in publicity and Bill Sullivan in operations. Wiles was initially promoted to assistant GM of Monticello Casino and Raceway, and lately promoted to General Manager of the entire facility. He was recently lauded by the local scribes on his tough stance on racing integrity. Wiles is also on various other USHWA committees including the Integrity Committee, Location Committee, and the Fan Award Committee. "I am honored to be part of the process that honors the legends of Harness Racing," Wiles said referring to his recent appointment to the Hall of Fame Screening Committee. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway
Suzanne D'Ambrose, of Neptune, N.J, is the winner of the 2014 Stanley Dancer Award from the N.J. Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The award honors an individual whose efforts on behalf of racing and cooperation with the media are in keeping with the example set by the late Hall of Fame driver and trainer Stanley Dancer, a native of New Egypt, N.J. D'Ambrose, a retired high school teacher and mounted police officer, has given countless hours of both her time and that of her family-friendly 13 -year-old trotter, Independent Act, aka Indy, in doing outreach events for the Standardbred industry. D'Ambrose and Indy have appeared at libraries throughout the state to help celebrate New Jersey's Month of the Horse each June. This month so far, the duo will be at the Howell Library at 6 pm on June 11, the Manalapan Library on June 30, as well as June 29 at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, N.J. Indy has patiently been petted and fed carrots by hundreds of adults and children, many of them making their first ever equine encounter. He has often been the only "boy" at Girl Scout camps where D'Ambrose teaches horsemanship. D'Ambrose, who is a freelance equine massage therapist, also volunteers extensively with the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) on fund raising events as well as helping with adoption outreach events. She even provides complimentary massages for horses rehabilitating from racing injuries and awaiting adoption. Independent Act retired from racing at age 6 and now accompanies D'Ambrose as the two represent the breed in parades, hunter paces, Western trail classes and showmanship competition. Previous winners of the Dancer Award, since1991, were drivers John Campbell, Herve Filion, Ray Remmen and Luc Ouellette; trainers Robbie Siegelman, Kevin and John McDermott, Kelly Stackowicz and George Teague Jr.; the father-son team of Carl and Rod Allen; the duo of trainer Jimmy Takter and owner/amateur driver Mal Burroughs, the Meirs Family of Walnridge Farms for the Niatross Tour, Robert J. Sharkey, the go-to guy at Meadowlands, SBOA of New Jersey President Tom Luchento, Meadowlands General Manager Chris McErlean, the late veterinarian Dr. Pat Knapman. By Ellen Harvey, for the New Jersey chapter of USHWA
The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association presented its April, 2014 Caretaker of the Month award to Louis Ginesi Wednesday evening at the Isle Pompano Park. He and and wife Erin Ginesi developed, along with regular teamster Mickey Mc Nichol, the young pacing mare Goldstar Rockette to an impressive month's performance. Now owned by Ginesi, after purchase in June 2013 from breeder Tom Audley, the four year-old daughter of Rock On-Tony's Silveraider-Keystone Raider has emerged recently with three wins and a second in April. She scored in a lifetime record 1:54.4f at Pompano Park on April 23 and now shows a slate of 4-3-2 in 12 starts this year, good for earnings of $13,824. Ginesi (shown below with Erin and USHWA presenters), credits the turnaround of Goldstar Rockette to patience, maturity, excellent farrier and veterinarian work and the special driving skills of veteran Mickey Mc Nichol. The connections of pensioner Tweedle Dum said in interview that they look forward to another ten years of racing success for their pacing mare. That could happen as the maternal family is one of aged pacing success. Dam Tony's Silveraider took her 1:55.2f mark at age seven and earned $114,166. Her other offspring include Goldstar Raider 5, 1:52.2f for $109,178 and recent winner Gold Star Kenny P 3, 1:57f. Ginesi was presented by the Florida Chapter with a plaque and a check for $100. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Florida USHWA
The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) held its annual awards banquet on Friday during which both human and equine stalwarts received their 2013 Hall of Fame awards. Chapter members Lucien Fontaine and communicator Steve Wolf, along with veteran driver/trainer Mark O’Mara, were inducted into the Hall of Fame. On the equine side Florida’s leading pacing stallion Six Of Diamonds, open trotter Tweedle Dum and the pacer I’d Like To Win received accolades for their career performances. Lucien Fontaine After starting his career with Keith Waples and later Clint Hodgins in the US, Fontaine trained Bye Bye Byrd and Elaine Rodney before earning his stripes with an initial victory at Roosevelt Raceway in 1961 behind longshot Carmita Hanover. That start earned Fontaine the reputation as a leading catch-driver on the metro NY circuit and he also raced at Pompano Park during its initial season in 1964. At age 28 Fontaine became the youngest driver to reach $1 million in purse earnings and he also led efforts to have racetracks deduct driver/trainer purse percentages directly from the purse account for each race. In 1986 “Loosh” directed Forrest Skipper to an undefeated 15 race season (and named Horse of the Year) setting track records at Freehold, Rosecroft, Roosevelt, Canterbury and Dover followed by a track record tying Breeders Crown win at Los Alamitos. Fontaine also campaigned Big Towner, Country Don, Irish Napoleon, Pocomoonshine, Cigar Store Injun and W.W. Smith and he won the standardbred sport’s most prestigious events (Breeders Crown, US Pacing Championship, Messenger, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Dan Patch, and others) in a career that produced over 3,400 wins and over $21 million in purses. Mark O’Mara Mark O’Mara’s driving career began at age 15 with a win behind Son Of Waygale at the Troy, OH matinee. Developed by his stall active training father, Frank, Mark successfully campaigned on the Grand Circuit during which he led 1986 Two Year-Old Pacer of the Year Jate Lobell. Jate was undefeated in 15 starts that year and the pair returned at age three to earn the Three Year-Old Pacer of the Year title before retiring with career earnings of $2.2 million. O’Mara also directed Breeders Crown winning trotters Firm Tribute and Lassie’s Goal. The Michigan native and now Parkland, FL resident has 2,266 career victories as driver, good for over $24.3 million in purses earned. Mark also has 288 training wins that account for $3.3 million in earnings. Currently, Mark campaigns top class veteran pacer Cruizin KC and the open trotters Jolene’s Pinehonker and HP Forte at Pompano Park and is an annual dominant driving and training leader at Hoosier Park during the summer season. Steve Wolf Steve Wolf is a worthy recipient of the Communicators Corner USHWA Florida award. Currently Director of North American Operations of Harnesslink.com, Steve first came to Florida as Isle Pompano Park’s Director of Marketing and later as Senior Director of Racing Operations. He led numerous successful promotions including driver tournaments, claiming series events, family nights, live concerts, car shows, giveaway and cash contests, charity and celebrity events and the noteworthy “Hot to Trot” horse racing fireworks show featuring Australia’s Vincent Silvestro and his chestnut pacer Hand Me Silver. Wolf was previously Director of Marketing and Publicity and Freehold Raceway and Assistant Director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. He also worked in the publicity offices at Liberty Bell Park and Brandywine Raceway. Born and raised in Flemington. NY, Steve was part of the Leo Wolf & Son Inc. breeding and racing operation with his parents, Ruth and Manny Wolf, during which they bred million-dollar winning pacer Doc’s Fella. Steve was a hands-on horseman, prepping yearlings at Lana Lobell Farm of New Jersey and as racehorse caretaker. Other USHWA Florida, FSBOA and Florida Amateur Driver Awards USHWA Florida awarded deserving attending recipients of its other prestigious awards to Joe Harvilla, Pam Senclair, Victoria Howard and Peter Roccasano, Laurie Poulin, Michelle Hallett, Tom Audley, Kim Sears and Jody Dancer. In addition, USHWA Florida held its traditional silent and live auctions of standardbred memorabilia and a 50/50 raffle that benefit university scholarship and Aime Choquette funds. The well attended annual event had nearly 200 guests and also served as the presentation venue for the FSBOA Crystal Awards to its top 2013 stakes and overnight leaders, Breeder of the Year (Kim and Jay Sears) and Florida Amateur Driver of the Year (John Campagnuola). Crystal Award Winners Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Sandalonia Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Tough Issue Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Markie Two-Year-old Trotting Colt - Showing Off Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly - Tashia Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt - Hillybilly Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly - Tyree's Treasure Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt - Railee Kwik Older Pacing Mare - Diamond Amber Older Pacing Horse - Diamond Cowboy Older Trotting Mare - Briell T Older Trotting Horse - Lugar By Tom Hicks, for Florida Chapter USHWA
Pompano Beach, FL --- Tickets are still available at the door for tonight’s Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association’s 23rd annual Hall of Fame awards dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Deerfield Beach. Tickets are $75 per person and late registration can also be made by phone (954) 654-3757. Cocktail party starts at 6:00 pm followed by awards dinner at 7:30 pm. Elected to the chapter’s Hall of Fame, which recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry, are two longtime harness racing driver/trainers, Lucien Fontaine of Coconut Creek and Mark O’Mara of Parkland. Being inducted into the Communicators’ Corner of the Hall of Fame, which is presented to an outstanding individual who had devoted his or her print or broadcast career to promoting the harness racing industry goes to former Isle Pompano Park Marketing Director, Steven Wolf, of Coral Springs. Three horses will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for their outstanding racing and/or stallion/broodmare careers. They are former stakes and Invitational pacer, I’d Like To Win, Florida’s leading pacing stallion, Six Of Diamonds and the former world and track record holding trotter, Tweedle Dum. The other Florida award winners are: JODY DANCER – Delvin Miller award TOM AUDLEY – William Popfinger award KIM SEARS – Stanley Dancer award MICHELLE HALLETT – Frances Dodge Van Lennep award Victoria Howard/Peter Roccasano – R.D. Ricketts award ED HENSLEY – Peter Haughton award ROB WYRE – Dan Gawlas Good Guy award JOE HARVILLA – Lifetime Achievement award PAM SENCLAIR – Caretaker of the Year award In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter’s awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2- and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2013 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award, which goes to Kim and Jay Sears. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their Driver of the Year award to John Campagnuolo. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA
Westfield, IN- Chris Tully, the Social Media Director of Harnesslink.com, national Vice President of the United States Harness Writers Association and Marketing Director for Winners Circle Blueberries, has been elected to a three-year-term as a trustee of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Upon being notified of his election, Tully commented, “From working with the campers at Goshen to loading the two-seated jog carts at The Meadowlands, I have always enjoyed working with these enthusiastic youngsters. I am honored to be elected a trustee and expand my interaction to an official capacity.” The energetic fortynine-year-old brings a wealth of Standardbred industry experience to HHYF. In addition to being a caretaker and amateur driver, Tully served as General Manager of the Goshen Historic Track, where he hosted and assisted with several HHYF Youth and Leadership Camps. In addition, Tully is a talented graphic artist and is responsible for the design and production of the Dan Patch Awards journal, as well as the Hall of Fame Souvenir journal and the Harness Racing Museum gift catalog. 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. Submitted by Harness Horse Youth Foundation
The deadline for entries for the 2013 John Hervey Awards, which honor the best of harness racing journalism, is Dec. 6. Entries will be accepted in five categories - news and commentary writing, feature writing, television, audio and the George Smallsreed Awards for race and feature photography. Winners will be honored at the U.S. Harness Writers Association's annual Dan Patch Awards dinner on Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. Judges in each category will select a winner and, where appropriate, up to two honorable mentions. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 6 for materials that were published or aired between Dec. 1, 2012 and Nov. 30, 2013. There are no entry fees or cash prizes. The rules are available by request to Ken Weingartner, chair of the Hervey Committee, at email@example.com. Entries should be sent to Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications, 49 E. Main St. #5, Freehold, N.J. 07728. Entries also may be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If using an overnight service, please indicate that no signature is required. Rules for the 2013 John Hervey Awards The best of harness racing journalism in 2013 will be honored with the 52st edition of the John Hervey Awards for writing, the 30th edition of the Broadcasters Awards for electronic media as well as the 14th edition of the George Smallsreed Awards for photography. Please read these rules carefully. Failure to follow instructions may result in disqualification of the entry. Entries will be judged in the following categories - all must be in English: 1. News & Commentary Writing [hard news, opinion pieces and essays] 2. Feature Writing [articles not written on overnight deadline; involving background research or expanded profiles - not Q&As] 3. Television [a featured or live racing segment no longer than 10 minutes which must have aired on a network, local or cable station or have been included in a racetrack's simulcasting presentation] 4. Audio [a segment no longer than 10 minutes which was broadcasted through a radio station or through a recognized website as a podcast]. 5. Racing Photography 6. Feature Photography Winners will receive a plaque/trophy as well as two dinner tickets to the Dan Patch Awards dinner on Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. There are no cash prizes. The decisions of the Hervey Committee and the judges are final. Photo and written submissions - news or feature categories - must have appeared in a paid-circulation publication OR on the website that is the same-name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication, recognized broadcast news organization or established industry/news website. Content that appeared on personal websites, message boards or lists and similar entities is not valid for inclusion in the competition. The final decision on eligibility is in the hands of the Hervey Committee. Television or audio entries must have aired on a commercial or public television/radio station or be part of a racetrack's simulcasting broadcast. Additionally, audio/podcasts are eligible if they were posted to the websites of recognized news organizations or established industry websites. Documentaries or other long-form productions are not eligible although one segment of that documentary, edited only to fit the length limitations of no more than 10 minutes, may be submitted for consideration. The final decision on eligibility is in the hands of the Hervey Committee. General Rules The decision for eligibility of Internet posted materials is at the discretion of the Hervey Committee and all decisions are final. These awards are not open to entries which are fiction or were prepared for commercial purposes [for advertisements/ promo/publicity purposes]. There is a limit of one submission per person in any one category. You may enter more than one category, but not with the same submission. The Hervey Committee, at its discretion, may disqualify an entry at any time in the process, and reserves the right not to bestow an award in a particular category based on the quality and quantity of entries. An entry may only be submitted in one category and the category for which someone is submitting must be clearly indicated. What You Must Submit All entries must originate with the author/photographer/producer and MUST include a signed cover letter expressing the wish to enter materials in the contest and granting permission for the materials to be used for promoting the awards in press releases. The letter must also include the following contact information for the writer/producer/photographer: name, full address, telephone numbers [home, office, cell and fax] and email address. The letter must also include the date that the media organization published/aired the submission and specify the category for which the entry is being submitted. All the rules for submission must be followed. Editors may submit on behalf of authors provided that the cover letter is provided with information on the writer/producer/photographer as well as the person submitting the entry. All other third-party entries will be rejected. Rules for Submission All written entries - news or feature - must specify the category [news or feature] for which the author wishes to be considered. All print entries must include both a tearsheet of the entry [a PDF is acceptable via electronic submission] as it appeared in print and an electronic or emailed version that is plain text, without identifying information [no bylines, publication names, graphs, photos or other graphic elements]. The emailed [or electronic] file must be named for the author so that it is easily identifiable as being by the author. The plain text version must be AS IT WAS PUBLISHED. The tearsheet from the publication must show the author's name, title and date of publication. Tearsheets for Internet-based submissions will consist of a "screen print" of the document. At the discretion of the Hervey Committee, an editor or similar senior official of the publication or website may be required to provide a letter attesting that the document is the work of the author who submitted it and it appeared on the website or in the publication on the date in question. If the author wishes to submit a multi-part series, it must be where the parts were published at the same time [sidebars with a primary story] or where it covers a single theme over the course of two or three publication dates. Multi-part submissions are not to exceed three parts. All television entries must not exceed 10 minutes and must not contain commercials. Each submission [one per person or group] should have its own cover letter. Each submission should be in the form of a DVD. Please provide TWO  DVDs of each submission. The submission may be a segment from a live show or a pre-taped feature but must be submitted "as broadcasted" and not edited other than to meet the length restriction and to remove commercials. Commercials or promotional videos are not eligible. A single segment of a documentary may be submitted but not a full length documentary. All audio entries must not exceed 10 minutes and must not contain commercials. Each submission [one per person or group] should have its own cover letter. Each submission should be in the form of a DVD or CD. Please provide TWO  DVDs [or CDs] of each submission. Entries which aired on the Internet should include the URL for that broadcast. All photography entries must be in the form of TWO  non-returnable 8-by-10 prints of each photograph as it appeared in print, WITH NO identifying information on the front or back along with the cover letter that provides all the identifying information. The two prints should be accompanied by a single tearsheet of the published photo, showing the date, name of publication and photographer's name and info. Tearsheets for Internet-based submissions will consist of a "screen print" with an accompanying letter from the editor or similar senior official of the website, attesting to who submitted it and that it appeared on the date indicated in connection with a news-related story. Each photographer may submit one entry in each the race and feature categories. Additionally, the winners [and any honorable mentions] must be able to provide a JPG version of the photograph upon request from the Hervey Committee. Photographs should not be digitally enhanced beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification. Deadline: All entries must be in the hands of Hervey Chairman Ken Weingartner by 5 p.m. on Dec. 6. This is NOT a postmark deadline but actually when the entry must be RECEIVED. You are urged to submit early to avoid missing the deadline. Where to send the entries: Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications, 49 E. Main St. #5, Freehold, N.J. 07728. If using an overnight service, please indicate that no signature is required. Where to email the digital portion of the entry: email@example.com. Questions may be sent to: Ken Weingartner at the above email address. by Ken Weingartner for USHWA
Harness racing driver David Miller and breeder William Weaver will be on this summer's ballot for election to the Living Hall of Fame, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Monday.
On Saturday night (6-28) Buffalo Raceway hosted the families of two local harness racing legends as they were inducted into the Upstate New York USHWA Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
For Friday's first two races at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, bettors will have to focus on Win/Place/Show and Daily Double rather than the varied harness racing exotics menu usually offered.
Even though harness racing was cancelled at the Big Butler Fair Thursday morning, there was an awards presentation to the McMullen Stable by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association for being the "State Small Stable of the Year" for 2012.
The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is proud to announce that harness racing trainer/driver Delbert Manges and breeder Pat Menchi have been chosen to go into their Hall of Fame.
The 'Best of 2012' awards were handed out last night by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers' Association, and leading the way as Pennsylvania's 'Horse of the Year' was Bob Key's Winning Mister 1:51.3 ($1,108,874), the millionaire and FFA trotting star who established track records at every Pennsylvania harness track--and six track records in all.
The opportunity for any eligible college student looking to apply for the 2013 Dewey Degree Scholarship is fading fast as there are less than two weeks remaining for them to get their paperwork turned in.
Christopher P. Tully, former amateur harness driving champion, currently 1st vice president of the United State Harness Writers Association (USHWA), President of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA and a professional graphics designer and businessman, has dedicated his new website, www.christullytrot.com, in memory of his famous father.