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Columbus, OH — James R. Gluhm, 77, a lifelong harness horse trainer, died recently after a lingering illness. He was a native of Hamilton, Ohio, but lived in Trenton, Fla., for many years. “The best horse I ever trained was JEFs Spice,” Mr. Gluhm said recently. The daughter of Super Bowl won $951,469 in 1985-86, winning 19 of her 33 starts with seven second-place finishes. She took her mark of 1:55.2 at The Red Mile and was later exported to Europe. JEFs Spice won the Breeders Crown in 1986. Mr. Gluhm and his stepdaughter Kim Miller were the first father-daughter to win Breeders Crowns. Miller trained the 2006 Breeders Crown winner Charley Barley by Western Hanover. “I learned so much from him,” Kim says. “He wasn’t consciously teaching me. You had to watch what he did. I learned from that.” Mr. Gluhm was a trainer who didn’t seek the limelight and his horsemanship was best appreciated by his peers in the training profession. For many years, he helped to develop youngers for the Sunbird Stable operated by Jack Landis of Florida. Mr. Gluhm would develop the youngsters and get them gaited, mannered, and trained down, then often send them north to be raced by other trainers. Some of their most notable performers were the back-to-back 1983-84 Peter Haughton Memorial winners Why Not 4,1:56.4 ($823,108) and Another Miracle 3,1:57.1 ($906,314). He was also involved in the purchase and preparation of Kentucky Futurity winner Jazz Cosmos 3,1:55 ($701,568) and the top star Nearly Perfect 4,1:54 ($630,327). “Jim picked them out and got good value at the yearling sales,” says Miller. “He was willing to buy from the scratch-and-dent section of a yearling sale if he saw something he liked.” Mr. Gluhm was also closely involved with the success of three horses in the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame: Anythings Possible, American Patriot and Basil. Mr. Gluhm’s father was a veterinarian in Butler County in southwest Ohio and he worked on many Standardbreds in that area, including those raced by Howard Beissinger and his father. Stepdaughter Kim says that Mr. Gluhm considered John Patterson, Eldon Harner, Bruce Nickells, and Ohioan Charlie King to be his mentors. “He learned patience from them,” she says. “He believed in allowing a horse to find itself.” “Just keep going with one,” Mr. Gluhm often told his stepdaughter. “But when you have to start making excuses for a horse, then you’re in trouble.” Miller says that Mr. Gluhm didn’t put much faith in luck in racing. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” was one of her stepfather’s favorite sayings, said Miller. “He said you simply had to watch and see what the horse was doing. He also didn’t believe a horse had to dance every dance; a trainer had to pick the right spots to race. He was always in full command of his barn.” Mr. Gluhm felt that owners trusted him to provide the best care for their horses and Kim Miller said he was not happy when an owner once told him that he “wasn’t progressive enough about using veterinarians.” The family asked that any donations in Mr. Gluhm’s memory be made to a local chapter of the America Legion. by Dean A Hoffman, for the USTA

HAMILTON, OH --- Howard F. Beissinger, 94, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame for 44 years, died February 6, 2018 in Hamilton, Ohio. Born on May 23, 1923 on the family farm near Hamilton, Beissinger died only a few miles from where he'd been born. He won the Hambletonian, America's greatest trotting classic, three times, earning the nickname "Hambo Howard." He enjoyed international fame, and raced across the United States and Canada as well as at tracks in Russia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, and elsewhere. He was also a member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame and the Butler County (Ohio) Sports Hall of Fame. He was known for his tough, no-nonsense approach to his profession. His unfailing attention to detail in matters such as proper shoeing won him the admiration of many of his fellow horsemen. He is best known as the trainer and driver of the great trotter and stallion Speedy Crown. Speedy Crown was foaled in early 1968 and raised on the Beissinger family farm in Hamilton. In 1971 Speedy Crown won the Hambletonian in straight heats and went on to a breeding career that would make him legendary in the world of trotting. Two years earlier, Beissinger had won his first Hambletonian with Lindy's Pride, a colt that overcame faulty hooves with his speed and competitive spirit. Beissinger drove him to victory in the trotting Triple Crown---Yonkers Trot, Hambletonian, and Kentucky Futurity---in 1969. His third Hambletonian victory came in 1978 behind the meteoric Speedy Somolli, a son of Speedy Crown that Beissinger always said was the fastest trotter he'd ever driven. Beissinger learned the horse business from his father, who farmed and raced a few horses in the summer. After World War II, when Howard told his mother that he planned to make horse racing his profession, she greeted the news with tears. Her son achieved success quickly, however, becoming one of the leading drivers on the tough Chicago racing circuit. His abilities and his work ethic drew notice and he began to attract the support of prominent owners. In 1955, he married the former Ann Wingers. They were divorced in 1999. In the mid-1960s Beissinger earned the confidence and patronage of the Antonacci family of New York, a partnership that lasted for decades. For the Antonaccis and partners, Beissinger developed and raced countless stakes winners. Howard's peers in the training fraternity admired his mastery of all aspects of horsemanship. For decades he campaigned a stable that competed with success in the sport's largest stake races. In 1984, Beissinger entered four trotters in the Hambletonian, but decided to find other drivers for all four horses so that he didn't show favoritism to certain owners. In 1987, he drove Defiant One to victory in the Breeders Crown in Toronto, Ontario at age 64, and he is still the oldest driver ever to win a prestigious Breeders Crown event. For a half-century, he was also involved in rodeo and traveled across North America to visit rodeos and connect with his cowboy friends. His daughter Vana was extremely successful as a barrel racer in rodeo. Beissinger produced rodeos throughout the Midwest in partnership with Don Hight, a South Dakota cowboy Howard greatly admired. Beissinger was well known in the rodeo world to the cowboys and cowgirls, as well as stock contractors and officials. In many ways, Beissinger personified the Cowboy Way: he was strong, independent, and resilient. He was up every day before dawn to start work, and his associates marveled at his energy and work ethic. Beissinger was fearless in pursuing his passion for adventure. When he became interested in rodeo, he took up steer wrestling, an event in which the cowboy jumps from a running horse onto the back of a running steer and wrestles it to the ground. This event is often called "bulldogging" and it's most appealing to young men who feel invincible, but Beissinger began steer wrestling when he was in his 40s. He earned the nickname "Bulldog Beissinger." On his 80th birthday, he went para-sailing off the coast of Florida. A decade later on his 90th birthday, he went hang-gliding at 3,000 feet near Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He is survived by daughter Jane Freeman (Dave) of Naples, FL; daughter Gloria Beissinger (Joseph Rickard) of Naples, FL; son Orrin (Minna) of Randolph, NJ; daughter Vana Beissinger; and two grandchildren Julia Ganzi and Markus Beissinger. A memorial service will be held at the Webb-Noonan-Kidd Funeral Home in Hamilton, OH on March 10. Dean Hoffman      

Columbus, OH --- He has submitted nearly several hundred names to Hanover Shoe Farms for consideration recognizing European horsemen and horsewomen and readily admits the vast majority of those have never been selected or the horses never quite panned out, but when it came to Hannelore Hanover, Dean Hoffman struck pay dirt when he suggested this then-youngster be named after quite possibly one of the best harness racing amateur female drivers of all-time. “When Dean called me and told me a horse was named after me I was honored and thrilled,” said Hannelore Würzinger. “I asked him if she would maybe race in the Hambletonian and he said he didn’t think so as she only made two starts in her career as a 2-year-old. Even though she won one, he did not think she would amount to much, but I always had faith she would be something special. He told me she would probably be a dud and not to get too excited, but I ended up being right. What a horse she is.” The 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All and the Dream Vacation mare High Sobriety was the recent winner of the Hambletonian Maturity and has won nine of 10 starts this year, with earnings of $460,105. Trained by Ron Burke, the mare is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Frank Baldachino. Hannelore Würzinger resides in Johanneskirchern, Germany, which is located outside of Munich, and commenced her harness racing career at the ripe old age of 17. She captured 470 amateur contests in the sulky during her days of competition and won such contests as the World Cup and the Europ Cup when she was at the controls. Unfortunately statistics are not available to truly demonstrate not only where Würzinger’s number of triumphs rank historically or internationally, but clearly this woman is not only a top pilot in respect to her gender, but anyone that sat behind a horse in amateur races across the globe. “My family has always been involved with trotting horses,” she said. “We owned them and bred them. At one time we had more than 50 horses. Since I have gotten older, I retired from driving because it just is not as easy as it used to be when I was young. We have also cut back on the number of horses we have and now have maybe 20. Harness racing is not as popular in Germany as it used to be or like it is in the United States, but my husband and I watch as much racing as we can. We watch all of Hannelore’s races and would love to come see her in America.” Würzinger has been stateside in her earlier years, In fact, she raced in Florida at Pompano Park where she finished second in an amateur competition that took place on the same timetable as the Breeders Crown that year. It was also where she met Hoffman and a certain other member of the Hall of Fame that was one of the highlights of her sojourn in the Sunshine State. “Do you know who this man is?” she asked after sending a picture of herself with John Campbell. “I could not believe such a famous horseman took the time to have his picture taken with me and recognize my accomplishments. I don’t think he realizes everyone around the world knows who he is and what he has done in racing. That occasion was just one of the many things we were so impressed with when we came to America. “I only finished second in that race in Florida, but we had such a wonderful time. My husband and I have always wanted to return, but we have not had the opportunity. Maybe Hannelore Hanover will provide us with that chance.” On any evening the world champion trots, Würzinger is glued to the Internet and has not missed any race Hannelore Hanover participates in. “I have watched her progress,” she said. “She only became stronger and stronger after her 2-year-old season. Dean called me and told me he did not think she would amount to much and he was sorry she would not become a top horse. Then last year when she was racing at Hoosier Park you could see with each start she was improving. She is a big, strong filly that kept trotting better with each race. “I was not surprised when she started winning, but for her to win like this and at this level...I cannot explain how fantastic it is to not only have an American horse named after me, but for her to be such an outstanding horse. I was beside myself watching her tie the world record and then beating males at the Meadowlands. “Every time she reaches new heights it makes me want to hop on a plane to America so I can be at her races in person. I can’t express enough how happy I am that Dean thought enough of my achievements to name a horse after me and then for her to be such a horse. There are no words to express it.” As the season progresses, Würzinger’s attention will remain focused on the mare that carries her name, but she harbors a secret hope that one day she will be in a position to do something much more than witness her compete online. “I told Dean I fervently hope she will come to the Elitlopp in Sweden next year,” she said. “My family and I not would not miss that for the world. We would certainly travel there and hopefully her connections would be kind enough to introduce her to us. We are her biggest fans and would just be overjoyed to root for her at a race like that. Can you imagine what kind of excitement that would bring to me? “I cannot thank Dean, the owners and Hanover Shoe Farms enough for not changing her name. This mare has been the ride of a lifetime and I am so lucky to have a horse like her named for me. Sometimes I still can’t believe this happened.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

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