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Mie Ostersen can’t remember a time when she wasn’t entrenched in the horse world, as her parents raised her in the thriving harness racing industry in Varberg, Sweden. But she didn’t really get introduced to show jumping until she was a teenager. Now, at age 23, she’s one of the top grooms at Irish Olympic show jumper Cian O’Connor’s stable with an FEI World Equestrian Games on her resume and the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games on her to-do list. “My father trained trotting horses, and my mother would help with the riding and grooming of the horses,” Ostersen said. “From an early age I started grooming and riding my horses at home. All my basic skills I have learned from my parents. They taught me a lot, and I’m grateful for it. I can always call and talk to them. It’s great to have a family that understands the sport and the time it takes to do what I do. “[Harness racing] is very different from show jumping,” Ostersen continued. “But in the end, we want the same final result. We want happy horses that want to do the job.” Mie Ostersen learned her horsemanship skills while caring for her parents’ harness racing horses. Photos Courtesy Of Mie Ostersen Growing up, Ostersen helped take care of her family’s trotters and rode them when she could. Her father also worked as a farrier, and when she was 15, he introduced her to an Irish show jumping couple, Michael Whyte and Sarah Murphy, for whom he shod horses. “I was interested in seeing a different side of the horses. I’d been doing the racing thing for so long with my dad. That’s when I first fell in love with the sport,” Ostersen said. “I would go to the stable most days after school, and on the weekends we would go to shows. I rode their horses and groomed them. They taught me a lot. It was also a different language; I got to practice my English.” After Ostersen graduated from high school in 2016, she went to visit Whyte and Murphy in Ireland, where they’d returned after their sojourn in Sweden. She wanted to take a year off before university and thought about traveling, but she also needed to work. Whyte and Murphy connected her with O’Connor, and the job with him was a good fit. “I found out that I could do that with grooming—work with horses and see the world—so I thought it would be a great idea,” Ostersen said. “I got the chance to spend the winter in Florida, and it was nice. I thought it couldn’t get much better!” Mie Ostersen bonds with all of the horses she cares for, but she has a special affinity for PSG Final. O’Connor is based in Ireland, winters in Florida, and he travels extensively to compete. “I’ve been to so many countries!” Ostersen said. “There are times we’re busy, but there are also times afterward when we make time to see things. When we were in Paris, we got to see the Eiffel Tower and see a few things around town, which was cool as I’d never been to Paris before. I’ve gone to Dubai as well, which is such a different culture. In Florida is when we get to see the most of an area, because we’re based there for so long, three to four months. We’ve gotten to travel a good bit then.” Ostersen enjoys helping O’Connor. “Before I started, I’d heard that he was hard to work for, but we get along quite well,” she said. “He knows I mind his horses well, and I know what he likes. We have long days, but they’re usually really good days. He’s a quite fair man to work for. He is very organized and always has a plan! He always puts the horses first, no matter what.” When O’Connor’s team is in Ireland, they’re based at Karlswood, a state-of-the-art facility in County Meath. “The new facility here is a beautiful place to work, with absolutely everything you could think of, from water treadmill to salt room, spa and vibrating floor,” said Ostersen. “Our horses get to go on the water treadmill, and they all love it. They get to work out at the same time as they get to splash in the water. After jumping they get to go on the spa. On other days they would go on the vibrating floor or go in the salt room. A horse that is well-minded is also a horse that will feel good!” One of Mie Ostersen’s duties includes supervising horses using the water treadmill. Ostersen’s primary goal is to keep her charges content. “I keep my horses happy with a lot of grooming and snacks,” she said. “It’s important to have them out in the field, and if they can’t go in the field I would bring them out for grass. I keep my horses happy with a nice straw bed. We find they tend to lie down more in the straw instead of shavings. There is nothing better than a relaxed horse that can enjoy a good nap. Last but not least, it’s important to reward the horses if they do something good. That’s where the treats come in. Most horses are happy when they get food!” Ostersen doesn’t ride much in her role with O’Connor, but she doesn’t mind. “I love just spending time with the horses, grooming them, taking them out for grass, bonding with them,” she said. “When you get to spend a lot of time with them, you know what the horse is like, and if there’s an issue, you notice it. I love seeing the horses happy.” Mie Ostersen initially started grooming as a way to earn some money and see the world before going to university, but four years later, she’s still working with horses. PSG Final is one of Ostersen’s favorite charges, and she’s taken care of him for two years. “I love the ones that are a bit special, that there’s something different to them,” she said. “PSG Final is very much one-of-a-kind. He makes me smile every day! He loves napping; you could leave him napping for hours.” A highlight of her time grooming was when a jubilant Irish team, including O’Connor riding PSG Final, won the Longines FEI Nations Cup Final at Barcelona (Spain) in 2019. “Not only did we win, we also qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It was our last chance to qualify! We knew what we had to do, and as a team, we secured the qualification,” she recalled. Mie Ostersen loves spending time with the horses she grooms. Another memory she’ll cherish is accompanying O’Connor and Good Luck to the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. “Good Luck has always been in the stable, and he’s the kind of horse that you never thought you’d get to mind, but I actually got to mind him for a while and to do the World Equestrian Games with him, which was really cool for me,” she said. “It was a great experience. Just to be there and be able to groom that horse was a big thing for me.” Ostersen originally intended to take one year off before starting university, but it’s now been four years, and she doesn’t have plans to change course just yet. “I take one day at a time. My goal right now is to do the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021,” she said. “I would like to go back to school one day. But that could be a year or two down the line. I’m still young, and right now I’m very happy with my life.” By Molly Sorge Reprinted with permission of The Chronicle of the horse

In Clubhouse Turn, photographer Michele Asselin documents the people and architecture of a lost (and soon to be transformed) Los Angeles landmark. “This isn’t just a racetrack. This is an extraordinarily significant piece of property in Southern California, where so many unbelievable things happened.” LOS ANGELES (Jan. 2020) – On Dec. 22, 2013, the world-famous Hollywood Park Race Track closed its doors forever. In 2014, demolition began, closing the stable door on seventy-five years of history, while at the same time making space for an entire new neighborhood to suddenly arise in the middle of the metropolis. Celebrated photographer Michele Asselin spent every day at Hollywood Park in the last two weeks before it closed, documenting its buildings, contents, employees, and patrons. Clubhouse Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track is the product of her efforts, and the story of old and new colliding in the middle of a rapidly evolving city.  Released Feb. 2020 by Angel City Press, Clubhouse Turn features nearly 300 of Asselin’s 25,000 images of the landmark racetrack, its staff and guests, including shots of track and building interiors as well as portraits of the hundreds of individuals who lived and worked there — from jockey to gambler, trainer to hot walker, café owner to trumpeter to security guard — alongside excerpts from interviews conducted during the 2013 photo shoots and a timeline of the track’s history. “With each portrait sitting, I was consumed by the question of what would happen when the park closed. Where would each person go when they couldn’t go to Hollywood Park? Who would have a broken heart?” said Asselin. “With this book, my aim is not to provide a historical record, but to transmit a feeling of place, of existence, and of an ending. This book muses about a time that was, and an inevitable, foreclosing future, photographed during a rare period when the past, present, and future were all equally palpable.”   Asselin continued, “The resulting book of photographs contains no actual horses. Instead, it celebrates the existence of the track’s eclectic, harmonious community.” In addition to Asselin’s lush photographs, Clubhouse Turn features essays by author, professor, and MacArthur fellow Josh Kun and Grammy-winning journalist and essayist Lynell George exploring what it means to love a city that’s always in motion. A building can have a historic landmark, but what about a culture, a community—a way of life? More than a book of photography or a book about a race track, Clubhouse Turn tells the story of living in a city: the faces that we never see until we look, the places we forget until they’re gone.        “In the over 25,000 photographs that Michele Asselin took of Hollywood Park – its track, grounds, betting posts, hallways, banquet halls, administrative offices, regulars, staff, and jockeys – it’s hard to see the hooray of Hollywood, but easy to see the extras in its shadows, the barmaids and the homely, the broke and broken down looking for a break. You can see them even when they are not there,” Kun writes. “Asselin shot the park in 2013, after it was announced that would be its final year and it would soon be razed to make room for a new football stadium. Her photographs of what she calls the park’s ‘environments’ cast it as a melancholic ghost town, the fresh ruins of a civilization of hope.” On Sunday, Feb. 23, from 3 to 5 p.m., Angel City Press will celebrate the release of Clubhouse Turn with a reception and gallery showing of Asselin’s photographs at 6150 Wilshire Boulevard, Gallery 5, Los Angeles, California 90048. For more information about Asselin’s work, visit To preorder Clubhouse Turn, visit Clubhouse Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Racetrack Photographs by Michele Asselin Essays by Josh Kun and Lynell George Released and edited by Angel City Press ISBN 978-1-62640-065-8 192 pages, 300+ images 9”x12” / Hardcover MSRP $50.00   ### Michele Asselin’s photographs explore the impact of social constructs on human experience. She draws on editorial techniques to examine how people and places come to reflect the systems of which they are a part.  Early in her career, she worked for the Associated Press in the Middle East while living in Jerusalem. Back in the US as an editorial photographer, she created memorable portraits of the people of our time. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, Esquire, and New York Magazine. Asselin has been an artist-in-residence at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and collaborated on projects with social organizations such as Street to Home in New York City and The Institute For Facial Paralysis in Los Angeles. In 2017, her work was included in the Orange County Museum of Art Pacific Triennial: Building as Ever, and in 2019, featured in a solo show at There-There Gallery. She has completed public art commissions in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., and is currently working on an installation for the City of Inglewood, slated for 2020. This is her first book. Angel City Press was established in 1992 and is dedicated to the publication of high-quality nonfiction books. The award-winning books from Angel City Press are sold in fine gift and book stores, and on the Web. Drenched in nostalgia yet undeniably cool, each Angel City Press book is luxuriously illustrated and showcases the modern design concepts of California's top graphic artists. So it is with the entire treasury of Angel City Press books -- each is forever readable, forever giftable. Angel City Press books are published with extraordinary attention to detail, in the finest tradition of the bound page. By May of 1993 we had our first book, Hollywood du Jour, in the hands of hungry, nostalgic readers... but not for long; they were quite busy whipping up Sticky Orange Rolls from the Tick Tock Tea Room and swilling Moscow Mules from Cock 'n' Bull. In the ensuing two decades, we have learned that our readers' tastes and hungers go way beyond food, and have done our best to chronicle the cultural history of the West.                                                                 Katie Dunham  

Larry Resnitzky and Nicole MacLeod MacPherson of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, have established the website to help draw attention to the many positives of the great harness racing industry worldwide. We’ve now completed a test run of 52 podcasts and are ready to embark on a new phase, with more participation worldwide. On April 7, 2020 we will release a special radio talk show with the legendary Joe O’Brien on The show aired in 1983, one year before Joe’s passing. It will be available with an interactive component that will see one person chosen at random on May 4 to receive a new copy of the now out-of-print book  THE HORSEMAN FROM ALBERTON The Story of Harness Racing Driver Joe O’Brien by Marie Hill. Contact:

Freehold, NJ --- Jan. 1 is the universal birthday for every horse in North America. Waco Hanover (born May 4, 1977) of Randolph Center, Vt. and his fellow 40-year-old (born March 20, 1977) Standardbred, Chocolate Sundae, of Cumberland, Maine, overcame very long odds to reach that milestone. A crew from the CBS Sunday Morning Show visited with Waco Hanover, and two men devoted to his care, on Dec. 21 and 22. Their story about the senior Standardbred is scheduled to run on Sunday (Jan. 1). The show airs from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (EST) on CBS affiliates throughout the country. The story was placed by the U.S. Trotting Association's Harness Racing Communications division, with help from USTA member and CBS News Senior Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen. Sunday Morning is in its 36th season, first with host Charles Kuralt, then Charles Osgood and now Jane Pauley. Correspondent Tony Dokoupil traveled to Vermont to meet Waco Hanover and talk with his owner, Everett Kettler and caretaker, Donnie MacAdams. Here is an excerpt on Waco Hanover from the book Standardbred Old Friends, available in the Harness Racing Museum gift shop. *** Everett Kettler quickly spotted the new horse's problem. "He had a real attitude problem," he said. "Sour. He was very sour." Waco Hanover, now 37, was six when Kettler bought him for $1,500 in 1983. The gelding had raced for four years, most recently for Nelson Haley, in $2,000 claimers at Saratoga Raceway. In 57 starts, he'd won only four races. Kettler had just what Waco Hanover needed, a farm in Woodbury, Vt. "I let him be a horse," Kettler said. "He ate grass, ran around with mares." Waco was more teacher than pet to Kettler, more accustomed to coaxing sound from strings than speed from a horse. Kettler was a luthier, a craftsman of stringed instruments. "He taught me how to drive," Kettler said. "I didn't know anything. He wouldn't respond if you didn't do the right thing. "I had a tiny track, not good for anything but jogging. Before that, I was driving on the road, going through horseshoes every two weeks." Every spring, from 1983 to 1991, Kettler legged up Waco Hanover. They raced at places like the Tunbridge World's Fair in Vermont, featuring maple ice cream, an oxen costume class and the world's narrowest racetrack. It fits four horses across, but they'd better be narrow horses. "My God, it's scary," Kettler said. If you don't get down to three (wide) by the turn, you're going in the river." Waco Hanover won at Tunbridge his first year for Kettler, a mile in 2:15.2, an impressive time if you've seen the track. In the late 1980s, Kettler integrated his hobby and business. He founded Rough Terrain Carts and started building horse-drawn carts for country roads -- or no roads. Waco tested prototype carts. "It had these big, wooden wheels," said Kettler. "Waco looks over his shoulder and starts freaking. I put it over his rump, touched him with the shafts. It was like he said, 'Oh, you want me to pull it.' You could see the light bulb go off." "I got into endurance driving events," Kettler said. "I used that to put his legs under him in the spring, then I'd go off and race him." "He cleaned up in a couple of them," Kettler said. "I remember his first race. Well, it's not a race, an event. I didn't want two in the cart, but I was looking at five miles to go, and I thought this is nothing, absolutely nothing. My wife got in, and we must have passed 15 horses. They must have wondered what kind of monster is this?" The seasons turned with Waco resting in winter and legging up on country roads in spring. Kettler and Waco raced for a few hundred dollars from New York to Maine. Most years they won a race. That was nice but not essential, or, in Waco's mind, perhaps, wholly unnecessary. "I think he's the age he is and the shape he's in because he knew he'd still get fed, no matter what," Kettler said. In 1991 Waco Hanover turned 14. That season, his eleventh, spanned three weeks; he earned $1,350. All that work for so little money would be worth it, Kettler thought, if they could win at Tunbridge. "The main goal was to get a couple of races under him and win the 14-year-old race at Tunbridge," Kettler said. The purse was $210. "It was funny," Kettler said. "Well, funny to me, anyway. We got there, and there were only two horses in it." The other 14-year-old was Luke Hanover, owned and trained by Dale Allen. Luke and Waco Hanover were born and raised at Hanover Shoe Farms. Luke Hanover hadn't raced in two years. "This guy's kind of like me. He must keep pets around, because the horse hadn't been trained at all," Kettler said. "He just hitched him, made sure he could still go and put him in this race. "He told me, 'This horse hasn't trained at all. Don't leave me too far behind.' I said, 'Yeah, right.' I think he's going to the front and never looking back.' "Turns out it was the truth. I followed him a few feet and went to the front. I let Waco go at about the three-quarter-mile mark. I learned a long time ago not to look back. We won by the length of the stretch. Waco had a great cheering section." The cheering stopped, but Waco stayed busy. In 1991, Kettler and Leslie Bancroft Haynes formed a personal and professional partnership. Their first order of business was buying a farm. Called Rough Terrain Farm, after Kettler's cart business and Vermont's topography, it accommodated Haynes' pleasure horses and Kettler's racehorses. "The farm had a track," Kettler said. "It wasn't exactly flat, parts of it were flat. I had a trotter and when I was breaking him, I used Waco to help, to have another horse out there to give him the idea." Haynes trained carriage driving horses on her half of the farm. "I used Waco for that, too, to teach the young ones," she said. "When you put the harness on him, he was like, 'Yes, I get to go!' I think if you put a harness and a jog cart on him now, he'd be the happiest guy in the world." Haynes' and Kettler's relationship ended when Waco Hanover was 28, but their commitment to the horse endures. Kettler moved to Vermont's Champlain Islands to build boats. Haynes and Waco remain at Rough Terrain. Kettler's section of the farm is leased to the Vermont Technical College Equine Studies program. "The barn where he lives is the Co-op Barn. Kids who bring their horses to school board there," Haynes said. "It's called Waco's Barn, because everybody knows that when Waco dies, Everett will sell his share of the farm. But as long as Waco is alive, he promised Waco he could live his days out here." Donnie MacAdams, who sports a bushy white beard and a no-nonsense personality, lives above the barn and looks after Waco. "I'm an old dairy farmer and still believe horses are hay burners. But I've come around as far as Waco. We get along because we're a couple of old, cranky, miserable bastards. We understand each other. "I get out of my truck and walk toward the barn, and he starts walking to me. If I don't come right out and speak to him, he'll start kicking." There's something in this relationship, too, for MacAdams, who mans a tourism information site. "There are rude kids, obnoxious teenagers, people who expect to be waited on," MacAdams said. "He consoles me, calms me down. Waco loves to rub his face on my shoulder. He's worn out two jackets." Waco Hanover, it seems, has done as much for the people in his life as they for him, though not in money. The $2,600 won in seven years of racing for Kettler wouldn't feed him through one Vermont winter. Waco always cooperated, even, Kettler admits, with his rookie training skills. "He'd see a hill, and the steeper it was, the more determined he was to get up it," Kettler said. "There was something in his efforts that inspired tenacity in my life. Perhaps I appreciated Waco because of a common trait. Maybe he inspired tenacity that wouldn't have been available without his life intermingling with mine. "You've got a certain relationship with a horse, like being married. They're not perfect and you know it, but you put up with them, and they put up with you." .................................................. Due to expanded coverage of news stories, the feature story on 40 year-old Standardbred Waco Hanover scheduled to air on the CBS Sunday Morning show on January 1 has been postponed. No new air date has yet been finalized but it will be communicated as soon as possible. by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  

The Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall Of Fame boasts the cream of the state’s Standardbred industry. One such legend is D.J. Alexander who took coastal harness racing by storm in the 70s before going on to become a national superstar of the sport he loved. Darrell Alexander was a perfectionist, receiving the highest accolades while never lose his common touch for people or sacrificing the love for his family and friends. This made him a much admired and popular figure, in the harness racing industry and the communities in which he lived. Darrell was born in 1939, growing up on the family farm in Wynyard, before heading to Victoria as a sixteen-year-old, working at Massey Harris in Melbourne, Euroa sheep station and Cobram dairy farm. With his father gravely ill Darrell worked the farm for a brief period before starting work at the Table Cape Butter Factory. He received a two-year scholarship to study Dairy Technology at Werribee and on his return to Tasmania set up the Table Cape Cheese Factory. Darrell’s foray into harness racing commenced in 1969 and he drove his first winner, Dalrys, at Ulverstone in 1971. In 1973, Darrell was appointed private trainer for North West Coast harness identity Bill McDonald and the winners started flowing. Darrell’s work ethic was enormous. Leaving home at 4.15am to work a dozen horses at McDonald’s, he drove to the Cheese Factory by 7am, worked until 5.30pm then headed to the family’s supermarket and worked through until around 9pm, all without missing a beat. Darrell’s life almost ended in Hobart on Anzac Day 1978 when a race accident rendered him clinically dead before being revived by ambulance attendants. The serious injuries sustained sidelined him for six months, but undeterred Darrell went on to capture five state driving and training titles and was selected to represent Australia in the World Driving Championships in Europe. A holiday in Queensland resulted in Darrell being offered the role of private trainer for then Racing Minister Russ Hinze. After a successful three-and-a-half year stint with the racing magnate Darrell branched out on his own, again representing Australia in 1985, winning training and driving premierships including a record of 124 winners in 2002. Darrell was a fitness fanatic throughout his life but he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in late 2004 and sadly passed away in March 2005. When the curtain came down on Darrell’s career he had driven 1315 winners and notched up 590 victories as a trainer. Darrell is survived by his loving wife of 39 years Helen, four adoring daughters and 12 grandchildren. By Shane Yates Reprinted with permission of The Advocate  

Enter the highly competitive world of Standardbred horse racing, in this exhilarating debut from an insider. The story, however, goes far beyond that and touches on universal themes that every reader will recognize. You’ll be thrust into the front car on a roller coaster ride, through triumph and disaster, that begins on page one. You’ll feel every twist and turn of the story in the pit of your stomach. You’ll laugh and cry with the rough, tough guys who put on the show, rain or shine. You’ll empathize with the women who give this world a heart.  You’ll meet the cheaters who use horses as pincushions, who want to win at any price.  You’ll get to know the equine athletes who give their all, whatever challenges life throws at them. Last, but not least, you’ll feel the overwhelming sense of community that pervades this world, despite the sharp edges of a highly competitive sport. If that’s not enough, there’s a backstory that will keep you on the edge of your seat and which takes you on a journey from Ontario, Canada to the Rocky Mountains, the US, the Caribbean and even the UK. The icing on the cake is an ending full of surprises that will leave you well satisfied. The characters leap off the page: a brilliant harness horse driver whose drug habit risks costing him everything, his cousin, a trainer who refuses to compromise her integrity, a mysterious individual known only as the Scorpion, lurking in the shadows, pulling the strings, the Director of Racing trying desperately to clean up the industry, his mentor and best friend who has his own agenda, a low life groom who knows too much for his own good, the Canadian Mountie who inadvertently gets involved, with unforeseen consequences, a veterinarian caught between two worlds, young horses unaware of what’s in store for them and trainers whose livelihoods hang by a thread, who face a Hobbesian choice if they are to survive. These are just some of the players in a story where passions run high and where the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, is always blurred. Fascinating, fast paced and with shocking twists and turns until the very last, HORSE FLESH is a breakthrough debut novel set to entertain not only horse and racing enthusiasts, but fiction fans looking for a fresh next read. About the author:   Tina Sugarman’s debut novel, HORSE FLESH, was born out of her personal experiences and portrays a faithful and compelling insight into the world of harness racing. Tina has been involved with Standardbred horse racing in Ontario for nearly two decades, spending summers on a horse farm a few kilometres from Mohawk Raceway, a premier harness racing track in Canada. She lives in Poole, Dorset with her husband and their maine coon cat, Juliette and enjoys driving their hackney mare, Mango, in the New Forest.  She still takes a keen interest in the sport. HORSE  FLESH by Tina Sugarman (published September 1st 2016 by Clink Street Publishing) can be ordered from online retailers including Amazon (e-book and paperback editions)  and from all good bookstores. To order click here   Josh Hamel  

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, passed away Friday at age 74. He was a champion boxer, a civil rights activist, a humanitarian, one of the best-known people in the world -- and a world champion harness racing driver, listed in the Trotting And Pacing Guide.   On March 8, 1977, Ali participated in a special harness race during a night of racing benefitting Provident Hospital of Chicago, at that time the oldest and largest African-American-managed hospital in Illinois.   Ali and his pacer, Boozer Beau, happened to draw the rail for the five-horse exhibition contest, and the race happened to be scheduled at a distance of 7/8 of a mile over the half-mile Maywood oval -- which would put the start late on the first turn, a place where very few harness races are programmed to start.   Boozer Beau won in 1:57, and set a world record for a pacer over 7/8 of a mile over a half-mile track -- despite, as the picture shows below -- being hitched to a jog cart.   Much was made of Ali setting a world record, and the record was even carried in the Trotting And Pacing Guide for a while, until the aspects of the "exhibition" nature of the race caused a rethinking of its listing.   But you could look it up.   (Ali / Harness Racing Relationship #2: There is a very famous boxing picture, also below, of Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking out Liston during the first minute of the first round in an infamous 1965 fight. In what city was that fight held? In Lewiston, Maine -- long a home for a noted Maine harness track.)    

The nominees have been set for the first ever "Post Time Awards" which will take place on Thursday, December 31st at 6:00 PM Eastern on harness racing's newest podcast "Post Time with Mike and Mike". The two-hour show can be heard on There are six award categories, each with at least five nominees. The categories are Race Call Of The Year, Iron Horse Of The Year, Small Stable Of The Year, Horsewoman Of The Year, Upset Of The Year, and Race Fan Of The Year. The nominees will be announced on the Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, edition of "Post Time with Mike and Mike" beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern. Winners will be decided via open vote. Anyone can vote, and details on how to vote will be announced on Wednesday's show. Also on Wednesday's program, guests include Meadowlands and Freehold Track Announcer Ken Warkentin, and Anthony MacDonald continues his series about Post Time with Mike and Mike is harness racing's newest podcast co-hosted by track announcers Mike Bozich and Mike Carter. The show's focus is to positively promote harness racing. Every hoof that hits the racetrack, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, has a story to tell, and they plan on telling those stories. Log on to to listen. If you miss the show live, you can listen on-demand at any time. You can also follow the show on social media. Like them on Facebook at Post Time with Mike and Mike, and follow them on Twitter @ptmikeandmike1.

Columbus, OH---The Harness Racing Social Marketing Initiative conducted in partnership with Converseon, the New York City-based, full-service social media consultancy, has released the year-end results for 2015 activities. In only its second year, the initiative has achieved substantial growth and engagement across the board while exceeding its goals for the year. “By every available measure, this effort continues to surpass all stated objectives and we thank all the partners involved,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. “I am heartened by the support and recognition we are receiving from many quarters, including from our colleagues around the world. While one tactic will not be a silver bullet, all these activities in aggregate and over time have already begun to move the needle. Success now is contingent on additional industry involvement and collaboration. We look forward to that happening in 2016.” Following are some of the key accomplishments of the initiative in 2015: • Impressions (the number of times audiences saw Harness Racing FanZone content or ads) grew 64 percent from 13.5 million in 2014 to approximately 21 million in 2015. • Engagement (the number of times consumers engaged, shared and reacted to the content and ads) increased nearly 300 percent (282,000 vs. est. 652,000). • Overall online buzz about harness racing grew 28 percent compared to 36 percent for Thoroughbreds (who benefited from a Triple Crown winner and have made a substantial investment in social and digital marketing). • Online buzz about this year’s Hambletonian grew more than 150 percent over 2014. • Videos generated more than 600,000 views, with the “Harness Racing in History” video alone reaching nearly 500,000 views in less than three months, making it the most successful promotional video in the sport’s history. • Generated more than 130 potential owner leads via a limited digital advertising test, which demonstrated great promise for an expanded campaign. On the development front, key highlights included the development and launch of the Harness Racing FanZone mobile application for both iOS (available for free at the iTunes store) and Android. Users of the mobile applications gained access to videos, photos, stories, the sport’s social Ambassador program, track information and more. Given the greater use of mobile technologies among key target audiences, enabling engagement with the sport through a mobile application was essential. With 2016 fast approaching, the initiative’s key objectives for growth in the coming year include: • Continue to rapidly expand positive visibility and engagement with the sport through more compelling content, engagement, promotions and contests. • Conduct a focused owner recruitment initiative to identify more than 2,000 new potential owners. • Expand efforts with horsemen’s groups and key tracks to enable better tracking of efforts to on-site attendance and handle. This will require deeper integration with tracks around efforts like online redeemable coupons and other activities. • Work more closely with key global partners for potential expansion and collaboration. Discussions have been already been held with countries ranging from Australia to Sweden to participate in efforts and expand the initiative. • Potential integration with a Harness Racing online channel to deliver key content more directly to audiences and help monetize the effort through subscriptions. • Conduct the updated, high profile Grand Circuit promotional challenge. Among media, production, content and other resources, the initiative spent approximately $331,000, of which $250,000 was provided by the USTA, $25,000 via a pledge from the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association with the remaining $56,000 contributed by Rob Key, CEO of Converseon. the USTA Communications Department

He was the A. J. Foyt of the harness racing world. During a 10-year career, Dan Patch broke records and raked in prize winnings. His appearance at events drew fans by the thousands. Through it all, he never lost a race. Sportswriter Charles Leerhsen calls Dan Patch “the most celebrated American sports figure in the first decade of the 20th century, as popular in his day as any athlete who has ever lived.” Leerhsen is the author of “Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America” (Simon & Schuster). The book, published in 2008, is testament to Dan Patch’s reputation. Though few sports fans today recognize the Dan Patch name, his legend lives on in books, a movie and in the town of Oxford, Indiana where the mahogany-colored pacer was born in 1896. Visit Oxford on a Saturday morning and you’ll find oldtimers gathered for coffee at the Dan Patch Café. The water tower proclaims, “Home of Dan Patch.” On the first weekend following Labor Day, the Lions Club sponsors Dan Patch Days, a festival featuring basketball and euchre tournaments, a car show and baby contest. Raised by Daniel Messner Jr., Dan Patch began life as a knobby-kneed colt that could hardly stand to nurse. With perseverance, Messner raised him to be a pacer and entered him in his first harness race in Boswell, Indiana, winning the mile in 2:16. Mention horse racing, and most Americans think thoroughbreds and the Kentucky Derby. Dan Patch was a standardbred, and his jockey rode behind him in a two-wheeled cart called a sulky. After experiencing success in Indiana, Messner contacted a New York horse trainer to prepare Dan Patch for the 1901 Grand Circuit, harness racing’s top events nationwide. He raced in Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Buffalo and Brighton Beach, N.Y., among other cities. His 12 straight wins that year netted $13,800 in prize money. In 1902, Messner sold Dan Patch to M.E. Sturgis of New York City for $20,000, an unheard-of sum at the time. Sturgis turned around and sold the horse for $60,000 to Marion W. Savage, owner of the International Stock Food Company of Minneapolis. By this point, other stables refused to race Dan Patch because of virtually certain defeat, but he continued to build his legend by endorsing commercial products and by racing against the clock. In Lexington he ran the mile in a record 1 minute, 55.25 seconds in 1905. The following year he clocked 1:55 during an exhibition at the Minnesota State Fair. The new record did not become official because the sulky used a dirt shield, which was not allowed, but Savage took full advantage of the moment. He renamed his farm the International 1:55 Stock Food Farm. Dan Patch retired to be a stud in 1909. Horse and owner died in 1916, but they weren’t forgotten. The United States Harness Writers Association still gives out the Dan Patch Awards. The Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson is located on Dan Patch Circle, and the park’s feature race for pacers is the Dan Patch Invitational. It’s not known where Dan Patch was buried. Horse fans often stop to pay respects at a headstone and historical marker on the east edge of Oxford where the farm where he was raised still proclaims his unofficial record on the side of the barn. Note to readers: This is the 66th of 100 essays on Indiana history leading to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Neal is a teacher at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in Indianapolis and adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. Contact her at Directions: The Dan Patch historical marker is at 203 S. Michigan Rd. near the intersection of SR 352 & SR 55 in Oxford. By Andrea Neal Reprinted with permission of the site 

TUCSON, AZ --- Innovation is the theme of the 42nd annual Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson and the two-day program got off to a lively start on Tuesday morning with a whirlwind of new ideas for attendees to contemplate. The opening session was titled “45 Ideas in 45 Minutes” and a diverse panel of racing experts tossed out new ideas to the audience in a fast-paced session. “Tracks should hire a Director of Animal Welfare, whose tasks include full public communications on incidents,” said Amy Zimmerman, Vice-President and Director of Broadcasting for the Stronach Group. “It’s time for us in racing to tell our story and how much we really care.” “Racing should take its show on the road,” said Darryl Kaplan, editor of Standardbred Canada’s Trot magazine, “Horses should race down city streets, on beaches, and over frozen canals. Take risks, and bring horse racing to the people.” Steve Byk, host of “At the Races with Steve Byk,” said that racing should emulate the tax-free shopping day concept by offering takeout rollbacks on target days that generally produce lower handle. Byk suggested that tracks try a “Tax Free Tuesday.” The ideas came so fast and furious that attendees were told in advance not to take notes because a synopsis of the 45 ideas would be distributed afterwards. The Racing & Gaming Symposium is sponsored by the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program and was held at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in the foothills north of Tucson. Racing executives and vendors from around the globe gathered in the desert to exchange ideas and to meet students interested in careers in racing. At the awards luncheon, Bob Baffert, trainer of American Pharoah and a graduate of the University of Arizona accepted the “Big Sport of Turfdom” for Team American Pharoah from the Turf Publicists of America. Baffert later reminisced in a conversation with Amy Zimmerman about how he fell in love with racing when he trained Quarter Horses in Tucson and also talked about the 2015 season with American Pharoah. When American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, Baffert said he thought of his now-deceased parents and asked himself, “What did I do to deserve this horse?” He said that the Kentucky Derby is the hardest of the three Triple Crown events to win. “If you win that race, you can’t wait to win it again,” Baffert said. “The winner’s circle at Churchill Downs must be the most expensive real estate in the world because so much money has been spent trying to get there.” A trio of panelists talked about efforts to attract new owners to horse racing. Andrew Offerman, Director of Racing Operations at Canterbury Park, said that the Minnesota track created a Canterbury Racing Club to allow fans to buy into a horse at a reasonable price. “Every time their horse races we have 500 extra people at the track,” said Offerman.  Sophia McKee, Vice President of Marketing at Emerald Downs, said that her track realized in recent years that it didn’t have a horse shortage as much as it had an owner shortage. Emerald borrowed from the Canterbury concept to create its own racing club. There is now a waiting list to get into the Emerald Downs Racing Club. The goal is to give people a taste of horse ownership with minimal expense and risk, McKee said, and hope that they later graduate to ownership of horses on their own. That doesn’t happen all that often, she admits, but said that one couple started with a $500 investment one year and got so enthusiastic that they invested $470,000 in horses the next year. Ellen Harvey of Harness Racing Communications detailed the efforts of the U.S. Trotting Association to appeal to new owners with seminars and camps. One advantage that harness racing offers, she emphasized, is that owners can jog, train, and perhaps drive their own horses which is unlike owning Thoroughbreds. Harvey said that attendees for the seminars hail mostly from the ranks of racing fans and that efforts to recruit pleasure horse owners have been unsuccessful. She said that almost 20 percent of the attendees at the USTA owners seminars have followed up by purchasing a horse. In many cases they purchase more than one horse and also bring in partners. Digital marketing strategies for horse racing were addressed by Sean Frisby and Rob Key. Key spoke about his family’s background in harness racing and the social media efforts of his Manhattan-based firm Converseon for the United State Trotting Association. “Word-of-mouth is the most credible and powerful form of advertising,” Key said. “Social media is word-of-mouth turbocharged.” Key detailed the success of the Harness Racing FanZone and the “Ambassadors” programs in creating more “buzz” for harness racing on social media. Frisby, the founder and principal of Brand Tenet, talked about “big data” and defined that term as “data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools.”   The four drivers of the value of big data are volume, veracity, velocity, and variety. Frisby admitted that some data sets “wind up looking like eye charts,” but said that presenting data in a pictorial format makes it much easier to grasp.  The Racing & Gaming Symposium concludes on Wednesday evening after a day which will be highlighted by the “Innovators’ Circle,” racing’s first “pitch session” where contest finalists will unveil their ideas to a panel of judges. ABOUT THE RACE TRACK INDUSTRY PROGRAM: The University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program offers both a Bachelors and Master’s degree program with an emphasis on the pari-mutuel racing industry and hosts the annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming held every December in Tucson, Arizona. Betty Prewitt Administrative Assistant UA Race Track Industry Program

An iconic print of Greyhound setting his historic time trial mark of 1:59.3/4 on July 16, 1937, reproduced from an oil by Richard Stone Reeves, will be offered for live auction on July 5 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. The print, numbered 34 of the original 1955 issue of 260, comes from the private collection of a Museum member, who has owned it since publication. A portion of auction proceeds will benefit the Museum's Restoration Fund. The image of Greyhound depicts him at Goshen Historic Track, driven by Sep Palin. The scene looks much the same now as it did in 1937, with the exception of a now-removed hub rail. The resulting time was the first under the 2:00 barrier on a half-mile track for a trotter. This rare print is in good condition with scattered foxing, and is matted and framed. The original oil by Reeves is in the Museum's collection and was presented as a gift to the founder, E. Roland Harriman, in July of 1955 by his friends Lawrence Sheppard, Elbridge T. Gerry Sr., Octave Blake, R.W. Hart, Walter Candler and Leo C. McNamara. Reeves, who painted more than 1,000 horses in his career, including most of the finest Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds of the latter half of the 20th century, was, in the words of the New York Times, "one of the premier equestrian artists in the world." His commissioned works were oil on canvas, "neo romantic in style" said the Times and reported, though never confirmed by Reeves, to start at $25,000. Reeves cites this image of Greyhound, trotting in an event that occurred in 1937, when he was a teenager, as the only horse of more than 1,000 he painted that he did not see in person. Reeves began painting top-flight race horses after his service in World War II. He died in 2005. Those who would like to bid, but cannot attend the July 5 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, can arrange for proxy bid by contacting Historic Collections Manager Rebecca Howard at or calling 845-294-6330. The conservation of art and artifacts is one of the Museum's highest priorities. The Restoration Fund is a dedicated account established by to provide funding for the preservation of its collection. Funding sources include donations and artifact sponsorships, grants and the annual Restoration Raffle. Now in its 21st year, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame's Restoration Raffle has provided more than $86,000 toward ensuring long-term preservation and accessibility of paintings, lithographs, vehicles, glass photographic negative and textiles from the Museum's historic collections. Winning tickets will be drawn for a fantastic list of prizes during the Hall of Fame induction dinner, Sunday July 5. Please contact Missy Gillespie for prize information and raffle ticket sales. By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Today Tuesday the 16th of June marks John Tapp’s last day as a racing broadcaster after 50 years behind the microphone and in front of the camera. Tapp’s last official hosting role will be a special one-hour episode and the season finale of In the Gig at 6pm tonight on Sky Racing 2 (FOXTEL channel 520), almost 50 years to the day after his career started at 2GB. Special guests, Ray Hadley and Ian Craig will join Tapp on his final show. Tapp can also be heard hosting his last On the Pace radio show on Sky Sports Radio this morning from 10:30am. Tapp has been one of the iconic voices of Australian racing and called more than 50,000 races over his career with his last race call in 1998. Tapp has held various hosting roles at Sky Racing since. When he announced his retirement in April this year Tapp said he will miss sharing his love of racing with the Sky audience. Now that the moment has come, Tapp has stuck with the same sentiment. “The thing I’m going to miss most of all, is having the honour of visiting thousands of Australian homes,” he said. “It’s been a true privilege to talk about my favourite subjects - horses, and horsemen and women.” Tapp was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in 1996 “for service to horse sports as a national and international racecaller, and to charitable organisations as an organiser and compere of fundraising events” and was bestowed the title of Australia Post Australian Legend in 2007 when he was immortalised in a stamp series. A special tribute show in honour of John Tapp will air on Sky Racing in the coming weeks. REBECCA LUDBROOK  CORPORATE AFFAIRS ADVISOR

One of the early super stars of harness racing was the pacer Good Time, a horse small in stature but large in heart. He was the dominate pacer some 65 years ago and he made his presence felt in Illinois from competing from the bottom of our state to near the top of it. Trained and driven by Frank Ervin. Good Time was the first to be named Harness Horse of the Year, taking the title in 1949 as a 3-year-old in 1952 as a 6-year-old. Nicknamed “The Little Giant” he won major races on the Chicago circuit at Maywood Park, Sportsman’s Park, in southern Illinois at Fairmont Park and Du Quoin and in the middle of our state at Springfield. A bay son of Hal Dale and the Volomite mare, On Time, he stood barely fourteen hands high. When Good Time retired from racing in 1952, he was the richest Standardbred ever up to that time, with earnings of $318,793 As a sire his fastest offspring were Columbia George, 1:56 and Best of All, 1:56.2. He was the sire of eighty-three 2:00-minute performers at the time of his death at Castleton Farms in 1977. In a 1953 article in Hoofbeats, written by Jim Harrison, Frank Ervin had this to say about Good Time: “I have had many great horses and other trainers will have other great ones in days to come. There will be horses that will win more money, both in their lifetime and in a single year. And there will be horses that will go faster. "But there was only one Good Time and there can only be one. When I asked for more, he always had it. Where the short-legged little guy got it, I'll never know. But it was always there and as far as I'm concerned there'll never he another like him." In a 3-year-old start at Springfield in 1949, Ervin drove N. D. Hal and had Ken Cartnal pilot Good Time who had drawn 16th post. When the field straightened away for the stretch drive Good Time was four deep and way back but the little horse flew home to win in 2.04. At Du Quoin that year in the McMahon Memorial, Good Time started in the back tier and got in a jam leaving. Nevertheless, he came on from 13th and last to post a 2:03.3 victory. His driver (Ervin) timed him in 2.01. At  Fairmount Park he breezed in its Matron Stake. Also in 1949 Good Time came to Maywood Park for its $10,000 Maywood Pacing Derby on September 27 when the temperature a record low of 36 degrees. The chilly weather didn’t bother Good Time as he won handily. At Sportsman’s Park a huge crowd turned out to see Good Time take on the best 3-year-old pacers in the country in the $12,425 Trotting Club take, a prelude to the American National, and watched “The Little Giant” prove best when the Cicero, Illinois track was a half-miler. In 1952 at the age of six, Good Time made two more starts at Maywood Park that June. He was the odds-on favorite in both and didn’t disappoint his supports with convincing victories. Good Time Career Record Year  Sts   1ST    2ND   3RD   Earnings 1948  17   12   3    2    $46,433   1949  18    15   2    1     $58,766   1950  20    14   1    3     $52,705   1951  22    14   5    2     $50,589   1952  33    23   4    2     $110,299             110  78  15   10 $318,792 Mike Paradise

John Tapp announced on tonight’s Sky Racing In the Gig episode that he will retire from racing broadcasting in June this year. Tapp’s last official hosting role will be on the season finale of In the Gig almost 50 years to the day after his career started at 2GB. Tapp has been one of the iconic voices of Australian racing and called more than 50,000 races over his career with his last race call in 1998. Tapp has held various hosting roles at Sky Racing since. Tapp said he will miss sharing his love of racing with the Sky audience. “Talking racing has been an absolutely joy and the people involved in racing – you can’t go past them,” Tapp said. “I can’t pinpoint a career highlight. There are so many special horses, races, trainers, jockeys and harness drivers. Every day in racing is like a new frontier and every race has its own story.” Tapp said he will continue to train harness horses in his retirement from broadcasting. “I don’t want to have too many horses, just enough that I can be hands on,” he said. “Apart from that, I will still be keenly watching everything that is happening in racing and will remain an avid Sky Racing viewer.” Tabcorp Chief Operating Officer Wagering and Media, Craig Nugent said Tapp will be dearly missed at Sky Racing. “John Tapp is a true Australian racing legend and Sky Racing is proud to have been part of his illustrious 50-year career,” Nugent said. “I wish John all the best in his retirement. It has been a privilege for the team at Sky to have worked with him.” Tapp was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in 1996 “for service to horse sports as a national and international racecaller, and to charitable organisations as an organiser and compere of fundraising events” and was bestowed the title of Australia Post Australian Legend in 2007 when he was immortalised in a stamp series. Sky is producing a special tribute to celebrate John Tapp’s racing and media career for broadcast during his final week on-air. His last In the Gig episode will air on Sky Racing on June 16. Rebecca Ludbrook  Tabcorp

The story begins on April 2, 1922 when a baby boy named Harold was born in Chicago. The lad grew up a child of the depression and a bit of a prankster as he and his buddies would place garter snakes in their schoolteacher's desk drawers, play hooky from Lane Tech to go to Riverview Park, and sneak into movie houses by sliding down the coal he approached his 20th year, the son of a WWI aviator entered the army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and he served in Europe, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and earning a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. It was thought that his two frozen feet might result in their loss but fortunately they were saved but the cause of grief for years to come.... After the war, Harold returned to Illinois and married his childhood sweetheart, Marian and the two raised four children in the suburbs of Chicago.   Harold's love of country was evident in his active participation in the Military Order of The Purple Heart and he became a Commander of the local Chapter located in South Chicago Heights.   MOPH became his passion and his patriotism was instilled upon his kids, Dale, Gary, Judy and Lori. If there was a parade, he was in it. If there was a service for Veterans, he was there......but his other passion was a love of Harness Racing, as a fan.   He and his MOPH buddies would frequently leave their Chapter meetings and head over to Washington Park, in Homewood, Illinois to catch the last few races.   As time went on, he'd have his oldest son, Dale tag along with him and together the well bonded father/son duo would visit the Chicagoland Harness tracks regularly.   After the fire that destroyed Washington Park, Balmoral Park in Crete became the track of choice as it was only 15 minutes from the family home.   Both Harold and Dale were there when Balmoral first turned on the lights back in the late 1960's and as Harold grew older and ultimately retired from work at Chicago's Federal Reserve Bank, his regular almost daily place for fun and relaxation was in the second floor clubhouse at Balmoral. In fact, less than one week before his death at the age of 79 in February, 2002, Harold was there in his usual perch, hot black coffee on one side, ashtray and smokes on the other and his racing programs in the middle.   Shortly after his funeral that was one day after Dale's birthday, the subject of how he could be best remembered was a topic of discussion between Dale and his wife LaVonne, whom Harold held in the highest regard. The answer quickly became - a Memorial Race with a Blanket Presentation in the Winner's Circle - at Balmoral Park. It was initially thought to be a one-time remembrance with a small group of family and friends present. On that particular night, driver Tony Morgan, one of Harold's favorites won the race and a driver's whip autographed by many of the top drivers in Chicago was presented to the family. The whip is displayed to this day on the wall in Dale's office.   After its first run, Dale and LaVonne decided to do it again, and again, each year and rather than just recognize Harold to expand the event and its meaning to say Thank You and recognize all Purple Heart Veterans throughout the land. We knew Harold would want it that way. How long we can continue to host an event like this is unknown but as long as the family can, it will.   For the past several years, members of the MOPH were present and display the flags during the National Anthem performed 'live' in the Winners Circle. This year, there will be more MOPH members and their guests than ever before in attendance.   So this year, for the 14th consecutive year, the Zahn Purple Heart Memorial will be raced at Balmoral, on Saturday, April 18th and guests from at least four States will be present.   We like to think Harold will be there in spirit as he watches the proceedings from the Great Racetrack InThe Sky!     Dale P. Zahn

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