Click here to view all the 2013 Dan Patch Award photos
Click here to view the entire 2013 Dan Patch Journal
USHWA is on the move and it’s good
Fellow USHWA Members!
Happy early May to
everyone. Hopefully the weather is getting better in your neck of the woods as springtime
is finally really here. So much for that groundhog…
Two-year-olds are getting
ready to baby race, top three-year-olds are looking impressive in the
qualifying races, and it looks as if our racing product will be stronger than
ever this season. Even your esteemed president is back in the industry
full-time, working as the new Director of North American Operations for www.harnesslink.com.
Here is all the news
concerning USHWA and thankfully it is good news!
2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet & Meetings at Dover
Mark your calendars extra
early this year as Dover Downs will be the site for the 2014 Dan Patch Awards
Banquet and USHWA Meetings. They will take place the weekend of February 21, 22
& 23, 2014. Thank you past president Gordon Waterstone and the Locations
Committee for nailing down a site. And
thanks to our treasurer, Judy Davis-Wilson, for getting what looks like a great
deal for hotel rooms, meals, meeting rooms and our big dinner. Once everything
is finalized we will announce all details and pricing. The
date and location were put out prematurely on our Facebook page, and I
am sorry for allowing that to happen before properly letting the USHWA Directors
(Still wish we were going
to be in Vegas….maybe in 2015….)
2013 USHWA Meetings & Dan Patch Awards Banquet
Made A Profit
Usually we are very
thankful to break even or just lose a little money on our annual meetings and
Dan Patch Dinner, but during the 2013 event, including participation in the
Harness Racing Congress, USHWA was able to not only cover all our costs but
turn some profit. This is because of the hard
work done by our committee, from generous donations and sponsorships by friends
of USHWA, through journal ad sales, and with our silent and live auctions.
with the USTA, we partially re-compensated them for our share of partaking in
their arrangements and meals, but even after this, the net final profit for
USHWA will look to be in the range of $20,000. Half of that amount is already earmarked as our deposits for the 2014
dinner at Dover Downs. The remaining profit will go towards upcoming projects
and charitable donations that you will be hearing about soon.
Goshen Hall of Fame Weekend July 5, 6 & 7
Make your plans now for
the Hall of Fame Dinner, Grand Circuit Racing, and
USHWA activity at Goshen Historic Track the weekend of July 5 through
July 7. The big dinner takes place Sunday evening under the tent at the museum.
Racing is every day over the weekend. The Officers will be meeting Saturday
afternoon, followed by the HOF Screening Committee. Then on Sunday there will
be an unofficial Membership Meeting that everyone is invited to attend, at 11 a.m. in the Hall of
Fame Clubhouse on the second floor. Tickets to the Hall of Fame Dinner
at $125 per person and are available through the HOF. Attached with this email is a listing of
hotels in the area and discount codes; please
book your room ASAP as they are going fast! Also note that within 100 miles of Goshen, there
will be racing Saturday night at Meadowlands (52 mi.), Yonkers (58 mi.), and
Pocono (96 mi.)
Living Hall of Fame Chapter Nominations due by June 1
All USHWA Chapters and the
At-Large Membership are to have their
nominations, along with bios (350-700 words),
submitted to the National Secretary no later than June 1, 2013.
Chapters may nominate up to two people for the Living Hall of Fame.
Directors Vote Not To Announce “Finalists” For USHWA
In Florida an
R&R change was amended and passed to announce the top two vote getters as
finalists for both the human and equine awards. Kentucky’s original proposal
called for only equines, and they rethought the position and requested that the
Directors revote to limit “finalists” to equines, citing high travel costs for
human nominees that do not happen to win. The Directors recently approved this
proposition by a 21-5 vote, and the final version is reflected in the
fully-updated By-Laws, available at www.ushwa.org.
Bill Brown Retiring
We were saddened to receive the resignation of Hall of Fame
member and longtime USHWA Secretary/Executive Secretary Bill Brown, as of May
19. Bill served the organization with distinction and style in his various
capacities, and it is safe to say that USHWA would not look like it does today
without the constant strength and hard work of Bill Brown over the years.
Committees for 2013-2014 USHWA season Attached with this notice
is the USHWA Committees for 2013-2014. They are subject to changes and
additions during the year.
A new committee has Heather
Vitale chairing a Social Media Committee. Many of you have already seen how we
have updated the United States Harness Writers Association site on Facebook
(don’t use the one under USHWA, as it is unofficial and we don’t know who set
that one up), and we have increased “likes” on our site from 222 to nearly 500
in one week and keep it updated daily. Heather and Chris Tully are also working
on doing the same with Twitter.
You will see two
committees that are still being formatted. We are also seeking someone to chair
and others to be on the Sponsorship Committee.
Canadian Chapter preparing for first meeting
The Canadian Chapter of
USHWA is preparing for its first meeting and already has additional members
signing up to join the group. Delegates Dave Briggs and Darryl Kaplan are
making arrangements for the first meeting where they will elect officers, work
on their own by-laws and get their organization underway. Good luck!
Please feel free to call
or email me anytime with issues about USHWA or just to say hi!
Rooms are set aside at
these local hotels for a limited period of time.For the best rate, we
suggest you mention the Code as notedwhen booking, and to
receive these excellent rates, please book early and definitely
by the deadline noted. Don’t get shut out!
Comfort Inn & Suites
17, exit 124
Hatfield Lane, Goshen NY 10924
(845) 291-1282 – Grp Harness
Racing Hall of Fame $109-$139 until 6/5
breakfast buffet, WIFI, outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center
Holiday Inn Express
17, exit 126
Bryle Place, Chester, NY 10918
(845) 469-3000 – Code Harness
Racing Museum–Hall of Fame Weekend 2013$109
Smart Start breakfast bar, WIFI, indoor pool, hot tub
Courtyard by Marriott
17, exit 122
Crystal Run Crossing, Middletown, NY 10941
(845) 695-0606 –
Code Harness Racing Museum or Great American Weekend$139
dinner and full bar service available. 24hr market, Starbucks coffee, I/O pool,
whirlpool, exercise room, walk to restaurants
17, exit 122
Crystal Run Crossing, Middletown NY 10941
(845) 344-3400 –
Code HRM$134 until 6/5
breakfast buffet, WIFI, outdoor pool, walk to restaurants
17, exit 122
Crystal Run Crossing, Middletown NY 10941
(845) 343-1474 –
Code HRM $108 until
bar service/lounge, free hot breakfast, I/O pool, free internet
17, exit 122
Crystal Run Crossing, Middletown NY 10941
(845) 692-0098 – Group: Harness
Racing Hall of Fame Weekend 2013 $95
Single Queen; $105 Double Queen until 6/5
breakfast, WIFI, local & LD calls, walk to restaurants
Carol Cramer and John Pawlak, two talented communicators who have made their primary mark in harness racing
while working for the sport's governing body, the U. S. Trotting
Association, have been named as ballot candidates for the Communicators
Hall of Fame in voting conducted Friday by directors of the United
States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). The decisions came during
the annual meetings of USHWA, being held here this year in conjunction
with Harness Racing Congress VI.
Carol Cramer is now officially retired from the USTA,
but anyone who races a stakes horse today still feels her influence, as
she has retained the function as editor of the USTA Stakes Guide, the
foundation upon which owners and stake services build the racing
schedules of star horses. Carol also worked as the Advertising Manager
for the USTA's acclaimed Hoof Beats monthly magazine, and it is unlikely
that Jim Harrison's seminal book on the handling of harness racehorses,
Care And Training of the Trotter and Pacer, would have seen the light
of day if not for Cramer organizing and preparing the fundamental
brilliance of thought that Harrison gathered and added to.
In the mid-eighties John Pawlak traveled from Toledo in nothwest OH, where he served in several capacities, for Toledo Raceway Park,
to Columbus in the heart of the Buckeye State to serve as the Director
of Publicity. Some of Pawlak's duties have changed over the years, but
his core strengths have been utilized from day one, perhaps most notably
the datagathering for and editing of the Trotting and Pacing Guide, the
definitive annual fact book on North American harness racing. He has
also overseen many of the broadcasting functions of the USTA, stemming
from John's days as a TV sportscatser in Toledo and now expanded to his
innovations for the USTA in the e-communications age; and he is
well-known world-wide for his representation of the USTA and the U.S.
overall at the biennial World Trotting Conference and its World Driving
Cramer and Pawlak now go before the membership of
USHWA in Communicators Hall of Fame balloting in midsummer; if they
secure 75% of the votes from the electors, they will join the pantheon
of other great women and men who have set the highest standards in the
dissemination of harness racing information.
(l to r) Marc Aubin, George Napolitano Sr, Kathleen
Dempsey and Mel Turcotte. (Skip Smith photo)
A lively crowd of 220 horsemen
and women, family and friends, came out to celebrate the 22nd annual Hall of
Fame Awards Dinner which was held on Sunday February 10, 2013, and hosted by the Florida Chapter of the United States
Harness Writers Association at the Deerfield Beach Doubletree Hilton.
Inducted 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, were Marc Aubin of Pompano Beach,
George Napolitano Sr. of Margate, and Mel Turcotte of Coconut Creek.
Also 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 was Kathleen Dempsey of Pompano Beach.
The Clyde Hirt Media
Workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Harness Writers Association and Meadowlands
Racetrack. It is held in conjunction with harness racing's most prestigious
race (the Hambletonian) and offers college students a chance to learn from
journalism professionals while covering a major sporting event. Students
interact with a variety of sports professionals, write race previews and
results stories for daily newspapers and news websites and attend workshop
sessions with experts from print, broadcasting, public relations and other
Corey Alexander, one of the students from the 2012 workshop, produced a video featuring many of the highlights of the weeks activities. we are making it available here for you to view and see what great exposure the workshop is giving the sport of harness racing to college students who are up and coming media professionals.
Click here to see the video and experience what the young men and women from colleges all over North America have experienced; our sport, first hand.
Click here to read more about the workshop on the USTA website.
Throughout most of its 67-year history, the United States Harness Writers
Association, harness racing’s premier organization for communicators, has had
members who lived outside of the United States. They supported the goals of
USHWA, and benefited from two-way contact with the organization while being in
an “At-Large” category that includes membership near no local chapter of the
But with the membership
totals of one subgroup going over double digits recently, application was made,
and approved by USHWA Directors, for the first organized Chapter headquartered
outside the 50 States -- the Canadian Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers
Association, an embodiment of the nearly-“borderless” nature of current North
American harness racing.
There are 10 charter
members of the Canadian Chapter of USHWA, with that number expected to grow with
organized activities led by the northernmost Chapter giving an added dimension
to the attractiveness of joining USHWA, which votes on the sport’s major awards,
including inclusion in the Living Hall of Fame, which recognizes talent
throughout North America and indeed the world.
The charter members of
the Canadian Chapter have already selected Dave Briggs and Darryl Kaplan to
represent them on USHWA’s Board of Directors during USHWA’s annual meetings at
the upcoming Harness Racing Congress, taking place the weekend of March 1-3 at
the Westin Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In picking this duo, the
Canadians are putting forth a pair of informed and talented communicators: the
last two winners of the prestigious John Hervey writing award for feature
writing about trotting and pacing, with Briggs of the Canadian Sportsman
receiving this year’s award, succeeding TROT magazine’s
“This is a landmark
occasion in the history of USHWA,” said President Steven Wolf. “We are very
proud to welcome the first international Chapter to our association and know
they will develop into a great asset, not only to USHWA but to our
Steven Wolf, president of the United States Harness Writers’ Association (USHWA), has announced today that former USHWA President Leon Zimmerman has accepted a six-year term as a member of the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame Screening Committee.
Zimmerman, who was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame in 2008, was President of USHWA from 1994 through 1995 and during his presidency was a voting member of the Hall of Fame Screening Committee. The New Jersey resident is a longtime Standardbred owner and member of USHWA, and he last year was named the Alan Prince USHWA Member of the Year for the second time in his career, one of only three people with that distinction.
“Leon’s vast knowledge and experience in our industry will make him a welcomed addition to the nominations process for the Living Hall of Fame,” Wolf said.
“I also want to thank USHWA member Kathy Parker, whose six-year term on the screening committee has ended, for her exceptional service to USHWA in this capacity,” Wolf stated.
Peter Arrigenna accepts for Archangel; Upstate NY's Horse of the Year
The top human and equine performers for the recently completed Batavia Downs meet and the best in Western New York were feted during the 2012 edition of the "Night of Distinction" which was held at the Downs on Saturday December 8th. Click herefor a photo recap.
Emcee John Manzi (left) looks on as awards are presented
Continuing the tradition of their annual awards banquet, the members and honorees of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA gathered for the 54th time on November 18th. Click here for a complete recap of their event with photos provided by Geri Schwarz. More photos have just been added and you can view them here.
Dan Leary, Mike Tanner, John Curtain and Bob Lieberman
The New England Chapter of USHWA held its 34th annual Hall of Fame induction and awards banquet on October 21st. Click here to see a complete photo replay of the presentations.
USHWA NEW MEMBER BROCHURE IS HERE-The hard work of the New Member Committee led by Chairwoman Jessica Schroeder has brought to frution a new tool to help broaden and build the membership of USHWA. It is a colorful and informational brochure that will explain exactly what USHWA is, what USHWA does, and why those who work in the sporting media would want to join.
We also had hard copies printed and are looking for all of our members to take this opportunity to help distribute the pamphlets (either electronically of paper copy) to anyone you may think would be intersted in becoming a part of our organization or convince someone who is not. It is inthe best interest of USHWA to get as many people on board with us to help promote our great sport.
The United States Harness Writers Association is a group of more than 250 members committed to the chronicling of harness racing through the print and electronic media. It was founded in 1947 by New York City area sportswriters who were covering harness racing at Roosevelt Raceway. It remains the only media organization in harness racing with a membership of newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, ad agency, publicists and others involved in racing communications. With more than 250 members, most of them allied to one of 12 regional chapters, the association strives to bring about a closer relationship among the media, racetracks and horsemen to promote a centuries-old American-bred sport.
USHWA members, in annual voting, choose harness racing's most prestigious awards like the Living Hall of Fame and the Horse-of-the-Year. Its Proximity Achievement Award is one of the sports most cherished honors. It also recognizes top divisional winners and leading drivers and trainers at its annual awards dinner, which began in 1948.
The association is governed by a member board of directors, which represents the chapters and at large members (those living or working in regions where there is no chapter). Also serving are seven national officers and all past presidents.
USHWA works with the united States Trotting Association in the Horse of the Year balloting. USHWA also presents the John Hervey Awards for excellence in writing and broadcasting. Its members choose Hall of Famers, so the association also works closely with The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame at Goshen, New York.
Many chapters hold annual awards or recognition dinners to salute the leading horses and drivers in their areas. Some chapters also raise money for local charities.