Florida USHWA Winners Announced

The Florida chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced the award winners for the 2013 harness racing season.

The award winners will be honoured at the association’s 23rd annual Hall of Fame awards dinner on Friday, March 7 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Deerfield Beach.

Elected to the chapter’s Hall of Fame are two longtime harness racing driver/trainers, Lucien Fontaine of Coconut Creek and Mark O’Mara of Parkland. The chapter’s Hall of Fame 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

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 Id Like To Win, Florida’s leading pacing stallion Six Of Diamonds, and the former world and track record holding trotter Tweedle Dum.

Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport, goes to Jody Dancer of Pompano Beach, the wife of the late Hall of Famer, Stanley Dancer.

The William Popfinger Award for developing an outstanding juvenile pacer goes to Tom Audley of Bell, a previous winner of this award.

The Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of trotters, goes for the second time to Kim Sears of Osteen.

The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport, goes to Michele Hallett of Margate.

Winner of the R.D. Ricketts Award, presented to an owner whose contributions to Florida racing have been outstanding, is Victoria Howard and her step-father, Peter Roccasano, of Boca Raton. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2013 is Laurie Poulin of Okeechobee.

The Peter Haughton Award for the best newcomer to Pompano Park goes to transplanted Californian Ed Hensley, a leading reinsman at west coast venues, Hoosier Park and now in Florida. The Dan Gawlas Good Guy Award, presented annually to an outstanding individual who has always contributed positively to the sport, goes to Isle Pompano Park Vice President and General Manager Rob Wyre and the Florida USHWA Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Isle Pompano Park chef Joe Harvella.

The annual Caretaker of the Year Award will be presented to an outstanding individual who over his or her career has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year’s honoree will be announced shortly.

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 two and three-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2013 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards.

Tickets are $75 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 p.m. with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of 10 are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972.5400, [email protected], or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, [email protected].


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