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Florida Award Winners Honoured

Published: February 21, 2016 8:30 am ET

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The Florida chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held its 25th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame awards dinner on Friday.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were former race secretary Kenny Marshall, trainers/drivers Wally Ross Jr. and Tom Sells, and on the equine side, the trotting stallion Basil. The association also presented its annual horsemen/women awards.

In addition, the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) presented their 2015 Crystal Awards to the top state-bred horses this past season and the Florida Amateur Driving Club (FADC) presented their “driver of the year” award.

The silver anniversary event took place at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort and Spa with more than 150 people in attendance.

Wally Ross Jr.’s induction was only the second time in the history of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame that a father and son has been inducted. Wally Ross Sr. was inducted in 2011. The other father-son combo was William Haughton (1990) and Tommy Haughton (1998).

It was also the first time in 25 years that the same trainer won both the William Popfinger Award and the Stanley Dancer Award as the top trainer of pacers and trotters. That award went to Mike Deters.

In attendance were Hall of Famers William Popfinger (1991), Ron Waples (1994), Wally Hennessey (1996), Joe Pavia Jr. (1996), Jake Huff (2004), Fred Segal (2005), Dr. Mark Phillips (2008), Mike Deters (2009), Dr. Paul Caputo (2010), David Ingraham (2010), Jim McDonald (2011), Walter Ross Sr. (2011), Marc Aubin (2012), Christine Garrity and Anthony Amante (2014), and Lou Rapone (2014).

2015 Florida USHWA Award Winners:

Delvin Miller Award (Goodwill) – Victoria Howard
Dana Irving Award (Breeder) – Laurie Poulin
R.D. Ricketts Award (Contributions) – Richard Dunmire
Stanley Dancer Award (Trotting Trainer) – Mike Deters
William Popfinger Award (Pacing Trainer) – Mike Deters
Lifetime Achievement Award – Gerald Nelson
Lifetime Achievement Award – Allen Saul
Dan Gawlas Award (Good Guy) – Dein Spriggs
Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) – John Cummings Jr.
Peter Haughton Award (Newcomer) – John MacDonald
Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award (Outstanding woman) Ann-Mari Daley
Allen Finkelson Award (Promotions) – Thomas H. Hicks
Caretaker of the Year Award – Tracey O’Leary

2015 FSBOA Crystal Award Winners:

2yo Pacing Filly – Prairie Sweetheart
2yo Pacing Colt – Gleneagles
2yo Trotting Filly – Gold Star Briana
2yo Trotting Colt – Rexamillion
3yo Pacing Filly – Davita
3yo Pacing Colt – Owosso Flash
3yo Trotting Filly – Livy M
3yo Trotting Colt – Prairie Fortune
Older Pacing Mare – Limelight
Older Pacing Horse – Hillybilly
Older Trotting Horse – Lugar
2015 Breeder of the Year – Laurie Poulin

2015 FADC Award Winner:

Driver of the Year – Dein Spriggs

(Florida Chapter of USHWA)

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