At the annual meeting of its Board of Directors on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23), the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) selected Mark Hall and Dave Little to move to the summer ballot for possible election to the Communicators Hall of Fame.
Mark Hall has worked in the photography department of the U.S. Trotting Association for over 35 years, teaming with two members of the Communicators Hall of Fame, George Smallsreed and Ed Keys. It is after the flamboyant Smallsreed that the annual USHWA photography awards are named, and Hall has done his former mentor proud by winning six Smallsreed awards, the most of any photographer, with his work spanning the Standardbred spectrum from racing to foals in the field to conformation photos to “beauty shots” involving the sport.
Dave Little recently joined the team in publicity and TV functions at the mighty Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, after working 24 years as the racing editor of the New York Daily News. Dave once “swept” a nine-race card at Roosevelt with his top selections, and also knows his way around a Thoroughbred program as well. He has announced at several racetracks, including Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., and he is a longtime director of USHWA, as is his wife Debbie, who handicaps for the cross-city Post and is president of USHWA’s New York City chapter.
Hall and Little will now go on a midsummer ballot, along with whomever is forwarded from the Hall of Fame Screening Committee (who considers non-communicators), for consideration into their respective Halls. The candidates who get 75% or more of the yes-no votes cast for them join the ranks of history’s best in their particular Standardbred callings.
USHWA is conducting its annual meetings (the General Membership meeting is Sunday morning) in Orlando, Fla. and is also the host of the Sunday evening Dan Patch Awards Banquet, at which the best and the brightest of 2017 will be celebrated for their accomplishments, and the pronouncement of the Horse of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Pacer of the Year will be made for the first time. The ceremonies will be broadcast live on USHWA’s Facebook page starting at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.