For the third consecutive year, the United States Harness Writers Association, in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association, is looking for fans of harness racing to express their opinions by voting for their favorite racing moment and horse person of the year in the 2011 Railbird Recognition Awards.
Voting for the best “Racing Moment” started Dec. 1 and will conclude this Thursday, Dec. 15. So you only have a short time left to vote for your favorite. We have received several thousand votes so far for racing moment and there is only a two percent difference between the top three vote getters in the balloting. So it is important for you to back your favorite before Thursday.
The six racing moments to vote for are:
San Pail wins the Breeders Crown
Local hero Big Bad John wins the Little Brown Jug
George Brennan wins Hambo Oaks and Hambo
Roll With Joe wins the Meadowland Pace
See You At Peelers beats the boys in the Rooney Pace
World Driving Championship: Jamieson wins
In order to make it easier and more convenient for everyone to participate, the format has changed for 2011. Voting will be conducted at www.ustrotting.com
on the homepage where the usual poll feature is located. The nominees for each award were compiled by members of USHWA for being the most impactful to the sport in 2011. Fans can make their selections by clicking one choice from the six listed and then clicking submit to cast their vote.
Balloting for the “Horseperson of the Year” will begin Friday, Dec. 16, until Saturday, Dec. 31. Fans may only vote once per day.
The winners will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, on the USTA website and will be presented their awards during the Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012.
The 2012 Dan Patch Awards will not only honor all the leading horsemen, horsewomen, and equine stars of the 2011 season, but will also pay tribute to the peerless career of the great Stanley F. Bergstein, the only person in the harness racing industry who is a member of both the Hall of Fame and its Communicators Corner.
Anyone can attend the banquet and should note that the host hotel for the weekend festivities, which includes the annual USHWA national meetings, is the Doubletree Orlando by Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld. Rooms are now available for booking, either by phone or internet, and are at a special rate of $109 per night, plus tax. The hotel has extended this special rate from February 7 through February 16 for those wishing to come in early or stay later.
The Doubletree Orlando by Hilton features more than 1,000 rooms, three swimming pools, free shuttles to all major attractions and much more. To make hotel reservations, call 800.327.0363 and ask for the special USHWA rate using the code “C-DPA,” or go to the special USHWA Hotel website.
Tickets for the dinner will be $125 per person, and tables of ten are available. Ticket reservations can be made by e-mailing or calling Callie Davies-Gooch at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 732.547.9459 or Steven Wolf at email@example.com
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - by Tim Bojarski, for USHWA