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Author Topic: Horseperson of Year voting begins  (Read 995 times)
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« on: December 16, 2011, 09:09:41 PM »

With fan voting for the “Racing Moment of the Year” complete, balloting for the second category of the 2011 Railbird Recognition Award (the year-end accolade chosen exclusively by the fans) kicked off Friday (Dec. 16).

The fan-selected award that is sponsored by the United States Harness Writers Association and the United States Trotting Association is looking for all followers of harness racing to express their opinions by voting for their favorite “Horseperson of the Year” for 2011.

Voting will run through Saturday (Dec. 31) and the winners will be announced on Wednesday (Jan. 4) on the USTA website and will be presented their awards during the Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday (Feb. 12). Fans may only vote once.

The six nominees are: Jeff Gural, Randy Waples, Ed Hart, George Brennan, Rod Hughes and Casie Coleman.

In order to make it easier and more convenient for everyone to participate, the format has changed for 2011. Voting will be conducted at 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.

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 at this link

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 or 732.547.9459 or Steven Wolf at or 954.654.3757.

Friday, December 16, 2011 - by Tim Bojarski, for USHWA
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