Columbus, OH --- In celebration of the rich history of harness racing, the United States Trotting Association, in partnership with the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, announced Tuesday the launch of the “Top 100 Moments in Harness Racing” contest.
The contest will allow fans from around the world to upload and share their favorite personal harness racing moments for industry recognition and a chance to be become part of the sport’s history. The winning top moments will be celebrated in a special exhibit at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.
The contest, which starts on Tuesday (March 18) at 9 a.m. (EDT), is accessible at Facebook.com/OfficialHarnessRacingFanZone
and leverages Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, together with the new Harness Racing Fan Zone (www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com
). The Fan Zone is an exciting, new social media-oriented content hub that allows fans, new and old, a place to “See, Share, Engage and Play” with the best of the sport and interconnects with other key industry digital properties.
Using a crowd-sourcing approach, the contest, which ends June 15 at 9 p.m. (EDT), allows participants to upload, display and share their photos, videos, stories and memories and enables fans to vote for their favorites.
Entries will be divided in the following categories: Horses, People, Races, Places, as well as a special “Heart” category designed to celebrate some of the personal stories that exhibit extraordinary determination and courage. Voting will be split between fans and a five-person judging committee consisting of a representative from the USTA, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, the Hambletonian Society, United States Harness Writers Association and sport historian Dean Hoffman. The committee will oversee final judging.
“Social media provides us with a powerful new and innovative platform to drive forward our core mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the incredibly rich history of Harness Racing,” said Janet Terhune, Director of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. “Through this exciting digital initiative, fans can become key contributors by sharing their stories and helping us pass our history to a new generation of fans. We encourage everyone to participate as we hope to uncover new stories, photos and moments that have not yet been archived or recognized. No story is too big or too small.”
“The USTA is proud to support this initiative through our growing social media presence, which is allowing the industry to partner together and connect with current and potential fans in new and compelling ways,” said Mike Tanner, Executive Vice President and CEO of the USTA.
“The sport of harness racing has a history second-to-none,” said Rob Key, CEO of Converseon. “Yet some of our greatest moments are hidden away in drawers and attics. This contest allows participants to dig through their archives, dust off their memories and share their stories in a new and exciting way. This is a chance to celebrate those moments, and become part of the history at one of the sport’s greatest jewels, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.”
About the Harness Racing Museum
The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, founded in 1951, is located in the historic village of Goshen, N.Y., known as “The Cradle of the Trotter” for its origins in the sport of harness racing, which was America’s first national pastime. More than 20,000 visitors each year enjoy the many examples of local, state, national and international history and art preserved by the museum along with artifacts dating from harness racing’s beginnings to modern times and hands-on interactive exhibits, including a 3-D harness racing simulator. The museum also maintains an extensive research library of books, videos and industry periodicals documenting the great sport of harness racing. Serving as the Hall of Fame for the sport, the museum honors each inductee with a unique portrait sculpture and highlights each member’s illustrious career in informational interactives.
About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative
Launched in September 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership between the United States Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative’s mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, “best practice” framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to help positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans. Key foundational elements of the initiative to date include the Harness Racing Ambassador Program and the newly-launched www.harnessracingfanzone.com
Director of Marketing and Communications