Kelly Spencer Receives Golden Pen

Published: May 28, 2010 12:51 pm EDT

The Standardbred Media and Marketing Association (SMMA) on Friday announced Kelly Spencer was its Golden Pen Award recipient

, given annually to a member of the organization who makes outstanding contributions to harness racing publicity and marketing.

Spencer is the manager of marketing and communications at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. Her initiatives to create a fun, lively, family environment at the track have drawn praise throughout the industry.

From bouncy pony races, to trivia contests to drivers and trainers participating in pre-taped routines broadcast at the track, Spencer strives to make the Grand River experience memorable.

Opening night this year featured “Local Biz Night,” in which 34 area business were paired with a horse in a race. Employees got to meet their horse before the race and pose for pictures. The businesses paired with the winning horse each received a trophy to bring back to the workplace, plus a dinner party for 20 at the track.

This year also began the “Paddock Report,” during which racing participants are interviewed in the hopes of providing fans and bettors with useful information and insights.

“Kelly continually comes up with imaginative ways to bring people to the track,” SMMA President Ken Weingartner said. “Just as importantly, she gives them a reason to return. Creating a fun environment at the races, and then having visitors go tell others about it, is publicity on which you can’t put a price.”

Spencer, a key member of Standardbred Canada's Trot Blogs team, will be presented the award at a date to be determined.




Congratulations Kelly!!
Ever since my visit to Grand River for an Adult Camp, I've told anyone who'd listen. Grand River raceway does a great job of making Harness racing fun. And you, my dear are the reason why. Other tracks should take lessons, bring on the fun. Wish I lived closer.
Thank you Kelly.

Congrats, Kelly - Your love of harness racing shines through in everything you do. And your ingenuity is both unfettered and boundless. It's wonderful to see the industry you love ... hoist your colours in return. Golden, for sure ;-)

Congratulations, Kelly!

I have had the pleasure of working with Kelly and have seen first-hand how passionate and committed she is to harness racing and its participants. She is an asset to the sport and richly deserves this award. Likewise, Kelly, you inspire us!


Thank-you for the gracious and truly lovely comments. I'm thankful every day to work in an industry I love, at a job that I adore, and with people who inspire me. And don't let Blanchard fool you ... I could out-bowl him with both eyes closed in a windstorm. :)

Kelly is one of the rare gems in racing. Her passion, drive and determination are evident in all of the successful programs and promotions that have been created and developed at Grand River and with the ROMP group. She does everything with enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a smile! Whether its industry committee work or hosting a new program or promotion, Kelly is usually the first to offer her unconditional support. Way to go Kelly!

Kelly congratulations. If anybody in the Standardbred industry deserves this you do.Everytime we have had the pleasure to race at the old Elmira track or Grand River Raceway you have treated my friends and myself with the utmost hospitality and graciosness. You are a true pro and a wonderful representive for the Harness horse business. GOOD FOR YOU. Charlie Reid & Meadowview Farms P.S. See you in the winners circle

Congratulations Kelly!

I have had the privilege of working with Kelly on many different committees and projects over the years. During my time with OHHA Kelly was always interested in helping us whenever we called and has a genuine compassion for horsepeople the horses and the GRR fans. When you think of a great atmosphere and having fun at the track, Grand River Raceway is the name that first comes to mind and Kelly is the one we all can thank for that. Well deserved is an understatement.


Congratulations Kelly.
It is wonderful to see you get rewarded for your efforts. I look forward to seeing you on Powder Puff night!
Ann Curran

Well done and well deserved, Kelly. Maybe you could start a course to get other tracks promoting our sport the way you do.

Congrats Kelly
you do a wonderful job in the promotion of harness racing and Grand River
always love watching your Halloween special

Marie Stoyles-Moura

Any award that is available in your field should go to you Kelly. The job you do at Grand River to help promote Harness Racing, and YOUR track is AWESOME!!!! Glad to see it doesn't go unnoticed.