The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and the USTA District 1 Meeting were both held Saturday, January 19 at the Marriott Inn University Area Columbus.
Despite the cold and blustery weather, the hotel was full of excitement with the schedule of activities keeping horsepeople busy the entire day.
The daytime activities included HHHRP Retirement Meeting, USTA Director’s Luncheon, USTA District 1 meeting, OHHA Annual Membership, First Lady’s Luncheon and the PACER Stallion Service Auction.
The ladies who attended the First Lady’s Luncheon were treated with a presentation by Lindsey Beggin of the Ronald McDonald House, who shared information and photos about the organization. There was a gift exchange following lunch, courtesy of the talented duo of Ann and Ray Lufkin. For the afternoon activity, the ladies made welcome blankets to be sent back to the house for families. Donations were also collected, such as toys for children and various supplies to help run the house. Did you know the Ronald McDonald House is run by volunteers and donated items? The ladies were thrilled to be a part of supporting a great organization.
The PACER Stallion Service Auction was underway all day. The auction began online on January 5 and closed January 19. Bidding was also available by phone on January 19. The auction generated over $100,000 to be used toward legislative efforts throughout the year. Thank you to both the donors and bidders for making this a successful event!
Those who were not already enjoying the events throughout the day arrived for the cocktail hour to socialize and catch up with fellow horsepeople, friends and other guests. Also in attendance were guests from other industries and Ohio legislators. Guests who attended the cocktail hour were in for a treat, as appetizers were added to the event and enjoyed by all.
Master of Ceremonies Keith Gisser extends greetings to the large crowd (Image courtesy Thom Pye)
The guests filtered into the banquet room, which was beautifully designed in red and black and tables set with centrepieces designed by Ann and Ray Lufkin. Each guest also received a harness racing mug. Keith Gisser was the emcee for the evening. Gisser welcomed everyone and made introductions.
Skip Hoovler introduced the newly elected OHHA directors (breeders Scott Hagemeyer, Randy Hutchinson and Jacob Mossbarger; trainers/drivers Jim Arledge Jr., Chris Beaver and Roy Burns; owners Randy Leopard [District 3], Kent Saunders [District 9] and Mary Jo Bross [District 6]; Steve Bateson is the new OHHA President and Randy Leopard is the new vice president).
Hoovler made remarks concerning the USTA and Kevin Greenfield thanked everyone for support during his years as president of OHHA. Kevin then introduced Steve Bateson who outlined some of his ideas for the future.
The Jerry Kaltenbach Memorial Awards were presented by Richard McClelland to trainer Brian Brown and driver Ronnie Wrenn. Brown presented the Ohio Outstanding Groom Award to Dan Trent. The Terry Holton Youth Award was presented to Nathan Davis by Ohio Racing Commission Chairman Robert Schmitz, OHHA Board Member Mary Jo Bross and family members of Terry Holton family.
Three generations of the Hagemeyer Family (Mel, Scott and Lyndsay Hagemeyer) presented a new award, the Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award to Jim Buchy.
The next OHHA award drew quite a surprise for Kevin Greenfield, as OHHA Director Skip Hoovler called him to the stage to receive the Dr. John P. Stevens Humanitarian Award. Greenfield was joined by his wife, Nancy, and past recipients of the award.
Ayers Ratliff then presented the United States Harness Writers Association awards. The Peter Haughton Memorial was presented to Trevor Smith, Winners Circle to Aaron Merriman, Rambling Willie to Dave Bianconi, Immortal of Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame Pius Soehnlen and the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame Tom Brinkerhoff. Tammy Hoovler provided the innovation and then dinner was served.
Following dinner, the horse award presentations began. The Ohio Harness Standardbred Hall of Fame was presented by Ayers Ratliff to owners of First Breath (Hold Your Breath-Ellens Jilly). First Breath was owned by Duane Lowe and bred by Duane and Mildred Lowe.
OHHA Board Members Senena Esty, John Mossbarger and Rick Martindale made their way to the stage to present the owners and breeders with the OHHA Horse of the Year Divisional Winners awards. The list appears below.
Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt
High On Paydaze (Nob Hill High-Myell)
Owned by Scott Hagemeyer, Robert Mondillo and Donald Robinson.
Trained by Brian Brown
Bred by Scott Hagemeyer.
Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Queen Of The Pride (McArdle-Lionness Hanover)
Owned by Frank Chick
Trained by Kevin Lare
Bred by Brad Wallace
Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Lane Of Stone (Wishing Stone-Wisteria Lane)
Owned by Harry Horowitz
Trained by Mark Winters Sr.
Bred by Harry and Iris Horowitz
Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Only Take Cash (Cash Hall-Armbro Affair)
Owned by Robert McIntosh Inc., Dave Boyle and Mardon Stables
Trained by Robert McIntosh
Bred by Robert McIntosh Stables and CSX Stables.
Only Take Cash was also awarded with the Ohio Triple Crown award.
Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt
Lather Up (Im Gorgeous-Pocket Comb)
Owned and bred by Gary and Barbara Iles.
Trained by Clyde Francis
Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Baron Remy (Yankee Cruiser-Riley Character)
Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Silva & Libby, Lawrence Karr and Weaver Bruscemi LLC
Trained by Ron Burke
Bred by Baron Racing Stable
Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Two O B Wonkenobi (Dejarmbro-Shannon Hall)
Owned by Shara Weaver and Madeline Roche.
Trained by Earnest Gaskin
Bred by Pond A Acres
Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Impinktoo (Manofmanymissions-Margie Seelster)
Owned by William Walters, Joe McLead and RTK Racing LLC
Trained by Ron Burke
Bred by Jay Mossbarger
Dancin Yankee (Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest)
Owned by Burke Racing Stable
Trained by Ron Burke
Bred by Elizabeth Yontz
Ladys Dude (Victory Sam-Ladys Star)
Owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi and Johnny Yoder.
Trained by Ron Burke and bred by Duane Lowe.
Now-retired barber Gary Iles, a true devotee and supporter of harness racing since 1957, and his wife Barbara, pictured as their Lather Up picked up his well-deserved honours (Image courtesy Thom Pye)
Following the presentations of the divisional winners it was revealed that Lather Up had been named the 2018 Ohio Horse of the Year. Lather Up’s owners were presented with a painting from a Conrad Photo painted by equine artist Ann Lufkin as well as a cartoon of Lather Up in a barber shop chair created by OHHA’s Thom Pye.
What an exciting night for Ohio horsepeople! The OHHA would like to thank everyone who took part in the weekend and wishes everyone the best in the upcoming 2019 racing season.
(Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association)