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Vote now for Railbird Recognition
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - by Tim Bojarski

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Last year the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) started a new award and named it “Railbird Recognition." It was designed to allow the fans of this sport to express their opinions as to who they thought were the best in harness racing. The organization felt that every other major league sport offered a venue for their followers to select their favorites and decided to do the same.

There are actually two categories you have the opportunity to vote in: Horseperson of the Year and Racing Moment of the Year. Horseperson means anyone who has anything to do with the Standardbred horse. Trainer or driver for sure, but also owner, groom, vet, blacksmith, whatever! And racing moment means just that; any race, anywhere.

The best part about this award is anyone can be nominated and voted for. If you have a favorite horseperson in Indiana and have a group of people who are willing to back him or her by logging on and voting, they can win. If your local track had some sort of big race or promotion and you can get enough people to back it as the best racing moment of 2010, that can win.

Here is what won last year.

Fran Azur was named Horseperson of the Year for his support of the Barton, Vermont, Fair. He not only provided funding for purses and promotions, he also had his trainer Kevin McDermott ship in two of his best horses (Noble Falcon and Blueridge Western) for a match race at the fair in an attempt to set a new track record, as well as a Vermont state record. He also flew in drivers Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears to make sure the job got done. It was a great day of racing and many of the members of the fair, as well as residents and local horsemen, cast their votes and pushed Azur over the top in the voting.

The Racing Moment of the Year went to Muscle Hill’s Hambletonian. As you recall, Muscle Hill toyed with the Hambo field, dominating the race from start to finish. So many people saw the race and were so impressed with it that is won for best racing moment of 2009 easily. 

But keep this in mind, there were more than 70 different horse people who were nominated and received multiple votes, as well as 62 different moments of racing nominated which also received multiple votes. Several hundred racing fans cast their ballots and their voices were heard.

A gentleman named Bill Krikorian was the fan who won the right to present the awards at Yonkers Raceway during the Dan Patch Horse of the Year Awards this past February and he had a wonderful time doing it. So much so in fact he said he would attend the dinner again this year, just for the event itself!

So if you have someone you would like to see honored on a National level, get your group of friends together and nominate them and vote for them. This is your opportunity so take advantage of it and put your favorites in the spotlight. Click here to vote: http://www.ustrotting.com/misc/ushwa.cfm

Editor's Note: The views contained in this column are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.


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The views contained in this column are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.


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