Hanover Shoe Farms of Hanover, Pennsylvania, one of harness racing's premier and storied breeding farms, has been named the 2013 winner of Harness Tracks of America's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association of major racing organizations in the United States and Canada.
In announcing the award, HTA Executive Vice President Paul Estok said, "Hanover Shoe Farms is being recognized for remaining unwavering in promoting harness racing in countless ways and continuing Lawrence Sheppard's love of and dedication to improving the breed.”
The annual award is named for the English thoroughbred imported to America in 1788 and foundation sire of the Standardbred horse, and for the late industry titan Stan Bergstein, who spent 50 years as executive vice president of HTA. The award recognizes exceptionally meritorious contributions to the sport of harness racing and few organizations fit that requirement like Hanover Shoe Farms.
In addition to being the cradle of a staggering number of champion horses, those involved with the operation since the founding of the Standardbred breeding farm and nursery have worked to better the harness racing industry both privately and publicly -- recruiting owners, working with legislators, serving on the boards of practically every important racing industry group and providing support for charitable endeavors such as the HTA/Hanover Shoe Farms Caretaker of the Year Award.
HTA President Paul Fontaine, who represents Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts and is himself a breeder and owner of harness horses, said of this year's Bergstein Messenger winner, "Recognizing Hanover Shoe Farms is truly a pleasure. The name itself carries with it a history of innovation, foresight, integrity and excellence promoted by individuals with names like Sheppard, Simpson, Spears, Williams and Brown. Hanover Shoe Farms is harness racing, and as such, is a most deserving winner of this prestigious award.”
The Bergstein Messenger Award will be presented to representatives of Hanover Shoe Farms as one of the highlights of 2013 Harness Racing Congress during the U.S. Harness Writers Association Dan Patch Awards Dinner at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.(HTA)