The Ohio Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association handed out its annual awards at the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association banquet on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Columbus Marriott Northwest in Dublin.
The Ohio Chapter has voted Jim Mulinix as the recipient of the Winner's Circle Award for the Ohioan who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the past year; named Devan Miller as the Peter Haughton Memorial Award winner as the young Ohioan who is an "up-and-coming” star among harness horsemen; elected Joe Lighthill into the Immortal Hall of Fame; selected Eternal Camnation and April Star into the Standardbred Hall of Fame; and will honor Harold Breidenbach as the winner of the Rambling Willie Award for the Ohioan who has done the most for harness racing over the past two decades.
Mulinix was trainer and co-owner of A Rocknroll Dance, winner of the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace and the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine. Mulinix, a native of Wauseon, Ohio, had a career best $1.3 million in earnings and posted a respectable .254 UTR against some of the nation's top stables.
Miller is the 24-year-old daughter of Ohio Hall of Fame reinsman David Miller. The younger Miller has moved more towards a career as a conditioner. Miller recorded 34 wins in 2012 for a .339 UTR and earned more than $76,000 in purse earnings. Her top star was Look Yankee ($33,948, 1:53.1f–'12).
Lighthill began his career in 1943 when he became the youngest professional driver in Ohio at age 15. After serving in the Army from 1946-48, he returned home and opened his own stable. He graced the winner's circle with such legendary performers as Meadow Skipper, Countess Adios, Kerry Way, Tender Loving Care and Peter Lobell. Lighthill passed away in 2006 at the age of 78. He finished his career with 2,272 wins and $6.9 million in earnings.
Eternal Camnation was a three-time Breeders Crown champion and retired as the richest pacing mare in the sport's history ($3.7 million). Shewas owned by the Eternal Camnation Stable (Dorothy Miller) and the Jeff Miller Stable for the majority of her distinguished career. She retired with 47 wins in 101 career startstook her 1:49.2 mark at the Meadowlands as a 5 year old.
Stepped on as a foal by his mother, April Star was saved by vets at Ohio State University and went on to be the leading money-winning pacer in harness racing in 1947. He beat Jimmy Creed in the National Pacing Derby that year at Roosevelt Raceway and won the two-mile Nassau Pace. At the end of the 1947 season, he ranked second to Single G in all-time money earnings for pacers.
Breidenbach, a native of Lima, Ohio, has had a long career in the sport as an owner and amateur driver. Breidenbach built Cool Winds Farm and started the Allen County Super Trot. He owned more than 100 horses, including the 1990 Breeders Crown champion Crysta's Best. (Ohio USHWA)