The Ohio Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association will hand out its annual awards at the Ohio Harness Horseman’s Association banquet on Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Columbus Marriott Northwest (Dublin).
The Ohio Chapter has voted Brian Brown as the recipient of the Winner’s Circle Award for the Ohioan who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the past year; named Joseph Essig as the Peter Haughton Memorial Award as the young Ohioan who is an "up-and-coming” star among harness horsemen; elected Eddie Wheeler into the Immortal Hall of Fame; selected Missouri Time into the Standardbred Hall of Fame; and will honor David Carr as the winner of the Rambling Willie Award for the Ohioan who has done the most for harness racing over the past two decades.
Last year was Brian Brown'’s best year in terms of earnings ($1.5 million) and training wins (65), establishing a UTRS of .385. The native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio conditioned Limelight Beach (p,2,1:49.4 - $210,192), winner of the Bluegrass and International Stallion Stakes, Color’s A Virgin (p,2,1:53.2s - $2111,700) and Beach Memories (p,3,1:48.3f - $429,739).
Joseph Essig is the 21 year-old son of the 1986 Peter Haughton Memorial Award winner, Joe Essig, Jr. The younger Essig recorded 18 wins in 2013 and earned $97,106 in purse earnings, racing mainly at Hoosier Park and Lebanon Raceway. He is expected to be one of the top reinsmen at the new Miami Valley Raceway.
Wheeler, a native of Troy, Ohio, was a highly respected by his peers as a horseman and driver. He trained and drove the great trotter Duke Rodney, winner of the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity, two of the Triple Crown legs in 1961. He later served as a second trainer for prominent horsemen such as Stanley Dancer, Tom Haughton and others.
Missouri Time was one of the toughest distaffers ever to compete in the state of Ohio. The daughter of Race Time was bred by Billy Colson and campaigned by Dominic Staffery during her seven year career. She finished on the board in 90 of her 138 career starts and competed against the best mares in the country, including Silk Stockings, Handle With Care and Tarport Hap. She retired from racing in 1979 with $328,423 in earnings and a lifetime mark of 1:56.3f.
Carr is a 30 plus year employee of the United States Trotting Association is the manager of the Information & Research Department for the USTA. Carr is an unsung hero to the publicists, writers and sales’ companies and was awarded the LeeAnne Pooler Memorial Award by the national U.S.H.W.A. in 2008. (Ohio USHWA)