Throughout most of its 67-year history, the United States Harness Writers Association, harness racing's premier organization for communicators, has had members who lived outside of the United States. They supported the goals of USHWA, and benefited from two-way contact with the organization while being in an "At-Large” category that includes membership near no local chapter of the group.
But with the membership totals of one subgroup going over double digits recently, application was made, and approved by USHWA directors, for the first organized Chapter headquartered outside the 50
states--the Canadian Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, an embodiment of the nearly-"borderless” nature of current North American harness racing.
There are 10 charter members of the Canadian Chapter of USHWA, with that number expected to grow with organized activities led by the northernmost Chapter giving an added dimension to the attractiveness of joining USHWA, which votes on the sport's major awards, including inclusion in the Living Hall of Fame, which recognizes talent throughout North America and indeed the world.
The charter members of the Canadian Chapter have already selected Dave Briggs and Darryl Kaplan to represent them on USHWA's Board of Directors during USHWA's annual meetings at the upcoming Harness Racing Congress, taking place the weekend of March 1-3, 2013, at the Westin Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In picking this duo, the Canadians are putting forth a pair of informed and talented communicators: the last two winners of the prestigious John Hervey Writing Award for feature writing about trotting and pacing, with Briggs of the Canadian Sportsman receiving this year's award, succeeding TROT magazine's Kaplan.
"This is a landmark occasion in the history of USHWA,” said USHWA president Steven Wolf, "We are very proud to welcome the first international Chapter to our association and know they will develop into a great asset, not only to USHWA but to our industry.”
The highlight of the Harness Racing Congress Weekend is USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, awarding the best and brightest horses and humans on the North American harness scene during 2012. Further information about the awards banquet, the Congress, and related topics can be found at the USHWA website http://www.ushwa.org/. (USHWA)