With the conclusion of the annual meetings and the Dan Patch Awards dinner conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association this past weekend at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, there were some dramatic changes passed in the format for announcing year-end award winners.
A new procedure for awards in USHWA's 'Rules and Regulations' was submitted by the Kentucky Chapter and passed. It now calls for two finalists in every category for the horses award winners, so that the final winner in all categories will be kept secret and not announced until the night of the dinner.
John Pawlak and Carol Cramer, who combined have given the U.S. Trotting Association over 60 years of outstanding service, were put via a Directors' vote on the ballot for the Communicators Hall of Fame, which will be decided this summer.
In other news, USHWA President Steven Wolf appointed Gordon Waterstone, associate editor of The Horseman And Fair World magazine, as the chairman of the new Locations Committee, which will work on the site location and dates for the 2014 USHWA annual meetings and Dan Patch Awards Dinner.
The newly-formed Canadian Chapter of USHWA was formally introduced with 10 members in the original charter petition, and they were represented in Florida by delegates Dave Briggs and Darryl Kaplan. USHWA membership increased in 2012, and the group now has 225 active members and 11 associate members. Three members passed away in 2012: Rob Potter, Geoff Stein and Jim Tuite.
At the conclusion of the meetings, the general membership voted to retain the current slate of USHWA Officers for another year. Re-elected to a second term were Steven Wolf, president; Christopher Tully, 1st Vice President; Tim Bojarski, 2nd Vice President; and Judy Davis-Wilson, Treasurer. Jerry Connors was returned for another year as Secretary. Jason Settlemoir is Chairman of the Board, William F. Brown is Executive Secretary and Alan Prince is Executive Treasurer; these are positions designated in the USHWA By-Laws for those who have given prior excellent service.
Also please note that all the presentation photos from the Dan Patch Awards Banquet that were taken by award winning USTA photographer Mark Hall, have been posted on the USHWA website. You can view them and relive the evening by logging onto ushwa.org. The entire Journal from the event will be posted for viewing shortly. (USHWA)