Joe Thomson, owner of the successful Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, based in Maryland, but whose impact is felt in every racing state and province, has been selected by the screening committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) for inclusion on the ballot for election to the sport's Hall of Fame, to be decided later this summer.
Thomson's Winbak Farm operation is located in Maryland, while Thomson himself lives in Paoli, Pa., not far from the state line. A portion of his harness operation is centered in Pennsylvania and he is the current president of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. Thomson/Winbak stands the leading trotting and pacing sire in another bordering state, Delaware. In all, Winbak has six horse breeding operations throughout North America.
Winbak has produced three Standardbred horses of the year in the last dozen years: No Pan Intended (2003), Rainbow Blue (2004), and Muscle Hill (2009). Muscle Hill joins Vivid Photo (2005) as Winbak graduates who have won the sport's most prestigious race, the Hambletonian.
This "mating” of quality and quantity has elevated Winbak to second place among producers of money winning harness horses, behind only Hanover Shoe Farms. In 2013, Winbak horses won over 2,000 races and in excess of $18.2 million, with $7.8 million of the latter figure contributed by 2 and 3 year olds.
Thomson is a co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic track in Lexington, Ky. Among other important positions he holds in the sport, Thomson serves as a director of the Hambletonian Society. In addition, Thomson was recognized with the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award at the recent Dan Patch Banquet in Dover, Del., considered the second highest honor in the sport.
Chapters of USHWA nominate Hall of Fame candidates; these candidates are then discussed by the Hall of Fame Screening Committee of USHWA, separately and in conjunction with an advisory committee consisting of Hall of Famers. Thomson emerged through this process, and his name will appear on the summer ballot along with those of Bob Marks and Kathy Parker, who were nominated by USHWA directors as ballot candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame. (USHWA)