Giwner named USHWAn of the Year
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Derick Giwner, a director of the New York City Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), who will in 2020 celebrate his 25th year with the highly-regarded racing publication starting life as Sports Eye and now part of the mammoth Daily Racing Form empire, has been selected as the Member of the Year in USHWA (also known as USHWAn of the Year) by a blue-ribbon committee headed by the association’s president Shawn Wiles.
In announcing Giwner’s selection, Wiles said, “Derick’s passion and hard work over the years has not gone unnoticed by his fellow USHWA members. His unique and interesting articles are refreshing, and often tailored to the blood of the industry, the handicappers of the sport.”
Born in Brooklyn and now a resident of Massapequa Park N.Y., Giwner, a Hofstra graduate, noted his family “worked in the automobile trade, which is kind of ironic,” but the change in horsepower to the kind in the sulky sport began with attendance at Yonkers Raceway as a teen. Later, he would answer a newspaper ad for an editorial position with Sports Eye, and with the showing of his abilities came enlarged responsibilities, resulting in his present position of Editor of DRF Harness for the Daily Racing Form.
Giwner was a major spearhead behind this fall’s innovative cooperative effort between the DRF and the U.S. Trotting Association in creating educative handicapping materials, both print and video, around the time of the Breeders Crown events at Woodbine Mohawk Park, efforts that tried to both make thoroughbred players take a chance on harness gambling (often by pointing out the sports’ commonalities) and also give non-racing fans a deeper understanding of what goes into reading the program and picking a winner.
In USHWA, Giwner has been a director of the New York City Chapter for four years. He serves on the Association’s important Integrity and Budget Committees, and is also on committees for planning of the annual Dan Patch Banquet and its Journal, and for gathering new USHWA members.
As is virtually everybody who worked for Sports Eye, Giwner is a top-level handicapper and chartcaller. He also announces, and he recorded driving victories in three purse races and several others in events for amateurs.
Giwner will be honored at USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet.
Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; “post times” on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 359-3630.
Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA’s website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel’s computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at email@example.com or (708) 557-2790. (USHWA)