Six highly motivated and academically talented college students will share in total scholarship awards of $16,000 presented by Harness Tracks of America (HTA). "This year's winners emerged from an exceptionally strong field of applicants," stated HTA president Paul Fontaine. "With the costs of completing a four-year undergraduate program more daunting than ever, HTA is pleased to continue its long tradition of assisting students whose families or themselves are actively engaged in our great sport."
Two outstanding young women, Alleysha Reynolds of Duryea, Pa., and Lyndsay Hagemeyer of Clarksville, Ohio, earned the top stipends of $5,000 each.
Ms. Reynolds, 18, an Honors with Distinction Graduate from Pittston Area High School, is in her first year at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA. She intends to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Equine Science and Management and then go on to veterinary college while working on a breeding farm. The ambitious Ms. Reynolds, who worked as a caretaker at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and at Domino's Pizza her senior year of high school, attended two Harness Horse Youth Foundation Camps, at Saratoga in 2007 and Lexington in 2008. Her father Robert, a groom and second trainer, works in logistics at Walmart. Mother Luann is the Paddock Judge at Pocono.
Hagemeyer was awarded this year's second $5,000 HTA Scholarship. University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Student of the Year in 2011, the 23-year-old Clarksville, Ohio native is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Ms. Hagemeyer, already a holder of an associate degree in Pre-Psychology and Deaf Studies from U.C., intends to seek a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine advanced degree when her undergraduate studies are complete, with a focus on equine and other large animals. She appeared on the Dean's List for Academic Excellence 12 consecutive terms while enrolled at UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.
Ms. Hagemeyer's energy, drive and commitment are reflected in both her work habits and volunteer efforts. The 2010 graduate of Clinton Massie High School was heavily involved in 4-H, her church and Our Father's Kitchen feeding the
needy program, all while working 18 to 20 hours a week at Liberty Western, a quarter-horse supply business. Employed there since 2007, Lyndsay is that firm's longest-serving employee and has risen to Training Specialist and Sales Merchandise Coordinator. She also helps out as needed (approximately 15 to 20 hours a week) as a trainer and groom at Hagemeyer Farms, managed by her father, Scott, and homemaker mom, Cindy. The standardbred nursery and training facility has been in her family for four generations.
HTA's Scholarship Committee also dispensed $6,000 in awards to four other deserving applicants who demonstrated academic merit, need and harness racing involvement. Each of the following winners will receive $1,500 for their post-secondary studies:
Thomas Hundertpfund, 19, from Magnolia, Del., is a freshman majoring in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. He spent four years at the highly competitive POLYTECH High School of Kent County, Del., earning a GPA of 94.8 and ranking 26th out of 283 in his class. Hundertpfund was an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corpsman all four years, a Distinguished Cadet and a winner of the General Ben Davis Award. A National Honor Society inductee and two-year member of the POLYTECH Golf Team, he also earned the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award and was chosen to attend Delaware Boys State as the representative for his local Legion post.
Thomas is the son of Joseph, Jr. and Doreen Hundertpfund, the former a second generation standardbred trainer who races in Delaware, New Jersey and New York. Cadet Hundertpfund, along with his sister, who currently works in the family's stable operations, often helped around the barn from a young age. "It remains a large part of my life and hopefully it will stay that way," asserted Thomas in his application essay. His first career goal, however, is to serve the nation as a pilot in the Navy.
Thomas Wine, 19, from Coconut Creek, Fla., is a sophomore at Broward College in Davie, Fla. A 2013 graduate of Monarch High School, where he participated in student government, Wine is working toward his Associate in Arts degree, majoring in Animal Science.
He is a member of the Mathletics Team and has earned nearly all A's and B's while working 40-plus hours a week at Pompano Park. The determined Wine paddocks four to six times a week, grooms, washes race bikes in the mornings and afternoon between classes, and helps the feed supplier deliver hay. Upon graduation from Broward, Wine hopes to go to the University of Florida to pursue a graduate degree in Equine Science. "My heart belongs in the horse business," he wrote. Thomas is the son of Standardbred trainers Tom and Jill Wine.
Jennifer Lauer, 19, of Hightstown, N.J., is a sophomore biology major at East Stroudsburg University in PA, where she is a member of the swim team. An honor roll student all four years of high school and captain of her swim team (Rookie of the Year and twice MVP), she has worked periodically throughout her educational endeavors as a lifeguard, swim lesson instructor, bistro staffer and assistant to her father, trainer Bruce Lauer, at his stable. Her mother, Marie, is the horsemen's booker and administrative assistant at the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway.
Jennifer, who spent two years volunteering at the Mercer County Wildlife Center and frequently shadowed veterinarians during their barn rounds, would like to attend graduate school and become a wildlife veterinarian.
Maxwell Auerbach, 18, from Glen Rock, N.J., is a freshman attending the prestigious Robert H. Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland. While pursuing a Bachelor of Business Arts degree in Operations Management, Max has planned a curriculum in business and equine studies. The National Honor Society student graduated with a 3.63 GPA from his hometown public high school and scored in the 96th percentile on his composite S.A.T's. A four-year chess club member, crossfit training enthusiast and rowing competitor, Max was also a steady part-time employee in high performance bicycle shops where he sold, assembled, customized, repaired and managed inventory.
He also found time to tutor and physically train an autistic child three hours a week during all four years of high school and was a Torah Reader for five years at Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ. His uncle, Larry Auerbach, has owned, bred and trained horses in New Jersey and New York for the past 25 years.
Harness Tracks of America has made 208 grants to 141 worthy students since the scholarship fund's inception in 1973. A total of $778,950 has been awarded. The scholarship program has had numerous donors over the years, with significant funding assistance coming from the Harold and David Snyder Families of International Sound Corporation, the Tioga Horsemen's Association, Jeff Gural, Jason Settlemoir and Chris McErlean. (HTA)