Proximity Award goes to Cunard
December 07, 2009
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Gail Cunard, the acclaimed director of the well-respected Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Proximity Award, the second-highest honor in harness racing–behind only election into the Hall of Fame--in a vote conducted among active members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
A native of Liverpool, England–where she went to school with a young man named John Lennon–Cunard continues to make her mark on one of the most all-American of sports, through her planning, creativity, fundraising skills, and an indefinable quality that charms all sectors in the sport and makes them contributors to the important historical and preservational work that the Museum and Hall do.
Her stewardship has led to a host of popular and informative exhibits in the Hall: a collection from the history of Castleton Farms; the “3-D” race simulator, which gives fans an idea of what it is like to guide a horse during a race; and the recent gathering of memorabilia from the former “World Capital of Harness Raceway,” Roosevelt Raceway.
Two other popular exhibits, an extensive collection of harness-themed Currier and Ives prints and the collection of profiles of talented but unsung heroes of harness racing called “A Drive To Win,” have been adapted by Cunard and her staff to become traveling exhibits, serving as emissaries for the sport and the Hall at racetracks, art museums, and other appropriate gatherings.
Cunard is also responsible for overseeing all the events produced by the Museum during its showcase weekend annually held over the Fourth of July, which culminates in a dinner honoring the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame.
Cunard will be honored at the writers’ annual awards banquet, to be held Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 at Yonkers Raceway. (USHWA)