Mark Hall, the U.S. Trotting Association photographer who holds the modern record for citations for excellence in his field, and Dave Little, who has successfully worked in such journalistic areas as writing, editing, handicapping, race announcing, and television commentary, have been announced as new members of the Communicators Hall of Fame in recent balloting conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading media group.
Hall has worked in the photography department of the U.S. Trotting Association for over 35 years, teaming with two members of the Communicators Hall of Fame, George Smallsreed and Ed Keys. It is after the flamboyant Smallsreed that the annual USHWA photography awards are named, and Hall has done his former mentor proud by winning six Smallsreed awards, the most of any photographer, with his work spanning the Standardbred spectrum from racing to foals in the field to conformation photos to "beauty shots" involving the sport.
Little joined the team in publicity and TV functions at the mighty Meadowlands racetrack in New Jersey after working 24 years as the racing editor of the New York Daily News. Little once "swept" a nine-race card at Roosevelt with his top selections, and also knows his way around a Thoroughbred program as well. He has announced at several racetracks, including Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., and he is a longtime director of USHWA, as is his wife Debbie, who handicaps for the cross-city Post and is president of USHWA's New York City chapter.
To determine the Communicators Hall of Famers, chapter nominees were whittled down to five finalists by a blue-ribbon panel of USHWAns, and then the organization's directors selected two of that quintet for placement on the summer election ballot. They were elected by winning 75 percent-plus of the "yes-no" ballots returned in a midsummer balloting, with all active members of USHWA eligible to vote, held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame voting.
Hall and Little will first be publicly honored at the USHWA Dan Patch Banquet, to be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla., where the Halls of Famers will take their first ensemble bow during the banquet honoring the top humans and equines of the previous year's racing. Then comes the July 7 formal induction to the Halls of Fame, at a dinner set just outside the building in which their likeness will be placed to immortalize their selection as harness racing's best of the best. (USHWA)