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Wisconsin native Jessica Schroeder to receive top award

January 16, 2020

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As the saying goes, one should never forget their roots. Although she has spent the past decade in Ohio, Jessica Schroeder has never forgotten her Wisconsin roots. This dynamic young lady will be presented with the James Laird Memorial Award for Excellence at the Wisconsin Harness Horse Association’s year end banquet on Jan. 25.

Jessica was born and raised in Wisconsin and was raised to love the sport. As a child, her parents took her to the Capital to lobby historic pari-mutuel gaming bills in the State of Wisconsin. Her mother, Susan Schroeder, spent a record 26 years on the WHHA Board of Directors, and during this time Jessica was in tow doing everything she could to help out.

She ran the grandstand promotions, worked in the race office, learned the complicated RTS system for entries and results, worked the judges stand — just to name a few things.

She was twice given Service Awards from the WHHA for all of these efforts.

Jessica is no stranger to the Midwest Horse Fair, an event held in Madison, Wis., which draws more than 60,000 people over a three day weekend. During her time living in Wisconsin, she has participated in the Standardbred booth and demonstrations, both bringing horses to participate and coordinating the entire Standardbred breed group event, which is no small task. This past year, she was contacted by the Midwest Horse Fair to participate in their “40 Years of Legends.”

There is no more distinguished equine legend than the great Foiled Again, and Jessica was tasked with trying to get him on Badger soil — which she did. She was able to negotiate the deal with the connections of “Foo” to bring him to Wisconsin and participate in the three-day event. It was a highlight of the entire Midwest Horse Fair, and brought harness racing into the Wisconsin spotlight — including a performance in front of a sold out evening crowd.

Ten years ago, Jessica embarked on a journey with the United States Trotting Association. Being recognized for her love of county fair racing, she began her career as the Assistant Fair Liaison. Her focus has been marketing on the county fair level and she administers the USTA Matching Funds Grant program. With a brain that never quits, Jessica has looked for voids in the industry and has molded her current position as Outreach Coordinator to be one of complete services to USTA members. You will see her at all the major sales managing the USTA’s mobile office.

She may be in the midst of a successful career with the USTA, but Jessica remains passionate about grassroots racing, and has always proven to have a soft spot for where she was raised.

The WHHA and her extended Wisconsin family wish to congratulate Jessica on her accomplishments and thank her for her continued passion for harness racing.

For those who wish to attend the event on Jan. 25 in Madison, Wis., contact WHHA Board Member Gabe Wand (608.574.5468 or gabewand@yahoo.com) for more information. (Wisconsin Harness Horsemen's Association)

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