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Hennessey and Catskill horses honored by USHWA – U.S. Trotting News

Goshen, NY – Wally Hennessey has not seen snow in 37 years. However when the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the US Harness Writers Affiliation (USHWA) held its 63rd annual banquet on Sunday (Dec. 11) within the Catskill Mountains, over six inches of the wintery white stuff had blanketed the world to welcome the arrival of their Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

“Horsemen are a hearty bunch,” decreed the winner of 11,454 harness races.  “We wouldn’t let somewhat dangerous climate cease us from racing, so we actually aren’t going to let it cease us from celebrating all of our laborious work!”

Wally Hennessey (proper) accepts his Lifetime Achievement Award from 2022 Rising Star Braxten Boyd (middle) and 2019 Rising Star Joe Chindano (left). USHWA picture.

So, because the story goes, 100 and fifty equine fanatics received into their 4 wheel drive pickup vans and SUVs, braved the weather, and arrived on the Wallkill Golf Membership to assist considered one of harness racing’s most admired ambassadors, Wally Hennessey, obtain an honor from the chapter that first nominated him for the Corridor of Fame again in 2006.

“It was John Manzi that first received the ball rolling on my behalf, and I’m very grateful to the Monticello-Goshen chapter for his or her continued confidence,” famous the 66-years-young reinsman.  As soon as often called the ‘King of the New York Sire Stakes,’ Hennessey exhibits no indicators of growing older, or slowing down.  Saturday (Dec. 10) he received 5 of eight Florida Breeders Stakes at Sunshine Meadows in Delray Seashore.  Later that afternoon he hopped on a spot and flew into the Albany/Saratoga space the place he was greeted with a winter storm the next day.

A local of Prince Edward Island, Canada, Hennessey moved to Florida within the mid-Eighties and has been a staple at Pompano Park ever since.  The winner of over $76 million in profession earnings, Gabe Prewitt famous that, “Wally was at all times obtainable to us at ‘the Pomp.’  He would greet friends, present teams across the backstretch, and convey folks out to the observe.  He actually was our Corridor of Fame Ambassador in South Florida.”

Prewitt, the chapter’s John Gilmour Good Man Award recipient, recalled the day that he and Wally traded jobs:  “Wally wished to name a race, and to this present day it’s the most-watched replay within the historical past of Pompano.  Wally did an amazing job on the mic, nevertheless, after I drove within the announcer’s race—I didn’t have as a lot success.”

Brigadier Normal of the ‘Ship It In’ Military, Prewitt is a well-liked attraction wherever he goes.  The director of racing for the Caesar’s Leisure properties, Prewitt is as a lot at house within the announcer’s sales space as he’s offering coloration commentary, giving picks, or conducting interviews on tv.

One other spotlight of the night was the rousing applause obtained by Rising Star award winner Braxten Boyd.  A proficient reinsman from Michigan, ‘Triple-B’ has gone from $300,000 to $3.8 million in seasonal earnings in simply three quick years.  Humbled by the expertise, the luxuriously thatched 22-year-old was grateful for all of the assist that he has obtained in his rise to prominence.

“I really admire all the trainers and homeowners which have given me an opportunity to drive their horses, however I’ve to credit score my Dad (Brett Boyd) for making me jog and practice all these loopy runaways.  That’s actually what taught me the best way to deal with horses out on the racetrack,” acknowledged Boyd.

Dr. Steve Dey III, the chapter’s Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award winner, braved the snow-covered highways to journey from his Heritage Hill farm in Allentown, NJ to simply accept his award.  Eddie Lohmeyer and Dr. Patti Hogan additionally made the trek to indicate their assist for the breeder of this yr’s Little Brown Jug winner Bythemissal.

“We’re lucky that the Backyard State continues to assist harness racing and breeding,” famous Dey.  “Our ‘huge observe’ on the Meadowlands will proceed to be a proving floor for a few of the sport’s greatest younger equine athletes.”

Apart from internet hosting nationally distinguished honorees, the awards banquet nonetheless maintains its ‘Borscht Belt’ roots.  Since 1959 the Monticello-Goshen chapter has been rewarding the native horsemen and girls that compete on the ‘Mighty M,’ in addition to the hard-working workers and administration that hold the races rolling.

Anthony Bruno, the VP of Operations on the new Resorts World Newburgh facility, obtained the John Manzi Management Award for his 20 years with the group.  Dr. Gary Smith and his spouse Tracey have been introduced with the Mighty M Award of Appreciation for his or her many years of service to the backstretch and their tireless efforts within the facilitation of race-day Lasix administration.

One other Monticello ‘lifer’ to be honored was long-time presiding choose Lance Ditewig, who referred to as the grandstand’s crow’s nest house for almost three many years.  He received the chapter’s Excelsior Award for his 32 years of officiating service to New York harness racing.

However not one of the aforementioned group may match the longevity of Denise DeSimone.  The Monticello-native first began aiding the observe’s racing secretaries when Richard Nixon was president, and has been there ever since.  Acknowledged for her fifty years of service, the ‘voice’ of the race workplace was jokingly supplied with a number of ‘paper’ eligibilities for old-time’s sake.

James Doherty Jr. was the coach of file for the 2022 Monticello Raceway Horse of the 12 months Machlicious, and his accomplice Jennifer Mitchell was introduced with the Caretaker of the 12 months Award.  Scott Keppler was this yr’s Beginner Driver of the 12 months, and obtained his award alongside along with his friends for the forty five-plus divisional equine honors bestowed upon the hard-working trainers and caretakers that decision the Sullivan County oval house.

With income from their loyal advertisers within the 72-page memento journal, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA is ready to elevate sufficient funds to donate hundreds of {dollars} yearly to the Harness Racing Museum & Corridor of Fame, in addition to Goshen Historic Monitor.  These two distinct, separate entities share the identical hallowed floor and a singleness of function to protect, defend and promote harness racing.

The apply of elevating cash and donating funds to Historic Monitor and the Corridor of Fame started within the mid-Seventies with Monticello Raceway publicity icon John Manzi, and has continued ever since.  In simply the final 25 years, the native Monticello-Goshen chapter has donated effectively over $150,000 to those necessary business preservationists.

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