Joe Thomson to receive Bergstein-Proximity Award

Harrisburg, PA — The United States Harness Writers Association today released the majority of their 2013 human award winners for excellence in the Standardbred industry. Heading the list is Joe Thomson, winner of the Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award.

The award, originally named for the great trotting mare, Proximity, is considered the second-most-prestigious honor in harness racing, after the Hall of Fame.

In 2012, the name of the award was altered to honor harness racing’s only double Hall of Famer, the Stanley F. Bergstein, and is now referred to as the Bergstein-Proximity award. It is presented annually to a person or organization for outstanding contributions to harness racing.

In 1991, Joe Thomson and his wife JoAnn founded Winbak Farm on the site of Winfield Farm, where the great Thoroughbred Northern Dancer was foaled. They employed the Win from Winfield with the initials of their children — Bradley, Ashlee and Kimberly — to form the name Winbak.

Their main farm is located on more than 2,000 acres near Chesapeake City, Md. Winbak Farms has been named Breeder of the Year by USHWA three times. This past July, two horses owned by Winbak Farm, Bettor’s Delight and Lady Ashlee Ann, were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Over the last 10 years, Thomson’s Winbak Farm bred, raised and sold three Horses of the Year — No Pan Intended in 2003, Rainbow Blue in 2004 and Muscle Hill in 2009. Muscle Hill and Vivid Photo were both Hambletonian winners bred by Winbak, which also produced 2011 3-year-old colt pacer of the Year Roll With Joe.

Thomson, one of four partners in the ownership of Lexington’s Red Mile, is involved in many aspects of the Standardbred industry. He is a director of the Hambletonian Society, Breeders Association of Delaware, Lexington Trots Breeders Association, and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

He was elected president of the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania in 2012. Other honors he has received include 2001 Sports Eye Breeder of the Year, 2001 times: In Harness Owner of the Year, 2009 Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame inductee, and 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA.

All of the award winners will be honored at the annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet hosted by USHWA on Sunday (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs.

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Successful Fundraiser for Anthony Coletta at Rosecroft

(Fort Washington, MD—December 12, 2013)  Maryland based horsemen rallied around Anthony Coletta on Saturday night as $8,400 was raised in support of the ‘Stay Strong Anthony Coletta’ fund.  Maryland based horsemen from every aspect of the industry came together in support of this worthy cause.

The fundraising event was organized by the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association and generously supported by Rosecroft and Penn National Gaming.  Contributions were received from Rosecroft, Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association, Friends of Maryland Standardbreds, and Penn National Gaming.  Additionally owners, trainers and drivers contributed to the fund through direct cash contributions or through the contribution of their earning percentages for the evening.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to the fund that did not have the opportunity to do so may contact Sharon Roberts or Gina Maybee as the CSOA office at 301-567-9636.

Tammy Lafferty Appointed to Chair the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund

Long time Maryland horsewoman Tammy Lafferty has been appointed as the Chair of the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee which oversees the activities of the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund.

Mrs. Lafferty was recently appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to a four year term of the Maryland Racing Commission.

“We look forward to working with Mrs. Lafferty on issues pertaining to the race fund and restoring Maryland breeding to a position of prominence in the industry,” said Dan Myer, Chairman of the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association.  “It is very encouraging to see significant dollars now become available for our program and we are excited to have Mrs. Lafferty’s leadership as we build for the future in Maryland,” concluded Myer.