2018 Award Winners

The following awards are nominated, voted, and presented by the membership of the United States Harness Writers Association.

Click here to see a complete listing of previous winners from each category. This list includes all human categories and all Horse of the Year winners.

The Stanley F. Bergstein Proximity Award - Foiled Again

The Stanley F. Bergstein Proximity Award - Foiled Again
(Winners Receive the Stanley F. Bergstein Proximity Trophy) The Stanley F. Bergstein Proximity Award is the highest honor given by USHWA besides a Hall of Fame induction. This award is presented annually to those who have made outstanding contributions to harness racing.

The Dan Patch Owner of the Year - Burke Racing Weaver Bruscemi

The Dan Patch Owner of the Year - Burke Racing Weaver Bruscemi
(Winners Receive the Norman Woolworth Trophy)
This award is given annually to an outstanding owner in the sport of harness racing.

The Dan Patch Trainer of the Year - Ron Burke

The Dan Patch Trainer of the Year - Ron Burke
(Winners Receive the Glen Garnsey Trophy)
This award is given annually to an outstanding trainer in the sport of harness racing.

The Dan Patch Driver of the Year - Aaron Merriman

Aaron Merriman
This award is given annually to an outstanding driver in the sport of harness racing.

The USHWA-USTA Top Dash Driver- Aaron Merriman

Aaron Merriman
This award is given annually to the driver winning the most races in North America.

The Dan Patch Rising Star Award - Marcus Melander

The Dan Patch Rising Star Award - Marcus Melander
This award is given annually to a young harness horse trainer and/or driver for exceptional early career accomplishments.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Blair Burgess

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Blair Burgess

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Ted Gewertz

 The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Ted Gewertz

The 2018 Hall of Fame Immortal - Jerry Silverman

The 2018 Hall of Fame Immortal - Jerry Silverman

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Joe Holloway

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Joe Holloway

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Linda Toscano

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Linda Toscano

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Ted Wing

The Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Ted Wing

The Communicators Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Mark Hall

The Communicators Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Mark Hall

The Communicators Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Dave Little

The Communicators Hall of Fame Class of 2018 - Dave Little

The Dan Patch Breakthrough Award - Ray Cotolo

The Dan Patch Breakthrough Award - Ray Cotolo
(Winners Receive the Lew Barasch Trophy) This award is given annually to a young person (not a trainer and/or driver) in the harness racing industry for exceptional early career accomplishments.

The Dan Patch Good Guy Award - Michelle Crawford

The Dan Patch Good Guy Award - Michelle Crawford
(Winners Receive the William. R. Haughton Trophy) This award is given annually to the person who best emulates the late Hall of Famer in creating a positive image for harness racing through words and deeds.

The San Patch Unsung Hero Award - Chris Gooden

The San Patch Unsung Hero Award - Chris Gooden
(Winners Receive the LeeAnn Pooler Trophy) This award is given annually to a member of the harness racing community who may otherwise go unrecognized for his or her exemplary work.

The Dan Patch Ushwan of the Year - Heather Vitale

The Dan Patch Ushwan of the Year - Heather Vitale
This award is given annually to a member of the organization who goes above and beyond the call of membership.

The Dan Patch President's Award - John Polvinale

The Dan Patch President's Award - John Polvinale
The President may, at his or her discretion, authorize special awards where such recognition is in the best interest of the sport of harness racing and of this Association.

The Dan Patch Humanitarian Award - Brad Grant

The Dan Patch Humanitarian Award - Brad Grant
(Winners Receive the January Davies Trophy)
This award is given annually to an individual that is involved in harness racing who has made a significant impact on the lives of others, either within or outside of the industry.

The Dan Patch Breeder of the Year - Order By Stable (Stefan Balazsi)

The Dan Patch Breeder of the Year - Order By Stable (Stefan Balazsi)

The Hard Rock/USHWA Caretaker - Sheila Napier

The Hard Rock/USHWA Caretaker - Sheila Napier
The Caretaker of the Year is sponsored by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association and recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport — the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis.

The HHYF Service to Youth Award -

The HHYF Service to Youth Award -
This award is given annually to an individual who engages the youth of today in the sport of harness racing.

The NA Amateur Driver of the Year - Joe Pennacchio

The NA Amateur Driver of the Year - Joe Pennacchio
This award is given annually to an outstanding amateur driver in the sport of harness racing.

The John Hervey Award

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Dave Briggs - Feature Writing
Bob Heyden - News/Commentary
Woodbine Entertainment Group - Broadcast
This award honors the memory of a long-time harness industry journalist John Hervey.

The George Smallsreed Award

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Chris Gooden - Action Photography
Michael Burns - Feature Photography
This award honors the memory of long-time harness industry photographer George Smallsreed.

The Dan Patch Broodmares of 2018

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Trotting Broodmare - Southwind Serena
Pacing Broodmare - Lady Ashlee Ann