The Fayette County Harness Horseman Association held its annual banquet on Saturday, March 19 with a large number of folks in attendance at the Mahan Building on the Fayette County Fairgrounds.
The banquet was canceled due to COVID last year, so awards were passed out for the 2020 and 2021 racing seasons.
The evening began with social hour followed by a delicious, catered dinner by the Farmer’s Pantry.
Dr. Robert Schwartz of Midland Acres served as the master of ceremonies, discussing numerous upcoming agendas for fair racing, improvements coming to the grandstands, and showing off the plaque and $1,000 award the association received as the 2021 OHHA Dick Brandt Sr. Extra Effort Award. The award is for all they do to help promote the Horseman and bringing harness racing to the fans through a spring matinee and racing at our county fair.
Dr. John Mossbarger, of Midland Acres and a United States Trotting Association representative, went over several rule changes and discussed the freeze brand and microchipping situation that has been a topic of discussion among the horse industry.
Special guest was Aubrey Schwartz, a Miami Trace alum, who is now currently serving as Ohio FFA Secretary.
Schwartz discussed her past year of serving all of Ohio and how she has tried to introduce the horse industry and racing into more of the younger crowd on how vital it is to our economy.
Schwartz talked about her experiences serving as a youth United States Trotting Association delegate, being on vet calls with her dad, Bret, and grandpa, Dr. Schwartz; her roles keeping records for the family’s racing business to going to fairs teaching others the different jobs and aspects of racing.
She also talked about traveling all over the great state of Ohio, meeting new people, the many counties she has visited, her trip to California visiting the different farms and sightseeing the coast, and what being a part of FFA has given her.
The awards presentation then followed, along with the drawings for a cash raffle, door prizes, and a drawing for pacing hobbles and knee boots.
The Association would like to thank the Balahtsis family of Jack’s Manufacturing for their large donation of hobbles, knee boots, and several more prizes, along with their outstanding support they continue to give to the horse industry.
They would also like to thank those who won cash prizes for donating them back to the Association; Robert and Lisa Haynes, Lisa and Bob Schwartz, the OCRA, Donnie and Michal Bean, Mr. and Mrs. Denny Shaner, and John Leland, who also donated several door prizes.
Last, but not least, to Carol Cramer, who spends hours upon hours looking up info on each horse combining records and stats to determine each winner, and to Lisa Schwartz and Bret and Robin Schwartz for getting the banquet set up.
The Fayette County Harness Horseman was created in 1960 and has been active for 62 years. Serving as directors are: president, Bruce Kirkpatrick; vice president, Joey George; secretary, Bret Schwartz, and treasurer, Rick Martindale.