Bedford, PA --- The annual Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing awards banquet was held on Saturday (Jan. 14) in Bedford with the top performers receiving awards. Generous sponsors continue to make this banquet one of the best values in harness racing through the hard work of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association.
Shawn Johnston, a 24-year-old driver who had posted 30 victories in limited chances during his first six years of driving, showed rapid development this summer with 37 sulky triumphs to rank fourth on the fair circuit, earning the second Walter “Boots” Dunn Memorial Rising Star Award.
Boots had presented the first Rising Star Award to Brady Brown in one of his last public appearances before his passing early in 2016. This year, Brown and Dunn's daughter Lisa conferred the honor to Johnston.
“Boots was someone around here always admired,” Johnston noted. “And he drove horses for my grandparents. When we would talk, he might say something about learning driving – ‘Be more patient with a trotter’ – but we also talked about the horses he remembered driving for my grandparents.”
The Pa Fair Circuit’s “Blues Brothers,” driver Chris and trainer Jason Shaw (so named because of their colors), earned the Top Gun Awards during the 2016 fair season, as Chris posted 65 sulky victories and Jason harnessed 57 winners circle visitors to lead their fellow horsemen in the winning column.
Also honored were the divisional pointwinners during the 20-stop fair circuit and those horses who won their respective championship events at The Meadows on Oct. 8:
2-year-old trotting colt – Toolbox Tuesday, owned by Roger Hammer and Vicki Fair (Winbak Graduate)
2-year-old trotting filly – No Not Yet, owned by Dr. William Solomon
2-year-old pacing colt – Marvalous Artist, Roger Hammer and Vicki Fair (sired by Delmarvalous)
2-year-old pacing filly – Camera Lady, owned by Dave Brickell and Mitchell York (the top pointwinner in all classes)
3-year-old trotting colt – Major Matter, owned by Rick and Regina Beinhauer
3-year-old trotting filly – A Little Laid Back, owned by Roger Hammer (won her point championship at 2 and 3)
3-year-old pacing colt – Star Of Terror, owned by Fortunate One LLC
3-year-old pacing filly – Unbeamlieveable, owned by Mason Shaw during the fair season (top pointwinner at 2 and 3)
2-year-old trotting colt – Photo Bomber, owned by Tony and Linda Schadel
2-year-old trotting filly– All Set Lets Go, owned by the McMullen Stable LLC
2-year-old pacing colt– Cruiserwillwin, owned by Todd and Christine Schadel
2-year-old pacing filly– Gemalous, owned by Mason Shaw (sired by Delmarvalous & Winbak Graduate)
3-year-old trotting colt – Shady McCoy, owned by Dave and Delores Wade
3-year-old trotting filly– Waterview Hanover, owned by Susan Daugherty (only the third fair filly to win both of her championships in the 20-year history of the finals, following trotter Rosebud Sioux in 2004-2005 and pacer Big City Hanover in 2006-2007)
3-year-old pacing colt – Captain Dinger, owned by James Dodson and Ron Lineweaver
3-year-old pacing filly – Unbeamlieveable, sold to Burke Racing / Weaver Bruscemi LLC before the championship (the only 2016 point champion to also win the divisional championship.)