Press Releases


2018-2019 HTA Scholarship Winners

SNYDER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS NAMED

Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation are pleased to announce the four recipients of this year’s Harold Snyder Memorial Scholarships. The awards, totaling $15,000, are presented annually to the offspring of harness racing participants or to individuals themselves who are actively engaged in the business.

“We want to thank the 19 candidates who submitted their credentials, transcripts and reference letters,” said David Snyder, CEO of ISC, headquartered in Pikesville, MD. “The application process, which includes answering three essay questions, is quite rigorous, and our judges’ panel was impressed with the efforts put forth by these outstanding students.”

Winners of 2018-19 Academic Year Awards

SARAH BIRKHOLD, 24, Sarasota, FL, $5000. The second-year grad student at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, TN secured her third consecutive top prize award from HTA’s six-person selection committee. She ranked 18th out of 122 in her first-year class with a 3.94 GPA. Tuition, room and board, books and lab supplies exceed $57,000 at the highly competitive school. Sarah plans to practice in the field of equine lameness and rehabilitation and has remained actively involved in harness racing.  She interned at Scioto Downs last summer with Dr. Barry Carter (Firethorn Equine Services, Lancaster, OH) and at the county fair in Greenville, OH with Dr. Chris Gilbert (Darke County Veterinary Services). This summer she joined her father George, an owner-breeder, and her Aunt Mary, an owner, trainer and amateur driver, to watch their three and four-year-old horses compete at Hilliard and other tracks in Ohio. While at home she also has shadowed Dr. William McGinty, a partner in Sarasota Equine Associates, who specializes in infectious diseases, preventative medicine and the diagnosis and treatment of lame horses. Upon graduation, Sarah’s goal is to obtain the certifications she desires and join her mentors in working at Saratoga Equine.

Sarah Birkhold

SYDNEY ELIZABETH TROTTO, 18, Springfield, VA, $5000. Ms. Trotto, a 4.3 GPA honors graduate of West Springfield High in Fairfax County, will be a nursing major this fall at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She is the daughter of veteran trainer and Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association Vice-President Greg Trotto and his wife Debra, a teacher who met Greg at her first job as an employee of Rosecroft Raceway’s marketing department. Sydney amassed a solid academic record in largely AP and Honors coursework. She was a district and regional MVP in varsity volleyball (second team all-state), leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, member of the American Sign Language Club and its honor society, inductee into the National Honor Society and a yearbook editor. In a letter brimming with praise, her Honors US History teacher included such references as “how seldom it is [to have] a student the caliber of Sydney…a serious learner…wrote one of the finest document-based question essays I have ever read [demonstrating] hard work and intellectual ability…kind and considerate…doesn’t complain…congenial…comfortable in her own skin, and has a quiet confidence that is unusual for a student her age.”

Sydney Trotto

JESSICA HALLETT, 19, Margate, FL, $2500. Jessica is a two-time recipient of the Snyder Scholarship, having been awarded a $1000 grant before she entered Ft. Lauderdale’s Nova Southeastern University last fall. Daughter of John and Michelle of the Hallett Racing Stable, Jessica has continued to be heavily involved with harness racing on weekends and during summers. She is renowned for her energy and work ethic. She paints statues, lawn jockeys and race bikes; writes regularly for Harness Link; grooms and paddocks for the Hallett, Hennessey and McNichol Stables in Florida and New York; and has accumulated certifications in First Aid, CPR and AED. (Lifeguarding is next on her to-do list during the fall or spring semester.) Jessica earned 34 credits and a 3.5 GPA her freshman year at NSU. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biology and Behavioral Neuroscience. A participant in numerous extracurricular activities, Jessica was selected for the President’s 64, an elite group of student leaders who serve the NSU President and CEO in advisory and public relations capacities.Jessica Hallett

KATELYNN EICK, 18, Farmingdale, NJ, $2500. Another academic superstar, Katie compiled a cumulative GPA of 5.0, graduating near the top of her Howell High School class in the Freehold Regional District. Except for two B+’s in her junior year AP US History and AP Calculus classes, there was nary a sub-A grade in her AP and Honors-laden transcript. She excelled in field hockey all four years, serving as captain and winning the Rebel Pride Award in 2017. Katie was also a member of Student Council for four years and earned induction into National Honor Society. She worked eight hours a week throughout high school as a farmhand at a horse farm. Since 2013 she has been a participant and volunteer at the Harness Horse Youth Foundation summer camps, rising to a teacher in that organization’s Leadership Program. Bob Heyden, a fellow HHYF volunteer and a 2013 inductee into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicator’s Corner, penned an effusive letter of recommendation, describing Katie as “knowledgeable, cooperative, reliable, attentive, sharing…[she] was special right from the start.” Katelynn is enrolled this fall at Rutgers University’s Bachelor of Science degree program, majoring in Animal Science with a focus on equine science. She is the daughter of Floyd Eick, an electrician, and Jennifer Eick, a homemaker.

Katelynn Eick

Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation have made 224 grants to 152 students since the scholarship fund’s inception in 1973. A total of $840,950 has been awarded. The program remains one of the cherished legacies of deceased double Hall of Famer Stan Bergstein, the longtime Executive Vice President of HTA, and International Sound founder Harold Snyder, who died in 2015. HTA Scholarship Committee members Tom Aldrich (Northfield Park), Charles Lockhart (Dover Downs), Chris McErlean (Penn Gaming), Rick Moore (Hoosier Park) and Jason Settlemoir (The Meadowlands) are deeply grateful for the financial support of ISC CEO David Snyder and his family.  Their generous endowments continue to enrich the sport and touch the lives of harness racing families.

2014-2015 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Six highly motivated and academically talented college students will share in total scholarship awards of $16,000 presented by Harness Tracks of America.  “This year’s winners emerged from an exceptionally strong field of applicants,” stated HTA President Paul Fontaine.  “With the costs of completing a four-year undergraduate program more daunting than ever, HTA is pleased to continue its long tradition of assisting students whose families or themselves are actively  engaged in our great sport.”

 

Two outstanding young women, Alleysha Reynolds of Duryea, PA and Lyndsay Hagemeyer of Clarksville, OH earned the top stipends of $5,000 each.

Ms. Reynolds, 18, an Honors with Distinction Graduate from Pittston Area High School, is in her first year at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA.  She intends to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Science and Management and then go on to veterinary college while working on a breeding farm.   The ambitious Ms. Reynolds, who worked as a caretaker at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and at Domino’s Pizza her senior year of high school, attended two Harness Horse Youth Foundation Camps, at Saratoga in 2007 and Lexington in 2008.  Her father Robert, a groom and second trainer, works in logistics at Walmart.  Mother Luann is the Paddock Judge at Pocono.

Lyndsay Hagemeyer was awarded this year’s second $5,000 HTA Scholarship.  University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Student of the Year in 2011, the 23-year-old Clarksville, Ohio native is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Pre-Veterinary Medicine.  Ms. Hagemeyer, already a holder of an associate degree in Pre-Psychology and Deaf Studies from U.C., intends to seek a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine advanced degree when her undergraduate studies are complete, with a focus on equine and other large animals.  She appeared on the Dean’s List for Academic Excellence 12 consecutive terms while enrolled at UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Hagemeyer’s energy, drive and commitment are reflected in both her work habits and volunteer efforts.  The 2010 graduate of Clinton Massie High School was heavily involved in 4-H, her church and Our Father’s Kitchen feeding the needy program, all while working 18 to 20 hours a week at Liberty Western, a quarter-horse supply business.  Employed there since 2007, Lyndsay is that firm’s longest-serving employee and has risen to Training Specialist and Sales Merchandise Coordinator.  She also helps out as needed (approximately 15 to 20 hours a week) as a trainer and groom at Hagemeyer Farms, managed by her father, Scott, and homemaker mom, Cindy.  The standardbred nursery and training facility has been in her family for four generations.

HTA’s Scholarship Committee also dispensed $6,000 in awards to four other deserving applicants who demonstrated academic merit, need and harness racing involvement.  Each of the following winners will receive $1,500 for their post-secondary studies:

Thomas Hundertpfund, 19, from Magnolia, DE, is a freshman majoring in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL.  He spent four years at the highly competitive POLYTECH High School of Kent County, DE, earning a GPA of 94.8 and ranking 26th out of 283 in his class.  Hundertpfund was an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corpsman all four years, a Distinguished Cadet and a winner of the General Ben Davis Award.  A National Honor Society inductee and two-year member of the POLYTECH Golf Team, he also earned the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award and was chosen to attend Delaware Boys State as the representative for his local Legion post.

Thomas is the son of Joseph, Jr. and Doreen Hundertpfund, the former a second generation standardbred trainer who races in Delaware, New Jersey and New York.  Cadet Hundertpfund, along with his sister, who currently works in the family’s stable operations, often helped around the barn from a young age.  “It remains a large part of my life and hopefully it will stay that way,” asserted Thomas in his application essay.  His first career goal, however, is to serve the nation as a pilot in the Navy.

Thomas Wine, 19, from Coconut Creek, FL., is a sophomore at Broward College in Davie, FL.  A 2013 graduate of Monarch High School, where he participated in student government, Wine is working toward his Associate in Arts degree, majoring in Animal Science.

He is a member of the Mathletics Team and has earned nearly all A’s and B’s while working 40-plus hours a week at Pompano Park.  The determined Wine paddocks four to six times a week, grooms, washes race bikes in the mornings and afternoon between classes, and helps the feed supplier deliver hay.  Upon graduation from Broward, Wine hopes to go to the University of Florida to pursue a graduate degree in Equine Science.  “My heart belongs in the horse business,” he wrote.  Thomas is the son of standardbred trainers Tom and Jill Wine.

Jennifer Lauer, 19, of Hightstown, NJ, is a sophomore biology major at East Stroudsburg University in PA, where she is a member of the swim team.  An honor roll student all four years of high school and captain of her swim team (Rookie of the Year and twice MVP), she has worked periodically throughout her educational endeavors as a lifeguard, swim lesson instructor, bistro staffer and assistant to her father, trainer Bruce Lauer, at his stable.  Her mother, Marie, is the horsemen’s booker and administrative assistant at the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway.

Jennifer, who spent two years volunteering at the Mercer County Wildlife Center and frequently shadowed veterinarians during their barn rounds, would like to attend graduate school and become a wildlife veterinarian.

Maxwell Auerbach, 18, from Glen Rock, NJ, is a freshman attending the prestigious Robert H. Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland. While pursuing a Bachelor of Business Arts degree in Operations Management, Max has planned a curriculum in business and equine studies.  The National Honor Society student graduated with a 3.63 GPA from his hometown public high school and scored in the 96th percentile on his composite S.A.T’s.  A four-year chess club member, crossfit training enthusiast and rowing competitor, Max was also a steady part-time employee in high performance bicycle shops where he sold, assembled, customized, repaired and managed inventory.

He also found time to tutor and physically train an autistic child three hours a week during all four years of high school and was a Torah Reader for five years at Temple Israel in Ridgewood, NJ.  His uncle, Larry Auerbach, has owned, bred and trained horses in New Jersey and New York for the past 25 years.

Harness Tracks of America has made 208 grants to 141 worthy students since the scholarship fund’s inception in 1973.  A total of $778,950 has been awarded.  The scholarship program has had numerous donors over the years, with significant funding assistance coming from the Harold and David Snyder Families of International Sound Corporation, the Tioga Horsemen’s Association, Jeff Gural, Jason Settlemoir and Chris McErlean.

 

Contact Information:

Heather McColloch

c/o Northfield Park

330-467-4101, ext. 2204

[email protected]

Download the PDF Press Release here.

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR 2013 “GROOM OF THE YEAR” AWARD

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 “Groom of the Year” Award. The award, sponsored annually by Harness Tracks of America and Hanover Shoe Farms, recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport, the grooms who maintain the health and welfare of the sport’s horses.

Click Link Below to Read More:
2013 Groom Nominations