McFarland, WI — Robert Wand of Shullsburg, Wis., will be honored on Saturday (Jan. 26) during the Wisconsin Harness Horse Association annual banquet. WHHA President Danny Carey has chosen the longtime horseman as the recipient of the 2018 Horseperson of the Year Award.
Wand’s career began in the 1960s and has spanned more than five decades. After training roadside and at the Lafayette County Fairground in Darlington, he built his own training track on Silverthorn Road in rural Shullsburg more than 30 years ago. From there he has raced at numerous county fairs in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, along with all of the Chicagoland tracks and now-defunct Quad City Downs.
Wand has done his own driving throughout the years, scoring wins at all of the above tracks. His prized broodmare, Miss Gypsy Witt, who has produced three $100,000-plus winners, is in the Wisconsin Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Wand is no stranger to the top of Wisconsin harness racing standings, having owned or trained five Wisconsin Pacers of the Year (Wand’s Banjo 2007, Mel’s Z Tam 2009, Mr Shankopotamus 2010, Yankee Time 2016, and John MD 2018) and one Wisconsin Trotter of the Year (Good Ride Cowboy 2009). In addition, he has sent postward an additional eight Top Ten Pacers and 12 Top Ten Trotters.
Wand exemplifies what it means to be a true horseman with the longevity of his career in all facets of the industry. He truly has done it all as a trainer, driver, breeder and owner and has built a family harness racing legacy that has now carried on with his son, Gabe, who is in the midst of a successful career himself, both as a trainer and driver, and also contributing immensely to the Wisconsin Harness Horse Association and to the United States Trotting Association.
The WHHA banquet is held annually at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Madison, Wis., and everyone is welcome to join. Dinner tickets are $22.50 per person and can be obtained by contacting Gabe Wand (608.574.5468 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mailing payment to WHHA Secretary Jeanne Marquis, 6651 Hyslop Rd. Dane, WI 53529.
Also, the WHHA has a room rate of $77 per night (hot breakfast buffet included) and you can book rooms by contacting the hotel directly at 608.665.1681.