Bedford, PA — The annual meeting of the U.S. Trotting Association’s District 7, which encompasses Pennsylvania, will be held this Saturday afternoon (Jan. 19) at 2 p.m. at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in this southwestern Pennsylvania city, followed by the annual Pennsylvania Fairs awards banquet, to be held that evening in the same location.
USTA District Chairman Sam Beegle, a native son of Bedford, will preside over the USTA meeting, which will include discussion of the 26 rule change proposals submitted this year, along with other questions and observations about the USTA. The District Directors will bring this information to the annual meeting of the U.S. Trotting Association, which is to be held March 9-11 at the Hilton-Easton in Columbus, Ohio.
A cocktail hour will precede the annual Fair awards banquet, which is jointly sponsored by the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association. Due to the generosity of state and regional sponsors, a ticket to this banquet is usually one of the “best bets” of the harness racing year, as the raffle drawing for the materials donated by the sponsors, per average ticket holder, lets many people “show a profit” for the evening.
The banquet will have a streak of blue as the dominating color, as the Schadel brothers will be spotlighted for their 2018 accomplishments. Todd Schadel (colors blue and white) will be lauded for leading the driving and training colony with 71 and 78 wins, respectively, and for being the North American UDR champion in the 300-499 starts category, with a “batting average” of .378.
Todd’s brother Tony (colors blue and black) will also be in the spotlight because of the exploits of Aflame Hanover, a Russell Hanover-Applique Hanover freshman gelding co-owned by driver Tony and his wife, trainer Linda Schadel. In winning his Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes final on Oct. 6 at The Meadows, Aflame Hanover won by open lengths in 1:51.4 — the fastest mile ever in the 22-year history of the PA Fair finals, and accomplished by a 2-year-old, no less.