Goshen, NY — In July, the Immortals Nominating Committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame announced that the trustees of the Museum had unanimously endorsed the election of Aime Choquette, Sterling Elliott, William Mulligan and Chip Noble as harness racing Immortals. On July 3, 2022, these individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Immortals during ceremonies held under the tent on the Museum lawn.
Aime Choquette (1914-2017) worked for many years as second trainer for Delvin Miller. During that time he helped train world champions Dancer Hanover, Tarport Hap, Meadow Skipper, Tyler B and many other top racehorses.
In 1991 Choquette was awarded the United States Harness Writers Association’s Dick Baker Second Trainer Award. In 1998 the Florida Chapter of USHWA honored Choquette as the first recipient of the Delvin Miller Award and in 2010 inducted him into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. In 2014, honoring his 100th birthday, the Keystone Chapter of USHWA presented Choquette with their most prestigious honor, the Mary Lib Miller Award.
The ingenuity of inventor Sterling Elliott (1852-1922) had far-reaching impact on a diversity of arenas, including the world of harness racing. Elliott adapted the technology he had developed for bicycles into the sulkies used for harness racing. As a result, the application of this technology in 1894 shattered harness racing’s previously existing world record times and established a new standard in harness racing for its era and beyond.
In 1895, with the Sterling Elliott low-wheeled pneumatic-tired sulky, Budd Doble drove world champion trotting mare Nancy Hanks against her own record time, and lowered it by more than seven seconds.
William “Bill” Mulligan (1930-2017) had a 43-year career with Ingersoll-Rand Co., reaching the office of executive vice president. In 1965 he founded Pennsylvania’s Marion Farms, a prominent breeding and boarding facility of Standardbred racehorses such as Party Party 4,1:54.3 ($190,144), Spellbound Hanover 3,1:54.3 ($962,395) and 2016 Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder 1:50.2 ($3,392,609).
Mulligan owned nearly 300 horses in his career and was the breeder of more than 200. Mulligan participated in amateur driving, receiving the 2003 Amateur Driver of the Year Award from the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. He was on the board of trustees of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in later years and was instrumental in the financial planning of the institution. He was elected trustee emeritus in 2014. The culmination of Bill’s racing interests came with the award for 2016 Pennsylvania Breeder of the Year by the Harness Writers Association.
In 46 years of driving Sam “Chip” Noble (1953-2014) won 5,105 races in nearly 25,000 drives for a win percentage of 20 percent. His horses earned nearly $30 million. For many years he was the winningest driver at the Delaware County Fair until being surpassed by the likes of John Campbell and David Miller. In 1993 and 1998 he won the award for being top conditioner of the Ohio Sires Stake program, becoming the first to win the title twice.
Some of his top performers were Nobleland Sam p,3,1:53 ($451,417), Concussion p,4,1:54.1 ($780,362) and Deal Direct p,2,1:51.4 ($298,312). Noble served as one of harness racing’s great ambassadors, and was chosen to represent the United States in the World Driving Championship in 2001 and 2003. He worked closely with various journalist and track media. At the time of his death Noble was a director of the United States Trotting Association, the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Little Brown Jug Society.
The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y., and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 4-12. Current Museum and USTA members free.
If you would like further information on the Immortals nomination process, the 2022 induction ceremony, the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com.