Oxford, NY — The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State has announced that M. Kelly Young will be the recipient of their 2021 Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal, to be presented during the USTA District 8 and the New York Sire Stakes year-end virtual awards ceremony held on Facebook Live at 7 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 14).
Young, the current Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, is being honored for her longtime support of the breeding and racing program in New York State.
Young’s interest, enthusiasm and willingness to share her love and knowledge of the Standardbred industry sets her apart from others. Her joyful smile and easy banter inspire fun and excitement with everyone she meets. Her commitment to our amazing breed is also very apparent with her seat on the Standardbred Transition Alliance board to provide aftercare funding.
Young, a fifth-generation participant in harness racing, grew up on a leading horse breeding farm outside Goshen. She previously served as Deputy Director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau. She has held various positions over the past decade with the Farm Bureau and has expertise in general agricultural matters, which has been critical to the Fund’s mission to support the state’s harness racing industry.
Young previously served as Executive Director for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and was Associate Editor of The Horseman and Fair World, where she developed and wrote stories on harness racing.
Young was selected for a 2013 McCloy Fellowship in Agriculture and was a member of Class 13 of the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEAD-NY). She received multiple awards for her writing from the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Harness Writers Association and the New York Agricultural Society. She is a member of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Young holds a B.A. from Boston University.
The Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal is given to an individual who best exhibits Hamilton’s exemplary qualities of character and accomplishment in the harness racing industry. Hamilton served as the Executive Secretary of Harness Horse Breeders of New York State for 18 years. In his position, Hamilton steered the New York Sire Stakes program through some of its most exciting and most challenging years and during his tenure was able to unite the racetracks, horsemen and breeders in pursuit of video lottery terminals at the tracks and was instrumental in the eventual passage of that law in 2001. He passed away in 2003 after a long illness.