USHWA names Hanover Shoe Farms Breeder of the Year; BJ’S Squall, Hot Mess Hanover win broodmare awards

Harrisburg, PA – Hanover Shoe Farms, the fabled nursery located in south-central Pennsylvania, has been voted as the 2022 Dan Patch Breeder of the Year as voted by members of USHWA, the leading organization of harness racing communicators. Also to be honored at the 2022 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, presented by Caesars Entertainment, are the Broodmares of the Year – pacer BJ’s Squall, owned by Hanover and dam of Bergstein Proximity Award winner Bulldog Hanover, and trotter Hot Mess Hanover, who as the name indicates was bred by Hanover.

Hanover has seen their farm produce the leading money winners in every North American year of racing since records began to be kept in 1949. And 2022 is no exception; in fact the day this release was written Hanover rewrote its own single-season record for earnings by their graduates, with the figure at $35,224,861 and to grow a little before resting at the record to aim for in future years.

Hanover bred three Breeders Crown winners in 2022 – 2-year-olds Gaines Hanover and Sylvia Hanover, along with Bulldog Hanover – tying it with Brittany Farms as the leading breeders of Breeders Crown race winners with 30 victories. The free-for-all pacing division saw Hanover-breds occupy six spots in a consensus top dozen in the fast-class crew – Abuckabett Hanover, Allywag Hanover, Bulldog Hanover, Linedrive Hanover, Rockyroad Hanover, and Ruthless Hanover (Allywag and Linedrive were the only two horses to win a race against Bulldog this season).

BJ’s Squall, a daughter of Artsplace – Lady Ashlee Ann bred by Joe and Joann Thomson, was purchased by Hanover in 2002, and the mare, to turn 25 on Jan. 1, hit the jackpot when mated with Shadow Play and produced her 14th foal, Bulldog Hanover. Usually a Broodmare candidate has more than one stakes performer in a year (and Blaise MM Hanover, a foal of BJ’s Squall, raced in 2022 and went over $500,000 in career earnings last year), but as the nominating committee noted, “We think the unique accomplishment of this one foal could give her consideration.” And the voters agreed.

Hot Mess Hanover, a daughter of Cantab Hall – Her Culese, was bred by Hanover, and came to her current owner, Vestmarka AB of Sweden, in 2017. She was taken back across the Atlantic, which is why her top two foals have an “S” after their names, reflecting their heritage – the Breeders Crown-winning 3-year-old trotting filly Jiggy Jog S, a candidate for divisional honors, and the 2-year-old Wild Jiggy S, who won over $100,000 in her maiden campaign. These are the only two foals of Hot Mess Hanover who have hit the racetrack.

The award winners will be recognized at the 2023 Dan Patch Awards Banquet, presented by Caesars Entertainment, which will honor the best of the best of harness racing, both human and equine. The evening culminates with the announcement of the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year, and will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Room reservations for the star-studded weekend can be made at the U. S. Harness Writers website, or through this link: Hotel Reservations.

Sponsorship opportunities for the event can be procured from Sponsorship chairman Shawn Wiles at Shawn Wiles <>. For information regarding banquet tickets, contact Judy Davis-Wilson at To place an ad in the Souvenir Journal, contact Kim Rinker at

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) is the leading group of communicators about the Standardbred horse. USHWA conducts the official annual balloting for the sport’s most prestigious honors: induction to the Hall of Fame and Communicators Hall of Fame, along with the selection of the Horse of the Year, Trotter and Pacer of the Year, and the leading divisional horses of each season. Each year USHWA hosts the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, honoring the best and brightest performers in North American harness racing. This banquet is the Association’s principal source of funding, and with generous financial support from the harness racing and breeding industry, USHWA is able to host the banquet at a world-class facility in a world-class manner.

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