American Harness Horse of the Year

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The Harness Horse of the Year is an honor recognizing the top harness racing horse in the United States. The award is selected by the United States Trotting Association and the United States Harness Writers Association who issue the annual Dan Patch Awards.

The inaugural honor was awarded to Victory Song of Castleton Farms Stables who was named the "Harness Horse of 1947" by a committee that consisted of 50 harness racing writers, radio commentators and sports editors. Victory Song picked up 23 first-place votes, to lead a field of 22 horses that had been nominated for the honor, edging stablemate Hoot Mon who finished in second in the balloting. Victory Song had set the harness racing record for stallions with a time of 1:57.6 in the mile. E. Roland Harriman, president of the Trotting Horse Club of America, announced the award and indicated that the enthusiasm shown for the honor led to the decision to make the "Harness Horse of the Year" an annual event.[1]

Good Time became the first horse to win the honor two times, winning in both 1949 and 1952. Good Time held the single-season money record at the time of $110,299 and received 80 first-place votes from the 99 writers participating in that year's balloting, after finishing first in 23 starts in 1952, with three second-place finishes and two finishes in third.[2]

In 1956, Scott Frost became the first horse to win the Harness of the Year honors in consecutive years, earning the first place on the ballots of 66 of the 95 writers participating that year. Driven by Joe O'Brien, Scott Frost won 18 of 21 starts in 1956, coming in second in the three other races.[3]

Past winners[edit]

Horses that have been recognized as Harness Horse of the Year are:[4][5]

Year Horse Type
1947 Victory Song Trotter
1948 Rodney Trotter
1949 Good Time Pacer
1950 Proximity Trotter
1951 Pronto Don Trotter
1952 Good Time (2) Pacer
1953 Hi Lo's Forbes Pacer
1954 Stenographer Trotter
1955 Scott Frost Trotter
1956 Scott Frost (2) Trotter
1957 Torpid Pacer
1958 Emily's Pride Trotter
1959 Bye Bye Byrd Pacer
1960 Adios Butler Pacer
1961 Adios Butler (2) Pacer
1962 Su Mac Lad Trotter
1963 Speedy Scot Trotter
1964 Bret Hanover Pacer
1965 Bret Hanover (2) Pacer
1966 Bret Hanover (3) Pacer
1967 Nevele Pride Trotter
1968 Nevele Pride (2) Trotter
1969 Nevele Pride (3) Trotter
1970 Fresh Yankee Trotter
1971 Albatross Pacer
1972 Albatross (2) Pacer
1973 Sir Dalrae Pacer
1974 Delmonica Hanover Trotter
1975 Savoir Trotter
1976 Keystone Ore Pacer
1977 Green Speed Trotter
1978 Abercrombie Pacer
1979 Niatross Pacer
1980 Niatross (2) Pacer
1981 Fan Hanover Pacer
1982 Cam Fella Pacer
1983 Cam Fella (2) Pacer
1984 Fancy Crown Trotter
1985 Nihilator Pacer
1986 Forrest Skipper Pacer
1987 Mack Lobell Trotter
1988 Mack Lobell (2) Trotter
1989 Matt's Scooter Pacer
1990 Beach Towel Pacer
1991 Precious Bunny Pacer
1992 Artsplace Pacer
1993 Staying Together Pacer
1994 Cam's Card Shark Pacer
1995 CR Kay Suzie Trotter
1996 Continentalvictory Trotter
1997 Malabar Man Trotter
1998 Moni Maker Trotter
1999 Moni Maker (2) Trotter
2000 Gallo Blue Chip Pacer
2001 Bunny Lake Pacer
2002 Real Desire Pacer
2003 No Pan Intended Pacer
2004 Rainbow Blue Pacer
2005 Rocknroll Hanover Pacer
2006 Glidemaster Trotter
2007 Donato Hanover Trotter
2008 Somebeachsomewhere Pacer
2009 Muscle Hill Trotter
2010 Rock N Roll Heaven Pacer
2011 San Pail Trotter
2012 Chapter Seven Pacer
2013 Bee A Magician Trotter
2014 JK She'salady Trotter
2015 Wiggle It Jiggleit[6] Pacer


  1. ^ Staff. "VICTORY SONG TOPS 1947 HARNESS POLL; Castleton Trotter Selected as 'Horse of Year' -- Hoot Mon, Stablemate Is Next", The New York Times, December 7, 1947. Accessed February 19, 2009.
  2. ^ via Associated Press. "Good Time Is Selected Harness Racer of Year", The New York Times, December 9, 1952. Accessed February 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Staff. "Scott Frost Takes 1956 Harness Poll; SCOTT FROST WINS 56 HARNESS POLL", The New York Times, December 16, 1956. Accessed February 19, 2009.
  4. ^ Harness Racing Champions from 1952-2000, Odds On racing. Accessed February 19, 2009.
  5. ^ Harness Horse of the Year, Infoplease. Accessed February 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Wiggle It Jiggleit named Horse of the Year, Daily Racing Form, Retrieved 30 October 2016