GOSHEN, N.Y. — The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is inviting Immortal nominations for the Class of 2019. All Museum members in good standing have the privilege of nominating people and horses who they feel have made a significant contribution to the sport of harness racing. The nominees must be deceased three years or more to be eligible for consideration. Nominations must include a complete biography of the subject and detailed harness racing career statistics, when applicable. Nominations must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2018. They may be e-mailed on or before that date to email@example.com or mailed to The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, 240 Main Street, Goshen, N.Y. 10924.
In July, the Immortals Nominating Committee announced that the trustees of the Museum had unanimously endorsed the election of Håkan Wallner. On Sunday, July 1, 2018, Wallner will be inducted into the Hall of Immortals during ceremonies held under the tent on the Museum lawn.
The charismatic and energetic Wallner was the consummate businessman and horseman, and was well-respected by the American harness racing elite. Wallner was convinced that he could succeed in this country as a trainer of trotters and in a short amount of time he was competing at the highest level and affecting every facet of harness racing from the yearling sales to the Grand Circuit. His contribution to the globalization of U.S. trotting continues to have a profound effect on the breeding, training and racing of the American trotter.
Wallner was a globetrotting pioneer who single-handedly raised the bar of Swedish racing and breeding to an international level, and he is regarded as one of Sweden’s greatest trotting ambassadors. He paved the way for European and Scandinavian horse trading and his efforts forever changed the breeding landscape with an influx of the fresh American bloodlines into Sweden, Italy, France, Denmark, Finland and other countries.
Wallner lead the way for other Scandinavian and European horsemen to move to the United States and compete at the sport’s highest level. The list includes Soren and Jan Nordin, Jimmy Takter, Per Eriksson, Per Henrikson, Stefan Melander, Mario Zuanetti and Pekka Korpi. Collectively this group has nine Hambletonian winners.
Håkan Wallner died January 20, 2001 in Treviso, Italy. He was inducted to the Swedish Trotting Hall of Fame in 2015.
The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you would like further information on the Immortals nomination process, the 2018 induction ceremony, the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com.
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