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Ackerman Sr. inducted,  Franky Provolone CHHA horse of the year
Monday, April 8th, 2013 - Robin Clements for the CHHA

It was a day of celebration and of tears as the California Harness Horseman’s association held it’s annual CHHA meeting on Sunday April 7th. Celebration for the people and horses inducted into the hall of fame and for accomplishments in the sires stakes program and tears remembering friends and horses we lost in the past year.

Doug Ackerman Sr. was inducted into the hall of fame along with the California bred Robitaille. Gary Buxton accepted the award for Doug telling stories of long ago and some from the present of his long time friend. Doug Ackerman Sr. well respected by horsemen across the country has earned over $10 million as a driver/trainer while campaigning such horses as Chocolatier, Noble, Hustle, Peter Lobell and Crowning Point. Doug was very influential in helping the California breeding program with such stallions as Leading Edge, Denali, Peter Lobell and Ever So Rich.

Robitaille, p 6, 150.4, $885,000 was also inducted and Nathalie Trembley one time owner of Robitaille accepted the award for the horse who she had named after her favorite hockey player Luc Robitaille. The speedy gelding recorded the most miles in 1:55 or better in the sports history with 81 races along with being the winningest California bred ever with 99 wins out of 313 starts.

The tears flowed as Alan Kirschenbaum was remembered with the Lifetime Commitment award to the sport of harness racing. David Neumeister read a story written by Alan that was published in Hoofbeats back in 1998 while Tim Maier remembered his longtime friend and owner talking of the friends and people Alan had touched through the years.

The meeting turned to celebration as the awards were handed out. Franky Provolone  t 6, 1:56.3m, $98,393  by Armbro Scribe out of the Donerail mare Simple Royal was voted CHHA’s 2012 horse of the year. Franky Provolone was the 7th winningest trotter in the country in 2012 with 15 wins out of 41 starts.

Other awards handed out were for the accomplishments of horses from the sires stakes program. Winners were:

In the 3 yr old divisions, Diva Las Vegas 3 yr. old filly pacer, Ra Ra Steven 3 yr. old colt pacer,Silverlode 3 yr old filly trotter and Rite After Disbeer 3 yr.old colt trotter. In the 2 yr.old division Show Runner 2 yr. old filly pacer, Bit Player 2 yr.old colt pacer and Its Not Over in the 2 yr old combined trot division.

Adding to a Kirschenbaum theme, Little Steven and British Sterling were awarded the Breeding stallion awards based on their progeny from the sires stakes, accepting the award for the Cherry Tree farm and Alan was Shari Burns, longtime friend, partner and manager of Cherry Tree farm.

The board of directors election was also held with Robert Johnson and Dr. Wayne Knittle retaining their seats on the board while newcomer Robin Clements also was voted onto the CHHA board.