(AP) — EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A filly winning the Hambletonian has been a rare sight in the 95-year history of trotting’s biggest race. Only 15 have accomplished the feat. Now owners Michelle and Al Crawford and Brad Grant have done it twice in the past three years. Ramona Hill joined the list Saturday, scoring… Read More
Few harness racing horse breeders have made a larger multi-media splash than Crawford Farms of Durhamville, New York.
From the second-story Crawford Farms mural at The Meadowlands to the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet where the water trucks proudly displayed the farm’s iconic insignia, racing fans are constantly reminded of the dynamic duo’s substantial commitment to the sport. Evident across multiple digital platforms, the Crawford’s are very active on social media and have produced and broadcast several TV commercials during key, nationally televised harness races, including the Hambletonian.
Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford’s have sponsored this season’s Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic, Crawford Farms Trot and the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet. In addition to vast purse support, they have recently completed a state-of-the-art equine therapeutic spa, 40-stall barn, and an 8-stall horse exerciser at their central New York breeding & racing operation.
For their considerable investment in the future of the Standardbred and support of harness racing and breeding in the state of New York, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has awarded Crawford Farms their annual Excelsior Award.
Somewhat surprised when they learned of the award, Michelle and Albert Crawford were humbled by the honor. “We love this business, and we are very pleased that someone has noticed and appreciated our efforts” noted Albert, son of the late Jim Crawford who was the affable former president of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State.
“My wife and I are committed to breeding top horses in New York State and supporting the industry in the process. We know that it is a considerable challenge, but we are rolling up our sleeves and eager to do the work!”
Michelle, the spark that energizes much of the daily operations added, “Every day that I am on our farm I am amazed at the work ethic and dedication that our staff contribute to our vision. Whether we are breeding, foaling, weaning or performing racehorse rehab, they always give 110%, and for that I am very grateful.”
The farm, which was founded in 1966 by Jim and Patricia Crawford, continues to be a family affair. The 100-acre nursery has continued to expand not only their footprint, but also their broodmare band. Their yearling consignments to Lexington and Morrisville have continued to improve in scope and scale.
When they are not raising future harness racing stars, Michelle and Al own and operate one of the most successful healthcare lending institutions in the nation, Bankers Healthcare Group. In fact, BHG was ranked as the 5th Fastest Growing Private Company by Inc.
Formed in 1992 from a modest group of four finance experts, BHG now employs close to 200 business professionals.
Feature story by MIKE FARRELL – photo by CHRIS TULLY EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The sensational filly Ramona Hill took a well-deserved gulp from the Hambletonian trophy after beating the boys on Saturday (Aug. 8) in the $1 million trotting classic at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It was the latest chapter in the developing saga of harness… Read More
(Associated Press) The $1 million Hambletonian and favored Ramona Hill have come a long way since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports. Trotting’s most prestigious race, scheduled for Saturday at the Meadowlands, was a question mark until May when New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allowed the sport to start in early June. Ramona Hill won… Read More
by Rich Fisher, for the USTA; photos by Chris Tully Trenton, NJ — It has been one heck of a roller coaster ride for Ramona Hill where the Hambletonian is concerned. The journey has gone from uncertainty, to bleak dismay, to sheer euphoria, to odds-on favorite. And the race is still three days away! In short… Read More
by Mike Farrell, for The Meadowlands; photo by Chris Tully East Rutherford, NJ — Tall Dark Stranger is a danger, especially with his back to the wall. Pushed to the max by old rival Papi Rob Hanover, Tall Dark Stranger battled back in deep stretch to win the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace by a neck on Saturday… Read More
On December 13, 2019, the National Day of the Horse, we announced the formation of a new Alliance for the protection of U.S. horses from shipment to Canada and Mexico for slaughter for human consumption. We are asking for all organizations, corporations, small businesses, and individuals in this OPEN CALL to join us. We are… Read More
Al and Michelle Crawford seek to increase the presence of harness racing story by Mike Mullaney In the right economy, ingredients such as ambition, resources and vision will lead to investment. In the right hands, that investment, combined with a little luck, will bear dividends. And, in the right circumstances, those dividends will be churned… Read More
Hambletonian-winning filly Atlanta led a distinguished group of trotters named division champions in Dan Patch Award voting released Wednesday (Dec. 19) by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Atlanta received 96.1 per cent of the votes for best three-year-old female trotter, the highest total among the six trotting honourees. Also named division winners were two-year-old colt… Read More
December 19, 2018, from the U.S. Harness Writers Association Harrisburg, PA — Hambletonian-winning filly Atlanta led a distinguished group of trotters named division champions in Dan Patch Award voting released Wednesday (Dec. 19) by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Atlanta received 96.1 percent of the votes for best 3-year-old female trotter, the highest total among the… Read More
December 19, 2018 by Tammy Knox Over the past four years, the annual Dan Patch awards have included at least one horse from an Indiana sire. 2018 continues the trend as Homicide Hunter was named Older Male Trotter of the Year by the US Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Wednesday, Dec. 19. In all 130 ballots were received… Read More