The US Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Canada chapter held its annual meeting via Zoom call November 18, with a change of leadership highlighting the well-attended virtual session.
Garnet Barnsdale, the incumbent chapter president, opted not to reoffer for 2020/21, meaning that first-time nominee Ryan Clements was the only person offering for the position of president. Clements received unanimous support and accepted his nomination. Incumbents Dave Briggs and Sydney Weaver were both acclaimed for another year in their respective positions of chapter vice-president and chapter secretary. Melissa Keith was unanimously voted the chapter director for upcoming USHWA National meetings, scheduled for the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Banquet weekend, February 21, 2021 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Barnsdale helped the Canadian USHWA chapter organize popular initiatives like the Leamington Raceway Youth Handicapping Challenge and the "Miami Madness" betting challenge to break a Manitoba fair track's record handle; he also hosted live prize draws for 2020 USHWA National handicapping contests with son (and USHWA Youth member) Nick "Ace" Barnsdale on Facebook Live. His decision to step back from the leadership position was due to work: “Due to the increasing demands at my full-time job due mainly to the pandemic, I feel I don’t have the available time to fulfill the president role to the best of my ability. I am happy that someone like Ryan stepped forward to assume the role of chapter president. He has already shown that he has many fresh and innovative ideas, and it’s easy to see the passion that he holds for the industry. I have no doubt whatsoever that he will do an outstanding job.”
Ryan Clements is well-known as the developer of harness and Thoroughbred racing games Off and Pacing, Catch Driver, Turf Dynasty, and Top Jockey. He is active as a Standardbred owner, trainer, horseplayer, and member of the USHWA Youth Membership Committee.
"I am honoured to take on the role as president of USHWA’s Canadian chapter," he said. "As someone who has grown up in this industry and having straddled the lines between technology, media, and horse racing industries throughout my career, I value the significant role USHWA will play in the future success of the sport that I love. Our chapter is full of bright and energetic minds, all working towards that same goal of the sport’s ultimate success, and I am beyond excited to be a part of the effort."
(Melissa Keith for the USHWA Canada chapter; attached photo by Melissa Keith: Ryan Clements attends a presentation at 2017 World Trotting Conference, Charlottetown, PEI.)
More Industry News