NORTHFIELD, Ohio, Feb. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Justin MacEachern, who works in the Ross Croghan Stable, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Caretaker of the Year Award sponsored by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HHRNP) in conjunction with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA).
MacEachern will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards event on Sunday, Feb. 26, in Las Vegas. As winner of the HHRNP Caretaker of the Year Award, MacEachern will receive a cash prize of $500, transportation and hotel and event accommodations.
"I am so overwhelmed by this, I can't even begin to explain it," says MacEachern. "When you take care of a horse, and I've taken care of "Call Me Queen Be" for two years and she was my only horse up until this winter, just waking up every day knowing that I had so much to do with the horse, it's just great. There is a whole connection there and it's an amazing feeling."
All caretakers in North America are eligible for the award, with nomination letters submitted detailing the skills and special qualities of the nominee.
MacEachern received several nominations, with one noting the "countless hours he has dedicated to the filly "Call Me Queen Be" and a pacer who he needed "to use his horsemanship skills to gain the trust of."
Croghan agreed, saying, "MacEachern has spent hours with this filly giving her confidence and getting her mannered. He put his heart and soul into this horse. Croghan also noted MacEachern's attention to detail, including shipping, shoeing, exercise schedules or equipment.
Another nominator says MacEachern "risked his own life" last winter when fire engulfed a barn at the South Florida Trotting Center. One of the first on the scene, MacEachern helped rescue several horses from the burning barn -- later helping ship the injured to a nearby vet clinic.
"I currently live in Millstone, NJ on Ross Croghan's farm, 'Dockside'; and we also are stabled at Gaitway Farm in Manalapan, NJ. My favorite music artists are Bob Marley, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. I love reggae music and the Caribbean culture. And am very influenced by their cuisine; but I am very intrigued by all international cultures and cuisines."
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SOURCE Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park