by john manzi for USHWA
She’s known as “Hurricane Hannah” because she has taken amateur racing by storm. This year, in her first full season of driving, and overwhelmingly against male counterparts, Hannah Miller has won 32 races and will finish with a .425 UDR in 118 drives, and for her prowess the United States Harness Writers Association has unanimously named her the National Amateur Driver of the Year. And Hannah is the first woman to win this award.
“I am thrilled to be named amateur driver of the year,” Miller said when reached by phone. “I never expected this success but I have so many great people behind me that have done so much to help me achieve this award. (my boyfriend) Nick(Surick) has put so much work into this and I wouldn't be able to drive such good horses without him. He has made it possible for me to travel all over the country and overseas to compete in amateur races. Trish Coyle and Miriam Kraemer have also done so much for me and put in endless hours at the barn, on the road, and at the racetrack to make all of this possible. My family continuously supports me and I am so grateful for everyone that has helped me get to this point.”
This year Hannah has driven at 21 different racetracks in the United States and Canada and she also represented the USA in an international amateur driving competition in Majorca, Spain earlier this year.
She is a member of multiple amateur driving clubs and ‘danced every dance’ including as a participant in the granddaddy of them all, the C.K.G. Billings Series, which she dominated this season. There Hannah finished as the combined points champion and she won the east region final at Pocono Downs. But unfortunately for her in the Billings Gold Cup final at Harrah’s Philadelphia her horse, who was sent off at odds of 3-10, made a break early in the mile and she finished back.