HARRISBURG PA – Allison Conte, riding on the leading curve of the “new wave” social media communications designed to bring the excitement and fun of harness racing to an ever-expanding audience, has “broken through” the communications clutter with such success in her job as Social Media Manager for the U.S. Trotting Association that the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport’s leading industry for communicators, has voted her the winner of the Breakthrough Award, which honors those in the sport 35 years or younger for outstanding early-career non-training/driving contributions to harness racing
Conte is overseer of the many platforms established within the USTA’s Communications department: the acclaimed Harness Racing FanZone website; the Facebook page of both the FanZone and the USTA’s own central organizational page; and the various means to cover three of harness racing’s flagship events: the Hambletonian, the Little Brown Jug, and the Breeders Crown. In addition, she functions as host for the USTA’s weekly online show Morning Line; edits for the USTA’s website, the most widely-viewed website in the industry; and conducts advisory sessions in how to utilize social media effectively and how to bring more owners into the sport. And her vision into the sport and new ways to tell its story has led to many successful programs involving the new media, and certainly will lead to many more.
One striking feature running through the vast majority of Allison’s work is the insight she gives into the people and horses involved in putting on “the show,” devoting time and energy to the individuals and events “behind the scenes” that may surprise people and interest them further in the sport. The faculty that Conte has in this area is no accident: the daughter of horseman Carl Conte Jr., Allison has been a caretaker for fast horses, rich horses, and durable horses – all of those characteristics rolled up together in her most famous charge, Foiled Again, the sport’s all-time leader in earnings with earnings nearing $7.5 million, an evergreen campaigner who is still racing at a high level as he turns 13 next week.
Allison does not oversee her “media empire” by viewing a bank of consoles at the USTA’s Ohio office – she is one of the Association’s most visible employees, having spent 73 days on the road this past year. She is helpful and patient with horseman, horse, manager, and fan alike – a person who honestly has the good of the sport in the forefront of her mind at all times.
Allison Conte will be honored at the “Night Of Champions,” the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators’ website, www.ushwa.org – including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing.