Charles E. "Chuck" Coon, regarded by many as the greatest trackman and member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, will be honored as the 2015 Joseph Neville Memorial Award winner by the Delaware County Fair.
Mr. Coon became harness racing's premier innovator in racetrack design, construction and maintenance to address equine and human safety as well as competitive racing. He also pioneered the slanted starting gate and computerized speed control during his 40-plus year career in harness racing.
His influence is evident at racing venues in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The company he founded, Charles E. Coon & Sons, is still active today through the efforts of his sons, Greg and Dan, with their work including the Delaware County Fair oval.
In 2008 he received the sport's highest honor when he was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.
Mr. Coon died January 30, 2015 at the age of 86. He was survived by his wife, Beverly; sons Greg and Dan; two daughters, Jeannine Weinschrod and Shelly Gambino.