Lost in the news of the Breeders Crown was the passing of Alan Kirschenbaum, well known television producer and comedy writer. While he was best known for his work in television, he was also known for his support of harness racing. Whether as an owner, amateur driver, trainer, and past President of the CHHA, he was a credit to the standardbred sport.
My first dealing with Alan came when he complained about one of my blog entries, feeling I didn't get the Cal-Expo horsemen's side of the story correct. When I talked to him about the story, he wasn't mad, he just wanted to make sure I understood the history of harness racing in California so I understood where the horsemen were coming form. He generously offered to talk to me anytime I had a question or wanted to talk to him about what was going on in California harness racing; something I took him up on. If there was one thing I took away from our few conversations was the fact he always looked out for the best interests of the horsemen at Cal-Expo.
Others told me the same. Whether horsemen who disagreed with what the CHHA was doing, track management or others, no one disputed Alan had the horsemen's best interests at heart. All respected him for what he was trying to do.
I will remember Alan for fighting for horsemen, the man with great wit (you had to love his tweets), and the person who brought so much laughter and enjoyment to people's lives through his television shows (who could forget Coach?). Lastly, I will also remember a man who left us too early at the age of 51.
My sympathy to Alan's family. May he rest in peace and to those who knew him best, may his memory be a blessing.