Day At The Track

Community focus: Dave Yarock

07:51 AM 03 Apr 2020 NZDT
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Dave Yarock, harness racing
Dave Yarock
Lisa Photo

A little more than a decade ago, Amateur harness racing driver Dave Yarock decided it was time to give up playing basketball. He had played throughout his life; in high school and college and was still going full court two or three times a week into his mid-50s.

After putting hoops on hold, he needed a way to satisfy his competitive nature. That is when he discovered harness racing. Yarock was introduced to the sport by a friend and was captivated by the opportunity to drive in races. He soon became a mainstay on the amateur circuits, winning 67 races over the years, and co-founded the GSY Amateur Club.

"Here was something I could do competitively and combine it with my love of the horses," Yarock said. "That's what drew me to it, and still draws me to the sport."

But his involvement in the harness racing community has extended beyond the track. Since 2008, Yarock has coordinated an educational scholarship fund to assist the children of horsemen and horsewomen pursue careers in equine fields. The fund has given out more than $200,000 in aid since its inception, Yarock said.

Ordinarily, the GSY club uses membership dues, driver commissions, and individual donations to support the Edward Weiner & Edward Yarock Scholarship Fund, but this year the club will use its funds to assist horsemen and horsewomen in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its first donation was to the Fusco family, which last month lost four family members to the virus, including trainers Carmine and Vincent.

"I'm trying to do my best, whatever I can do," Yarock said. "It's for the industry, it's for the people. Basic needs are going to be pretty profound. People are going to need to feed their horses, feed themselves. A lot of people don't really have a safety net. I'm trying to address that in my own small way.

"If people have any particular needs, they should let us know and we'll try to help as best we can. We have limited resources and we want to try to stretch them out and do the best we can to help as many people as we can. I would love to be able to broaden it out, make it bigger, but everyone has their own issues right now. We're all trying to do what we can do."

Anyone wanting to make a tax-deductible donation to the "EWEY Scholarship Fund" for distribution to those in need can send contributions to Dave Yarock, 70 Sherwood Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670. Requests for assistance, with a brief explanation of the circumstances, can be emailed to daveyarock@gmail.com.

"We're here to help the horsemen," Yarock said. "We'll take whatever help we can get. We're all in this together."

Ken Weingartner

Media Relations Manager

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