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Cal Expo: Neumeister, Seibel Remember Kirschenbaum
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Neumeister, Seibel Remember Kirschenbaum


Friday’s Alan Kirschenbaum Pace is named for the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association, who died in October of 2012 at the age of 51. 

Kirschenbaum was a major factor in California as an owner, breeder and amateur driver for many years. With his stallions Little Steven and British Sterling standing at Cherry Tree Farm in Wilton, he helped support the industry in California. 
In the past, he had even waived his stallion fees to help the California horsemen breed their mares to help the horse population survive in the Golden State. Alan was also a huge supporter of the California Sire Stakes and amateur races.

“Alan was one of my favorite people,” said David Neumeister. “Everybody liked him. His impact on harness racing in California is in evidence every night in the Cal Expo racing program, as offspring of his sires and dams, most of which he bred and raced himself, are still racing today. 
 
“On the trot, sons and daughters of British Sterling are competitive performers. The same is true on the pace, as offspring of Little Steven, Alan's good stakes horse and sire, are often seen battling it out on the Sacramento track.
 
“In addition to being a prolific breeder and amateur driver, Alan was a huge political force in California harness racing. He ran the breeder's association for years. He also served on the CHHA board of directors for as long as I knew him.

”In fact, he was president of the horsemen's association until just a few weeks before his ever so untimely death. Of course, this is all in addition to his incredible success as a television writer and producer.  “He is sorely missed by the entire harness racing community.” 

Cal Expo announcer Gary Seibel first met Alan Kirschenbaum in the early 80s at Pompano Park in Florida. “I was track announcer and publicity director and Alan was working for trainer George Berkner,” Seibel said.

“He’d come into the publicity office to use one of the desks that had a typewriter – yes a typewriter! – to work on his projects, which at the time I think included writing for Mad Magazine. 

“I liked him from the start. He was a great guy with a great sense of humor, and we had a lot in common since we were both native New Yorkers who loved harness racing..

“From time to time, we would get into a long conversation about anything and everything, and he would say to me, ‘this (Hollywood) is my job, harness racing is my passion.’ That was so evident in what did in and for the sport, both nationally and in California. 

“His contributions to the sport he loved are with us today in so many ways. I think of him every night when I open the Cal Expo program because his name appears in the program every racing night through the horses he has raced, bred and owned in the Golden State.”

Gary recalled a time when he lived in Los Angeles and Alan invited him to a taping of his CBS sitcom “Yes Dear”.
“My wife and I were sitting in the front row of the audience, and before the taping began, Alan came out and introduced himself to the crowd and told everyone what to expect during the live taping of the show.

“When he saw us, he paused, came over and gave us both a big hug. It really touched us both. After the taping, he brought us down to the stage, where we met the cast and production crew and got to hang out for a while. He was a great friend and a special person.”
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