The Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association is mourning the loss of Earl Beal, 65, a longtime breeder, owner, trainer, driver and racing official on the fair circuit.

He also served as the President of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, serving the horsemen of Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Chester. Beal served on the board of directors of the PHHA for nearly three decades, and as president for 16.

He passed away at his home in Lewistown, PA on December 28, 2009.

“He was a great leader and friend,” said Ron Battoni, executive director of the PHHA. “We’ll be going into 2010 with heavy hearts, but thankful for our time with Earl and the great work he did over the years. His contribution to Pennsylvania harness racing doesn’t end with his passing, as the groundwork he laid will continue to positively influence our organization for years to come.”

“Earl was a key figure in harness racing on the fair circuit,” added Jeff Zidek, Fair Information Specialist with the PA Harness Racing Commission. “He loved the sport, loved the fairs, and I don’t think that anyone who encountered Earl in the race office ever left without laughing. He will truly be missed.”

Memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Rd., Westfield, IN 46074.