Harry M. Zweig

Dr. Harry M. Zweig, a Nassau, N.Y., veterinarian, has been described as "an instrumental figure in the passing of the Laverne Law in 1965, which provided the Foundation for the New York Sires Stakes program." [Hoof Beats Magazine in a commemorative article published when Zweig died in April, 1977.] The good doctor, the magazine article continued, was a "persistent, driving man who devoted most of his energies the past 15 years to the interests of the state...." He was "still busy working on a bill in Albany in an attempt to get relief from the state on pari-mutuel takeout only days before his death," it added.

Hoof Beats also reported that Harry Zweig "was also the master planner in renewing harness racing at the New York State Fairgrounds in the mid-1960s. Under his guidance, the two-afternoon nonparimutuel meet was changed to a week-long pari-mutuel meet. Later, the $150,000 Empire Open Trot was added, a modern 15,000-seat grandstand was built and the track was renamed the Syracuse Mile."

The Harry M. Zweig Memorial Fund for Equine Research at Cornell had a modest beginning as his family's memorial tribute but has grown to healthy proportion in recent years with the infusion of funds from an amended New York State pari-mutuel law. By legislation, the Zweig Fund receives two percent of all monies accruing to the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund from the state's tracks and off-track betting.

The statute established a committee to administer the fund; its members include the chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission or his designee, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell or his designee, a member or the executive director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, a member or the executive director of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, and at least five New York State breeders, owners, trainers or veterinarians in equine practice.