Dean A. Hoffman in Vienna

The legendary Journalist of Harness Racing visited the Racetrack of Vienna

Dean A. Hoffman (r.) and Nikolaus Matzka at Vienna-Krieau racetrack   Foto:

After I met Dean last year at the Red Mile in Lexington, he told me that he and his wife Linda are planning to come to Vienna over new year’s eve. So it was a pleasure for me to guide him on the 1st of January 2017 through the historic racetrack of Vienna-Krieau, home of the internationally well known race Graf Kálmán Hunyady Memorial. (Hunyady was the first president of the Vienna Trotting Association, found in 1874; the racetrack was opened in 1878 and hosts the oldest Trotting Derby in the World – toghether with Budapest/Hungary, because of the historic constellation with the Habsburg Monarchy.)

I guess, Dean liked his stay even it was a very foggy and cold day at the track. Like in Lexington, time was flying by the many narratives of harness heroes on both sides of the Atlantic. And Dean really has an impressing curriculum vitae, in his own words:

I was the executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine for 25 years. When I was in high school, I worked two summers at Walnut Hall Farm, a major breeding farm in Central Kentucky. When I was in college, I spent two summers working as a groom for horses on the grand circuit.

I got my love racing from my father, who saw Greyhound take his world record at Lexington in 1938. My father took me to thousands of races all over the country, but I never once saw him place a bet. He just love the atmosphere of racing, the people, and the horses. So that's pretty much the way I am. I am not a bettor.

I enjoy going to trotting tracks in different countries, and last night I was proud to add Austria to my list. I have also seen harness racing in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, France, Germany, England, Australia, and of course the United States and Canada. Also, Moscow in 1989, as I mentioned in our conversation last night.

I have owned broodmares in the past. I suggested some horse names to Hanover Shoe, the most successful of those horses is without a doubt Hannelore Hanover.

I have written five books on harness racing: a history of Hanover Shoe farms, the history of Castleton Farm, the history of Yankeeland Farm, the history of the Hambletonian, and a history of harness racing in New York State.

Dean told me that he and his group enjoyed the entire stay in Vienna, they traveled further to Salzburg and finally flew back from Munich/Germany back to the USA.

Nikolaus Matzka

You can follow Dean’s Vienna-Trip over here.


© Nikolaus Matzka 2014–2022