Two incredibly talented 13-year-olds are rising stars in Pennsylvania Harness Fair Racing.
At Pocono Downs at Mohegan PA – Fair Finals 2023

Lizzie Schadel is the beautiful voice performing the National Anthem prior to the harness racing at various fairs, and Dylan Daugherty has stepped into the announcer’s booth, calling the races. And yes, they are both teenagers!

Growing up in a harness racing family, Lizzie Schadel has been helping her family with the horses since she was very young. The daughter of trainer/driver Tony Schadel and trainer/driver Linda Schadel remembers working around the horses when she was very young. “I started out helping feed the horses,” she said. “I think I was 5 or 6.” Her mom laughs and added “Ever since she could dump the buckets in there.”
A few years ago, Lizzie stepped into the spotlight during the fair racing season, standing in front of the crowd at Clearfield and belting out the National Anthem. She was 9 years old! The teen has been starting the races with her beautiful singing voice ever since, often at as many as 10 fairs a season, when her Mom and Dad are racing.
On October 9th, she stood and sang proudly at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Fair Finals, opening that exciting race day.
A future with the horses is definitely in the cards for Lizzie, but she’s still weighing her options on her career choice. “I do want to do something, probably like a veterinarian, but I don’t know if I want to exactly have my whole career when I’m older be in harness racing. There’s still a lot (of time to decide) for the future.”
At Clearfield in 2019 Age 9!

Lizzie does know that she’s ready to drive on the fair circuit when she turns 16, and is confident that she can achieve yet another goal she’s set for herself. While she doesn’t see a lot of women drivers, she believes that it is becoming more popular. “I feel like there should be more women driving, because, it’s not something that males should keep for themselves!” she laughed.

Racing on the fair circuit is exciting for the whole Schadel family, with Linda and Tony racing, and Lizzie helping in the barn and starting the race card with her beautiful singing voice. “I love it, because Lizzie has been at the fairs, singing the National Anthem, and helping me out,” Linda said. “I love the fact of being able to get my kids involved, and show them, and get them to help. A lot of my friends are here at Gratz Fair, and I say ‘go out and watch the races’, and they get to see what we do on a daily basis.”
When Lizzie is not helping her family in the barn, she keeps busy in school with numerous activities. She plays clarinet in the band; is on the Student Council and on TVTV, doing school announcements; is active in Future Farmers of America; performs in the chorus; and is involved in the sports of soccer and archery.
Dylan Daugherty and his family are based in Mercer, Pennsylvania, and his harness racing roots trace back to his grandfather. “My Uncle Jim, my dad, and my Grandpa are in harness racing,” he explained. “I’ve been going to the farm ever since I was young, and this last summer or two, I’ve been getting more involved, doing a lot of the barn work. This summer, I was there every morning.”
He loved working with the horses, but he actually had set his sights even higher-the announcer’s booth!
Dylan with Roger Huston

“I had always listened to Roger Huston. I liked listening to him at the Meadows when I watched our horses race, and I actually called the races a little bit, to myself, when I was watching them,” he said. “I said to my Grandpa at Meadville, which is really close to our farm, that I liked listening to him and doing the races. He asked me to call a three-horse field the next day!” Dylan was 7 years old at the time.

Roger Huston continued to give advice to the aspiring announcer, and encouraged the young man to hone his craft every chance he could. “Whenever Roger was doing the Butler Fair and then the Crawford County Fair, which is Meadville, he always invited me up to do a race, to give me more experience.”
For the past three years, Dylan has been calling the races at the Meadville and Butler Fairs.
Dylan with Jim Beviglia

Dylan had the opportunity to call a few races at Pocono Downs at Mohegan Pennsylvania for the Fair Finals, and met the challenge head-on, with the action switching from shorter fields, to which he is accustomed, to an eight horse field and a bigger size track. Stepping into the announcer’s booth with Jim Beviglia, he raved about his day at the races.

“It was great! It was an awesome experience. That was my second time calling on a 5/8 mile track, and I’ve honestly never been to that track. It was nice going up there, and he (Jim) is a very nice guy. I loved it!”
Announcing looks to be in his future, but he remains active with his family’s barn and looks to continue on that path. “I jog horses on the weekends, and I like training them. I like learning how to do everything. I own my own horse named Father Son, too. So I like to be a trainer, and I like driving. I like announcing races. So I’m kind of stuck. Announcing is what I’ll do most, but I really like training and driving, too.” Until he decides on his future, he keeps busy with school, and plays baseball, basketball, and golf.
For these two teens, who truly are a prime example of the future of harness racing, the future is bright and the possibilities are endless!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.