Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Darke County Harness Horseman Hosts 100 students from Wilmington College

On Thursday April 7th the Darke County Harness Horseman played host to approximately 100 students from Wilmington College. The students, most pursuing degrees in agricultural or livestock were touring various areas within the state. Their last stop of the day was in Greenville touring the barns and being given demonstrations from various horsemen.

The students were welcomed to fairgrounds by the Darke Co. Harness Horseman’s president Brian Jones along with Fairboard member and Speed Superintendent Richard Delk.
The students were given a demonstration on how a race horse is shoed by blacksmith Steve Myers with the assistance and patience of Don’t Fool Me Now a 12 year old race horse from the Steve Livingston stable.

Students were shown the proper way to harness a horse including an explanation of all the different types of equipment a horse may wear depending on its needs by Ryan Miller. Ryan also explained to the students the difference between a trotter and a pacer and the variance of equipment needed for each. Emily Hay, OHHA District Representative, also brought her own horse to the fairgrounds and continued the demonstration and included the difference between a jog cart and a race back.
Brian and Mandy Jones harnessed a horse and gave some lucky students the opportunity to drive a horse around the half mile track. Students were also impressed with meeting Mandy and hearing about her accomplishments as not only a trainer but also as a driver participating in the Ohio Ladies Pace competition.

Myles Linderman, Associate Judge at Miami Valley and Scioto Downs and Assistant Race Secretary at Dayton Raceway set up a station in the Speed Office and discussed the rules and regulations of what makes a horse eligible for each race and what can also disqualify them. Myles also explained how a draw is done to determine what post position a horse receives. Myles had the opportunity to answer some very well thought out questions from some curious students.

The tour ended with the students all posing on the track with a horse being trained by Ryan Miller that they had been watching. The picture was taken with a win blanket donated by the Darke County Harness Horseman showing Wilmington College “Go Quakers”. This blanket will be presented to a winning horse at the Darke Co. Fair the night of the Gene Riegle Memorial. Students from Wilmington College are invited back that night to help present the blanket and pose for the win photo which will be taken by Conrad Photos.

Refreshments were donated by the Ladies Auxiliary.

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