Don Eash, longtime driver, trainer, owner and breeder in Indiana, was one of two individuals inducted into the Indiana Horse Racing Association (IHRA) Hall of Fame Sunday, Oct. 23. The event was held at Harrah’s Hoosier Park in the Clubhouse. Eash joined Kim Hammond, longtime Thoroughbred trainer, owner and breeder, for the honor.
A native of Northern Indiana, Eash and his wife, Rosie, have been involved in racing since the mid-1980s when they purchased the former Hoosier Downs to expand their van conversion business, a company Don began with his brother. Don and Rosie began racing locally and eventually moved to the Chicago circuit and later to Hoosier Park when pari-mutuel racing began in 1994.
By the end of the century, the Eash Stable began making their mark in Indiana. Don won numerous titles at Hoosier Park and campaigned such greats as Bewitching Karen, Jesse’s Trigger and of course, Foxy Maneuver, who won 51 races and more than three-quarters of a million dollars. The success of the stable continued at the farm they built from scratch in Greenfield and the Eashs bred and raised numerous Indiana champions carrying the farm moniker “ER” for Eash Racing.
“This is a great honor,” said Don. “When Rosie and I started in this business, this was never anything we even thought about. I want to thank my family for all their support and our help over the years, who have become like family to us. And, thank you to the individuals who are responsible for this honor. I greatly appreciate this.”
The event was hosted by Rachel McLaughlin. Rick Moore, Vice President and General Manager of Racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, read the resolution and information about Don. A portrait of Don was unveiled and will be added to the display located at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
Don was joined by Rosie and members of his family for the official presentation.
The portrait of Kim Hammond was also unveiled during the ceremony. The resolution and information was provided by former jockey Otto Thorwarth, who rode for Hammond in the late 1990s at Hoosier Park. Hammond is the all-time leading female trainer in Thoroughbred racing history with more than 3,400 career wins. She relocated to Indiana permanently at the turn of the century and is the state’s all-time leading female trainer and second on the list for wins at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
The IHRA began in 2014. The Hall of Fame was established to honor and recognize those who have supported and represented the sport of horse racing at a high level in the Hoosier State. The annual Hall of Fame banquet is held each fall and rotates between both racetracks in the state.