The Indiana horse racing industry came together Sunday, Dec. 29 to remember and honor Jon Schuster, longtime vice president and general manager of Indiana Downs, now Indiana Grand. All three breeds plus racing industry experts were in attendance for the memorial service in Shelbyville.
As the year comes to a close, we all reflect back on the people the racing industry has lost in 2019. Although there are many names to mention, the ones that were included in issues of the 2019 ISA Magazine are listed below.
The year started off with the horrific loss of the father-son team of Dean and Steven Beachy. The auctioneers were enjoying dinner in State College, Pa. when a gunman entered the restaurant. The Beachys jumped in to the aid of an individual and as a result, lost their lives in the incident.
Others lost to the Indiana racing circuit in the first quarter included Roland Gauthier Jr., Dave Ricks and in December 2018 Jimmy Landess and Gerry Kazmaier.
Racing lost a young friend in early March with the passing of Barry Langley. Longtime starter Gene Montgomery, who served as the starter at the Indiana State Fair for years, was also lost to the racing world.
Summertime brought the passing of Ewell Binkley and Mike Weller, both fixtures for years on the backstretch of Hoosier Park. Others lost in the warmer months included James Beanblossom, Robert Bellamy, Tim Curtin, Janelle Diane Miller and Del Pletcher.
The fall brought the passing of Indiana Horse Racing Association Hall of Fame inductee Harold Barnes, Mike Walsky, a larger than life member of the Hoosier Park team, and Richard Roth, longtime starter on the Indiana fair circuit.
Please join the ISA in remembering and honoring these fellow horsemen and horsewomen we lost in 2019.