By Diane Schuler
On June 12, 2019, the fans in the stands at the Converse, Ind. racetrack were treated to more than just some great harness racing. They were in attendance for a special presentation to honor Lucy Shirley, a woman who has been a very important part of the sport for more than 40 years.
Born in Arkansas, Lucy moved to Converse at the age of 20. Lucy has owned or leased over 125 horses and has accumulated over half a million dollars as a trainer since 1991. However, since the USTA didn’t start keeping records on computer until 1991, only Lucy can state the history of her career prior to that time, but it is safe to say that it has been extensive.
When one speaks with Lucy, it is very clear that she is dedicated to the sport of harness racing. She has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience over her decades of involvement with Standardbreds. One could spend hours listening to her eagerly sharing stories about the people she has known, the horses that she has trained and owned, and the “boys of racing” that she has watched grow up and excel in the sport.
Lucy has many endearing qualities, but when talking with her, the most important things in her life are clearly her love of family, friends, and the horses that she has been around all her life. Because of these qualities, her experience with Standardbreds, and her love of the sport itself, it only makes sense that she be honored as a special part of the harness racing community.