Standardbreds taking part in St. Patrick Parade

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:27

A half-dozen retired pacers will take part on March 13 Goshen — When the 35th annual Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13 in the Village of Goshen, residents of the Cradle of the Trotter will be treated to a half-dozen retired Standardbreds along the parade route. They will be joined in the marching procession by a current performer that just won his last start who will be pulling the Harness Racing Museum’s high-wheeled sulky. And if that isn’t enough, throw in Historic Track’s mobile starting car, two miniature horses, two standard Donkeys, two American Quarter horses, and enough kids and grown-ups to scoop up after them all For decades, thousands of spectators have lined the sidewalks of downtown Goshen for the parade. Hundreds of groups from a vast array of organizations march thorough the center of town in their first class uniforms or in green costumes. This year the Harness Racing Museum joined forces with Goshen Historic Track to enroll a diverse and passionate group of horse people to participate in the parade. The call to action was a smashing success as many of the Harness Horses being ridden in the parade are fresh off a stellar career at local racetracks. Certain to be the equine highlights of the parade, these semi-retired pacers demonstrate that Standardbreds are a versatile and hearty breed off the racetrack as well. Open house at Harness Racing Museum Speakin Greek, who won his last start at Monticello Raceway on March 1 in 1:57, is being driven in the parade by his trainer Brian Yusko. He has the honor of being hooked to the Harness Racing Museum’s high-wheeled sulky. Geri Schwarz, the track photographer at Goshen and Monticello and a recent USTA driving school graduate, is riding her 29-year-old retired Standardbred, Belle Gay Jigger. “He loves the parades and trail riding,” boasts Schwarz. “He has been my closest friend for over 20 years.” Another horse that is not far removed from the roar of the crowd is the Chosen One. Nicknamed “Harry,” he is to be ridden in the parade by Barb Stubits Merton. He is an 11-year-old gelding by Electric Yankee with 19 wins lifetime that last raced in Nov. 2010. In addition, Liz Stubits will be riding Fox Valley Kincade. She is the owner and was the race trainer of the 14-year-old gelding, nicknamed Tubby, who had 25 wins lifetime and was 104 times 1-2-3 in 304 starts, before retiring in 2008. The Harness Racing Museum will be hosting an open house directly following the parade. by Chris Tully, general manager, Goshen Historic Track