ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Harness Racing by the Southern Valley Colt Circuit again graced the half-mile oval at the Meigs County Fairgrounds, where close racing and good clean fun of small-wager paramutual-betting took place for the second year. By the start of the first race, the sparse crowd grew to a near-packed grandstand for the 150th Meigs County Fair.
The always exciting Chris Patterson proclaimed “Raci-i-ing has returned to ‘The Rock’ ” as veteran horse racers refer to the long stretchs of the finely manicured half mile track. The Harness Racing continues to be a big deal at the fair with over $41,000 posted for the nine-race events.
Drivers Ryan Holton and Jonas Hershberger were the big winners of the day with Holton claiming the overall number of wins with three; Hershberger had two.
Megan Cleland was the outrider for the days’ events and carried the flag as the National Anthem set off the start of the event. Longtime harness racing and fair supporter Brooks Sayre was honored with a moment of silence and praised for his years of service to the fair. Marissa Keesee was the Horse Princess and helped crown the winners and presented the winning blankets.
All the racing action was excellent, expecially the third race that saw a late race blast keep the fans in awe as he nearly pulled off the win over early leader Lindas Diamond LiL with a photo finish. Once the finish line photos were reviewed it was Diamond Lil and Jonas Hershberger, driver declared the winner.
Fans were estatic with the close racing action, and the momentum of the third race carried over into extremely vocal cheers and excitment for the next two heat events.
Hershberger claimed the next race in similar fashion, but this time it was a three-horse photo finish between Hershberger’s Life for Sam, Feelin Good, and Dusty Power. Having three racers coming to the finish brought the crowd to its feet once again.
Then, the fifth race of the day followed the same script as the third. Again three racers came to the finish at full stride side-by-side with Holly’s GG and Ryan Holten pulling off the longshot win.
Ty Van Rhoden and Ramblin Reegan broke a winless streak from last year’s racing in the next race. Local Michael Swatzel’s horse with trainer Steve Swatzel won the Southern Local Schools Blanket.
Holton and Governor’s Victory picked up his third win of the day. Fine Feelin and veteran Charlie Schoonover won the eighth go-round. The finale was won by David Myers and Ritz Tracker in heat nine.
The following is a list of the winning horse, driver and owner — by division — at the 2013 Meigs County Fair.
Race 1: 3-year old Colts and Geldings — Lucky Buckeye, Ryan Holton, Eric Nesselroad (2:12.2).
Race 2: 3-year old Colts and Geldings — Phantom Flasher, Tony Zubkorr, Howard Taylor/Richard Lombardo (2:06.4).
Race 3: 3-year old Fillies — Linda’s Diamond, Jonas Hershberger, Fres/Linda Polk (2:07.1).
Race 4: 2-year old Colts and Geldings — Life for Sam, Jonas Hershberger, Deenis L. Tom (2:07.1).
Race 5: 2-year old Fillies — Holly’s GG, Ryan Holten, Ryan/Richard Householder (2:13.0).
Race 6: 3-year old Fillies — Rambling Reegan, Ty Van Rhoden, Frank Johnson (2:08.0).
Race 7: 2-year old Colts and Geldings — Governor Victory, Ryan Holten, Michael Swatzel (2:25.1).
Race 8: 2-year old Fillies — Fine Feelin, Charlie Schoonover, Al Childs (2:10.0).
Race 9: Free-For-All — Ritz Tracker, David Myers, Doris Crandell (2:10.0).