Lyndonville Native, Renowned Horse Trainer Gaskin Inducted to HOF

Ernie Gaskin.

He received an appointment to the Hambletonian Society Board of Directors this past April.

Now, former Lyndonville resident, Ernest “Ernie” Gaskin has received further acclaim as he was recently inducted into the Indiana Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

The induction took place Oct. 24, 2021 at the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. During induction, Gaskin was noted as an initial member of the Standardbred Breed Development committee, bringing a wealth of knowledge on racing.

Rick Moore, vice president and general manager of racing at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, pointed out Gaskin’s endless hours working to establish a breeding and racing program in the state, as well as his work on related projects such as lobbying for casino gaming at racetracks, enhancing the breed development funding, and providing positive solutions to better the sport. Moore also noted Gaskin’s success as a trainer in the state.

Gaskin, now a resident of Anderson, Ind., rose to prominence as an assistant trainer for the W.R. Haughton Stable, whose dominant presence in the early years of the Breeders Crown helped make the series a classic with champions like Nihilator, Caressable, Naughty But Nice and Peace Corps.

The Gaskins arrived in Indiana in the early 1990s. He now owns, trains, breeds and races standardbreds, as well as stands stallions at his Crimson Lane Farm. He is a two-time leading trainer at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, “and was the track’s all-time leading trainer in wins for more than a decade,” read his HOF testimonial. “He has won over 750 career races as a trainer, garnering more than $8 million in purse earnings.”

Gaskin, 67, a 1973 Lyndon Institute grad where he was a state champion in shot put and high jump, told the Caledonian-Record in April, at the time of his Hambletonian appointment, that horse racing and training got into his blood as a 20-year-old at the Lyndonville Fairgrounds. He lived in Lyndonville all his life until the late 1970s, when he was exposed to standardbred horses through his best friend, Steve Birchard, whose father raced at Saratoga (N.Y.) Speedway.

Gaskin was welcomed to the stage by a standing ovation on Oct. 24.

“I have to thank my partner, my wife, Darla,” he said. “She has worked so hard right along with me to make racing a success in Indiana. One thing I learned from Bill Haughton is ‘surround yourself with good people’ and wow, what a great group of people we have here in Indiana. We have come a long way and there are so many people who helped. I’m so very proud of where we are now and what we have all accomplished.”

A portrait of Gaskin was presented to him. It was painted by artist, Melinda Spear-Huff of Sheridan, Ind. and will join the other 17 portraits on IHRA Hall of Fame display on the mezzanine at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

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