Living Inductees by Name

  • Bronkhorst, Elmer

    1909 - 1996 Inducted 1993 Elmer Bronkhorst was born on February 6, 1909. His father raised and sold draft horses, so Elmer learned early in life how to break a horse gently to its owner's demands. When he quit farming in 1951, he raised all kinds of livestock for a few years, but in 1956 he returned to his first love, horses. At this time Elmer also raised and sold horses to Amish farmers looking…

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  • Bronkhorst, Orval

    Inducted 2019 Orval Bronkhorst’s history in Wisconsin harness dates back more than sixty years.  As a teenager in the late ‘50’s he helped his father train horses at the old Dodge County Fairgrounds in Beaver Dam, WI.  Orv’s father, Elmer Bronkhorst, was a livestock dealer as well as a horseman.  Orval recalls how he would use his quarter horse to prompt his dad’s horses at the end of a work mile from the quarter pole…

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  • Davis, Marvin

    Inducted 2005 Marv Davis has been a valued Wisconsin owner/trainer/driver for many years. He began in the business in the early 1960’s by investing in a couple of horses. Marv took great pride in breeding his own horses. He began with his first horse, Gladah’s Pride, who produced Scream N Nena, a Wisconsin Harness Racing Hall of Fame inductee. Scream N Nena was injured early in her racing career, but she proved to be Marv’s…

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  • Epp, Bud

    Inducted 2007 [vimeo 146001616 w=500 h=281] About fifty years ago Bud started working with harness horses in Rice Lake. He has been an owner, trainer, driver and advisor to anyone that needs or wants his help. During this time he has had “hundreds” of winners. His first horse was named Monte Ota, which brings back many memories as well as the rest: Whiz By, Little Joker, John Allen, Bret’s Blaze, Dorset, Little Alice, Billy Brooks,…

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  • Frinzi, Dominic

    Inducted 1998 Dominic Frinzi has been associated with the racing industry for decades and has been very active on the state and national scene. As President of Harness Horse International (HHI), he has campaigned hard not only for the expansion but the protection of harness racing in North America. HHI represents over 35,000 breeders, owners and trainers in the United States and Canada. HHI has enabled the horsemen to get a larger share of the …

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  • Garrels, Jay

    Inducted 2019 Between eighth grade and his freshmen year at Harvard High School, Jay Garrels went to work for horsemen Randy Jacobs, baling hay and helping with other farm work.  The following year, Jay’s career in harness racing officially began; he started working with the horses at Jacob’s farm south of Harvard, IL.  Jay’s first drive at a Wisconsin county fair was on Sunday, September 7, 1986.  Jay drove Rick’s Duane for his lifelong friend,…

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  • Gilbertson, Richard and Joanne

    Inducted 2008 Husband and wife combination Richard and Joanne Gilbertson have been a true asset to Wisconsin harness racing for decades. Not only have they been avid fans their entire lives, but they have given their lives to making racing special for everyone else involved. For years one could see Richard up in the grandstand one minute and then hiding behind a telephone post so as not to spook the horses and yet get some…

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  • Kline, Roy

    Inducted 2003 Roy is one of the “good ole horsemen” of Wisconsin. He bought his first horse, Lucky Boy, in 1963 and never looked back. He raced everywhere from Quad City Downs to Maywood Park in Chicago to Raceway Park in Toledo. Roy has trained horses for many different owners over the years and trained horses into the winners circle thirty-two times. As a driver, Roy’s red and white silks could be seen all over…

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  • Laird, James R.

    1940 - 1992 Inducted 1990 Jim Laird was originally from Ironwood, Michigan where he used to walk out hot horses for 25 cents and thought he was overpaid! Jim owned a horse since he was in the 7th grade. Jim was a WHHA director for 10 years and an eight term president and was instrumental in expanding the organization. Jim was named Horseman of the Year in 1983 by the WHHA and received a Special…

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  • Larson, Allyn “Bud”

    Inducted 1997 Like most harness racing fans, Bud got his baptism "hot walking" horses as a young boy. He spent a few summers traveling with the Friess Stable. He eventually got into the business as an owner with his first horse Dusty Dynamic. Many of the Larson horses were raised and trained in Rice Lake, WI. Melody Joy raced on the fair circuit and later produced the likes of Toot's Lady, M.J. Messenger and Chad's…

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  • Larson, Kathleen “Toots”

    Inducted 1997 There are many words that describe Kathleen Larson. Energetic, tireless, dedicated, devoted, compassionate, understanding, foresight, detail, frugal, courage, the list is endless, and Kathleen's leadership is unmatched. Kathleen's attention to detail caught the eye of various fair officials. Soon "Toots" was clerking fairs in the Midwest. A Canadian track near Thunder Bay needed someone to help out for a week or two. This short stay became a summer task as she was trained…

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  • Magee, Dave

    Inducted 2001 Dave Magee got his start in the business by training and racing on the Wisconsin fair circuit. Loaded with talent, "Davey" proceeded to the top of the driving ranks at Quad City Downs and ultimately conquered the Chicago circuit with driving titles at Maywood and Sportsman's Parks and Hawthorne. Dave has been one of the best in the country for decades. He has driven for over a million dollars every season since 1979-most…

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  • Magee, Dean

    Inducted 2016 Dean got his start here in Wisconsin working for the great Wisconsin Hall of Famers Hugh & Elwood Magee.  Dean worked hand in hand, especially with Hugh, learning the harness racing trade and developing his horsemanship skills.   These skills would not only be used as a trainer, but also as a driver.   While being a groom and trainer apprentice, he received his driver’s license and had his very first drive here in the…

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  • Magee, Elwood

    Inducted 1995 Elwood Magee was born May 26, 1922 in Gillette, Wisconsin. He started training horses in Angelica, Wisconsi in 1945. In 1947 he moved the stable to the Outagamie County Fairgrounds in Seymour and during the 50's and 60's he trained a public stable at the Shawano County Fairgrounds. From 1970 on he trained at the farm track in Shawano. Elwood did most of his training on the farm track and would make the…

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  • Magee, Gary and Donna

    Inducted 2013 The husband and wife team of Gary and Donna Magee will be inducted into the Living Category of the Wisconsin Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Both have been Wisconsin racing’s biggest ambassadors spanning several decades; Gary and Donna always take the time to educate fans despite their busy racing schedules. This duo has had great success on the Wisconsin circuit — especially with trotters. Together they have had three WHHA Trotters of the…

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  • Marquis, Jeanne

    Inducted 2018 “The Sulky Queen of Waunakee” . That was the headline of a Wisconsin State Journal story written by Pete Walch and published on April 29, 1962. It was a story about a young lady who was at the  time way the youngest licensed female harness driver in the United States.  It was also a story of a young lady who had a passion for horses and harness racing. Jeanne's introduction to horses, harness…

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  • Schroeder, Susan Adams

    Inducted 2012 Horse(wo)manship Susan has devoted her entire lifetime to harness racing. She began training horses with her father as a teenager and has been involved ever since. In the 1970’s, she began a public training stable with her husband, Rick Schroeder whose named they trained under until 2004 when Susan obtained her own trainer’s license. Throughout the years Susan has raced at almost every pari-mutual track in the Midwest as well as many county…

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  • Schuette, Ward

    1920 - 1990 Inducted 1989 Ward Schuette was a longtime member of WHHA and served many terms as a board member and president. Ward was a USTA Director for 13 years and served on numerous committees within the USTA. He initiated many changes most notably with t he drivers committee. Ward was an a ctive driver and enjoyed great success in 1953 when his pacer Lesota's Counsel won 11 of 16 starts and was never…

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  • Searle, Robert

    1902 - 1979 Inducted 1994 Robert "Bob" Searle was born in Plymouth, Wisconsin on December 12, 1902. Harness racing came naturally to Bob, as his father was a highly regarded trainer/driver in Wisconsin. Bob drove in his first race at the age of 15 and operated public and private stables through the early 60s, when he turned over the "reins" to his sons, Robert and John.  The Chicago tracks were the site of Searle's greatest…

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  • Shepherd, Bernard

    Inducted 1994 Bernard "Honest Shep" Shepherd was born in Sabin, Wisconsin in 1910, and became actively involved with harness racing in 1940. Shep drove competitively through 1975 and had won the "old timers" races at Aurora Downs in 1973 & 1974. During his career Shep raced at the fairs and the pari-mutual meets. Shep trained and raced many horses over the years for scores of owners. When Shep wasn't racing he hauled horses to the…

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  • Weaver, O.L. “Buck”

    Inducted 2004 If any history buff needed some piece of harness racing trivia, they need to look no further than O.L. Weaver because he'll know it all. "Buck" began his long career in harness racing in 1955 and has since become a name that everyone recognizes He began working summers for Don Busse as a groom, second trainer and driver. He has raced great horses such as King's Day and Roxburgh Bob as well as…

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  • Woodbridge, George “Woody”

    Inducted 2018 When George “Woody” Woodbridge was 8 years old he tagged along with his father to his Dad’s good friend, who had Standardbreds. A young Woody, “volunteered” to clean stalls, over time Woody graduated to jogging a couple and even jogged horses in a sleigh in the Michigan UP winters. In 1959 Woody traveled to the UP State Fair and met Bob Searle who asked George to work for him when school got out.…

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  • Yohn, Robert and Carol

    Inducted 2014 When a person thinks about harness racing in the Badger State, there is no doubt that the indelible mark Robert and Carol Yohn have left on the sport come to mind. Bob began his career in harness racing at the age of sixteen on the family farm in Fountain Prairie Township with his father, Richard. His immediate love for the sport and the horses made it obvious that this industry would become Bob's…

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