The Indiana Horse Racing Association (IHRA) has announced the newest class of inductees into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Ernie Gaskin, longtime Standardbred owner, trainer, and breeder, and Dr. James Carmichael (posthumously), longtime advocate, owner, and breeder in Quarter Horse racing, have been selected for the prestigious honor.
Gaskin came to the state of Indiana in the early 1990s and worked as the head trainer for Viking Meadows Farm in Carmel, Ind. He and his wife, Darla, relocated to Anderson at the start of pari-mutuel racing to create and operate Crimson Lane Farm, complete with a training track, two training barns, a breeding operation and multiple outdoor paddock space.
Gaskin was one of the initial members appointed to the Indiana Standardbred Breed Development committee. The Vermont native has worked tirelessly to assist with projects in horse racing, including lobbying for casino gaming at racetracks, enhanced breed development funding, and overall positive solutions impacting horse racing. Gaskin was recently added to the prestigious Hambletonian Society Board of Directors.
Gaskin is a two-time leading trainer at Harrah’s Hoosier Park (1997 and 1998) and was the track’s all-time leading trainer in wins for more than a decade. He has conditioned four Indiana Sires Stakes champions (Brooklets Hotshot, Hoosier Nat, Sapphire Martini, Jammin Joshua) with Jammin Joshua earning more than $1 million and now standing as a stallion in the state of Indiana.
Joining Gaskin as an inductee is Dr. James Carmichael of Sullivan, Ind., who is being inducted posthumously. Dr. Carmichael, a longtime practicing veterinarian in Sullivan County, joined his father, Eugene, in creating Carmichael Stock Farm, a Quarter Horse breeding operation in the western part of the state. They raced across the country before Quarter Horse pari-mutuel racing came to Indiana in 1997.
In the 1970’s, the Carmichaels purchased Jaguar Rocket to add to their breeding and racing operation in the Hoosier State. The California-bred grey stallion was a stakes winner in the late 1960’s, winning 10 of 40 starts before being offered for sale by a Hollywood director. His impact on the state of Indiana has endured the past three decades. Jaguar Rocket is an inductee into the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Hall of Fame and has a stakes race named in his honor at Indiana Grand.
In addition to breeding and racing Quarter Horses, Dr. Carmichael also served on the board of QHRAI for more than a decade, an organization he stayed active in until his death in 2009. The Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine graduate also served on the Thoroughbred Breed Development Committee where he was elected chairman. His wife, Jan, still resides on the family farm and maintains several horses on the property.
Both Gaskin and Dr. Carmichael will be inducted into the IHRA Hall of Fame during a special ceremony Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. Portraits of the inductees will be added to the display on the mezzanine level at Indiana Grand following the ceremony. Gaskin and Dr. Carmichael join a list of 17 previous inductees into the IHRA Hall of Fame.
The Indiana Horse Racing Association, Inc. (IHRA), an Indiana Not-For-Profit Corporation, was founded in 2014 for the following purposes: 1) Establishing and maintaining the Indiana Horse Racing Hall of Fame to recognize leaders in the Indiana horse racing industry; 2) Preserving the history, heritage and traditions of the sport; and 3) Educating the public about the rich and colorful history of horse racing in Indiana and its many contributions to Indiana agriculture and Indiana’s economy. The organization consists of six board members representing all three racing breeds in the state of Indiana.
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