MOUNT VERNON — Described as a quiet and kind individual, Ammon Hershberger lets his actions speak louder than his words when he is on the racetrack with his beloved horses.
The Mount Vernon native has been involved with horses for a majority of his life. As one of the area’s most successful harness racing drivers and trainers, and he has enjoyed working with them on a daily basis.
“I have been involved with horses since I was a kid,” Hershberger said. “I went from living on a farm to buying a few race horses. I am really lucky because my first horse was a winner. I want to keep carrying this (working with horses) in my life. Working with horses has always been a passion of mine. I am happy I can make a living out of this.”
Currently, Hershberger, who was born in Holmes County, is training 18 horses in his barn at the Knox County Fairgrounds. The 18 total horses includes his own and other individuals’ horses.
“When I start them out, I let the horse do some line driving and eventually, I hook them to the cart,” Hershberger said. “I want to keep the horse as comfortable as possible. I will run them anywhere from one mile to two miles. I try to work them up so they get stronger each day.”
Hershberger said he gives each horse two training sessions a week. This allows him time to get them used to racing. The whole initial training process lasts about six months.
“After more time has passed, we will know what kind of horse we have,” said Hershberger. “There is a lot that goes into it.”
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