Donald “Don” McKirgan, one of the top trainers in the state of Ohio, has been elected as the newest member of the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He was elected by a vote of the Ohio chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
Known as “Ohio’s Trotmaster,” McKirgan has enjoyed success with both gaits, including the 2015 Ohio Horse of the Year, Like Old Times and is credited with 3,640 career driving wins.
McKirgan, 77, came to Northfield Park when it opened in 1957 and remains stabled there today. He was the leading driver at the Cleveland oval in 1977 and 1981 and led all Northfield drivers in the Universal Drivers Rating in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1985. He was elected to the Northfield Park Wall of Fame in 1992.
McKirgan has won at least one race at Northfield Park every year before being sidelined for the entire 2004 season.
In November 2003, McKirgan suffered what would have been a career ending illness for most people. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré disease, an inflammatory disorder that paralyzed McKirgan for nearly half a year.
McKirgan will be honored at the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association banquet in Worthington, Ohio, on Saturday, January 13.