How do you express how truly important harness racing is to your life for you and your fiancee? Why not get married at the race track!
“Dave and I both share a love of horses and harness racing. His family was large into it as well so it was a natural fit” Debbie Haskins, a groom at the time, says about her wedding back in 2004. She reached out to Western Fair Raceway about the idea and they were immediately on board for the memorable, exciting wedding, even offering a 2 seated sulky in the color of her choice and a stall in the paddock for their horse before the ceremony.
Little accents like a handmade flowered horse shoe on their horse Maggie, a friend acting as their horseman groom and decorations in her race colors of white and yellow at the track and upstairs restaurant made it feel truly personal for her and Dave, a licensed trainer.
Though it looked like it would continue pouring rain all day, twenty minutes before the ceremony between races the sky cleared up and the wedding was on. Debbie and her husband-to-be rode out onto the track and married in the winner’s circle, followed by a victory lap of the track of course.
No longer active within the race circuit due to injuries, they’re both huge supporters and fans to the core. In honor of their love and love of racing, Western Fair even named the 4th race for them on their anniversary this year. “Every year since we have had our anniversary upstairs at the top of the fair to celebrate and remember where we started out,” says Debbie.
This interview is part of our new weekly features of faces in the sport, from fans to owners, trainers to grooms.