Indiana Grand's 18th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing will begin April 14, but for the first time in the history of the track, one person will be noticeably missing. Jon Schuster, longtime vice president and general manager, passed away in December 2019, and Indiana Grand will hold several tributes to him when racing resumes.
“Jon was such an integral part of the progress of Indiana Grand dating back to the very first season,” said Mike Rich, senior vice president and general manager. “He was very dedicated to Indiana Grand and extremely respected in the horse racing industry. We want to ensure his legacy and work continues on for many years by establishing several new initiatives in his honor connected to the business he loved so much and worked so tirelessly to promote.”
Opening day’s activities will begin with a moment of silence for Schuster prior to the playing of the National Anthem. The first race of the meet will be named the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial Mile. Family, friends, team members, and racing participants will gather in the winner’s circle following the race for a photo and dedicated tribute in his honor.
Opening weekend festivities are set for Saturday, April 25 with special announcements regarding several tributes for Schuster beginning in 2020. Schuster, a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program, will have an annual $2,500 scholarship named in his honor funded by Indiana Grand. The track will also formally announce a name change to the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial for one of the stakes races held each year on Indiana Derby Night.
In addition, Duralock, the manufacturer of new fencing being installed around the paddock renovation, will dedicate a plaque in his honor to be installed along the new outside barrier of the paddock. The paddock upgrades and renovations were one of the final plans put in motion by Schuster before his passing.
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