Delk steps down following 15 years


By Gaylen Blosser - DarkeCountyMedia.com



The Great Darke County Fair is presented 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair award at Thursday night races.

The Great Darke County Fair is presented 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair award at Thursday night races.


Richard Delk makes a final pass through the Great Darke County Fair grandstand following the final horse races of the 2020 season.


Richard ‘Dick’ Delk oversees the 2020 Great Darke County Fair horse racing program for the final time as Speed Superintendent.


Gaylen Blosser | DarkeCountyMedia.com

GREENVILLE – After serving 15 consecutive years on the The Great Darke County Fair board of directors, Richard Delk chose not to run for a sixth term on the board.

“It’s been a good ride,” Delk said following the final night of 2020 racing. “I have had 15 years on the fair board – wouldn’t change it for anything.”

“There have been a few things along the way but when you try to do what we do – but I believe the fair is great and still do,” added Delk. “I just thought it was time for me to turn it over to somebody else.”

Delk is most known for his 15 years trackside as the Speed Superintendent for the Harness racing program at the local nationally know county fair race track, billed at the “Greatest County Fair on Earth.”

Under Delks leadership, The Great Darke County Fair was selected by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) as the 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair with the award presented during the 2018 Thursday night of racing in front of the grandstands.

Doug Ballinger, representing the USTA made the 2018 presentation to a large crowd of horse racing fans.

“Every year they choose a fair for the United States Trotting Association Blue Ribbon Fair,” said Ballinger. “In Ohio there are 88 fairs that race. Darke County just goes above and beyond. It’s just horse country here.”

Ballinger was in his 43rd year calling races at the Great Darke County Fair having started in 1975.

Nationally known track announcer Roger Huston was calling the 2018 Thursday night races at the Great Darke County Fair.

“Roger has called over 177,000 races,” noted Ballinger. “He called races at Greenville from 1960-1975 before going to the Meadows in Pennsylvania and has called all Little Brown Jugs for the past 51 years. He has worked at 140 different tracks.”

“I’m proud of the award,” said Darke County fair board member and Race Superintendent Richard Delk following the 2018 night of racing. “It’s not just our harness racing program. They were here last year and talked to us, they look at the whole fair which it’s great for the harness people, but to have it for the whole fair – I think that is really a great thing.”

Delk took time to reflect on his 15 years and longtime friend and Race Manager, Tim Harless.

“It says a lot for our county fair in general – all of it,” added Delk. “I’m one of those kinds of fair board members that – our fair is great because of everything we have, not just one thing. I’m very proud that we received the award.”

Delk took time to reflect on his 15 years and longtime friend and Race Manager, Tim Harless.

“Tim, my speed manager has made me look great,” Delk stated. “Everybody thinks that I know a lot about it but that’s really not true.”

“When I got elected 15 years ago I beat Larry Foureman and Larry ran the horse racing program for years,” noted Delk. “I said, man, I don’t know anything about them – I watch them and they said, ‘they’re yours.’”

“Tim was my boss where I worked so I go back and I said, ‘Tim, what am I going to do, I don’t know anything about this.’ Tim has been a horse guy all his life and Tim said, ‘I’ll take care of you and he has taken good care of me.”

“ We’ve been together doing this for 15 years,” Delk said. “He has brought the program a long way – I just hope whoever takes over can continue to keep it to be good races.”

Longtime friend, Tim Harless made several final departing remarks following the last night of 2020 racing.

“Dick is a good man – I just work for Dick,” said Harless. “We are absolutly going to miss Dick, he’ll still be around, this is our hometown fair, he’ll still be here.”

“Dick and I work this year around,” Harless concluded. “Normally we would start tonight following the last night of racing here at the fair and plan on next year – tonight we’ll enjoy this.”

The Great Darke County Fair is presented 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair award at Thursday night races.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2020/09/web1_GIMP-Fair-Award-18.jpgThe Great Darke County Fair is presented 2018 Blue Ribbon Fair award at Thursday night races.

Richard Delk makes a final pass through the Great Darke County Fair grandstand following the final horse races of the 2020 season.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2020/09/web1_IMG_2027.jpgRichard Delk makes a final pass through the Great Darke County Fair grandstand following the final horse races of the 2020 season.

Richard ‘Dick’ Delk oversees the 2020 Great Darke County Fair horse racing program for the final time as Speed Superintendent.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2020/09/web1_IMG_3624.jpgRichard ‘Dick’ Delk oversees the 2020 Great Darke County Fair horse racing program for the final time as Speed Superintendent. Gaylen Blosser | DarkeCountyMedia.com

By Gaylen Blosser

DarkeCountyMedia.com

Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at gblosser@aimmediamidwest.com or 937-569-0122

Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at gblosser@aimmediamidwest.com or 937-569-0122