Richard "Dick” Stillings, who has driven 5,751 career winners with more than $41.7 million in purse earnings, is 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.
Stillings was inducted into the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame in 2013.
Stillings, a native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, drove or trained some of the best Grand Circuit horses in the 1980s -- Barberry Spur p,3,T1:50.2 ($1,634,017), Jaguar Spur p,4,T1:49.2 ($1,806,473), Kentucky Spur p,3,1:52 ($1,341,340), Pegasus Spur 1:54 ($1,296,683), Esquire Spur 1:56f ($336,250) and Gunslinger Spur 1:58f ($317,562).
Stillings began his career as a groom for Hall of Fame trainer Dick Buxton. After a three-year stint in the U. S. Army, he took jobs with Jimmy Cruise Sr. and Howard Beissinger.
In 1968, Stillings moved to The Meadows in western Pennsylvania and soon established himself as a top trainer-driver. Stillings and his brother Charles "Buddy” soon joined up with owner Roy Davis and formed a tremendous partnership, sending out a string of successful horses, all with the "Spur” surname to honor the Tottenham Hotspur soccer club.
Team "Spur” teamed up to win back-to-back Little Brown Jug titles in 1986 and 1987 with Barberry Spur and Jaguar Spur. They captured a pair of Breeders Crown finals with Esquire Spur (3CT in 1989) and Kentucky Spur (2CP in 1988).
Stillings, 69, remains an active trainer/driver. In 2013, he sat behind 1,215 starters and collected 108 wins.
Stillings will be honored at the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association banquet in Columbus on Sunday, Jan. 26. (Ohio USHWA)