Mary Birkhold

Florida Amateur Driving Club


I have been in the standardbred business since 1997 when I had the first broodmare delivered to my farm in Newberry, Florida. From there I got several more broodmares and raised many foals for sale and racing while I worked at the Gainesville Police Department. When I retired from there as the K-9 Sergeant I moved to Sarasota, Florida and bought another farm. I began training horses in Sarasota, FL in 2006 and driving them at county fairs in Ohio in 2008. I have driven horses at Upper Sandusky, Dayton, Greenville, Celina, Chillicothe, Eaton, Washington Courthouse, Hilliard, Richwood, Troy, Bucyrus, Lancaster, Lebanon Raceway, Scioto Downs, and Northfield Park in Ohio, Monticello Raceway in New York and Pompano Park in Florida. I enjoy fair racing as I was raised going to the fairs in Ohio and my Mother and Grandfather raced horses in Ohio when she was a child. got started driving horses as an extension of training them. I have always wanted to drive racehorses ever since I sat in my grandparents' box at The Great Darke County Fair in Greenville, Ohio and watched Mr. Gene Riegle race his horses. I remember how beautiful and fast they were and I wanted to do that too. Of course there were no women racing there then but I knew one day I would drive. It was just something I always wanted to do. Mr. Jay Sears and Mr. Russell Baldwin have helped me throughout my training career and helped me get my licenses . Their advice and that of so many other drivers has been invaluable to me and I will be forever grateful to all of them. I am a Veteran of the United States Army where I was a Military Police K-9 Handler and I see the FADC as a way to continue to give back to my Country at the community level. I drive horses because I like the competition and like to see the babies I train learn to race their best. I enjoy racing at many fair tracks because it gives me a chance to race against different drivers each week as well as the raceway drivers that come to the fairs. I particularly like the half mile tracks and county fair atmosphere.