Prairie Meadows Honoring Horse Trainer - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Prairie Meadows Honoring Horse Trainer

 By: Jason Rantala


When someone wins big on the track, most people remember the horse. But behind every good horse is a good trainer.

One great trainer here in Iowa will be honored this weekend. 

Veteran Thoroughbred trainer Kelly Von Hemel is among five who will enter the Prairie Meadows Hall of Fame on Friday. 

Kelly has more than one-thousand career wins, with close to half coming at Prairie Meadows.

"It's always a great honor, any time you're in the Hall of Fame. It just shows that we've had a good career here," said Von Hemel.

Kelly has quite the extensive resume. In 2007, his horse Miss Macy Sue placed third in the Philly and Mare Spring at the Breeders Cup. That same year, he placed 65th overall for earnings.

Kelly's one-thousandth win even came right here at Prairie Meadows.

Training has always been in his family. Kelly's father and brother also train.

In fact, the two have also been recognized. Kelly's dad is in the Nebraska Hall of Fame and his brother is in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

"This is the only thing I've ever wanted to do."

Right now, Kelly is training more than 30 horses.

He decides their routine, feeding, their schedule and what races they'll run in.

Kelly says it's about paying attention to detail and making sure your horses are healthy.

"Working with the horses all this long time, they can tell you what's going on and you just try and listen to them and try and do what's right for them."

Right now, there are 35 members of the Prairie Meadows Hall of Fame. Kelly's horse Miss Macy Sue is one of Friday's inductees.

He says her induction will make his even more special.



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