Grove City, OH — The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association offered $12,500 in scholarships divided among five individuals this year. Parker Steck of Marengo, Ohio, was a recipient of a $2,500 scholarship.
She is the daughter of Ron and Kila Steck. She is a 2018 graduate of Highland High School and a sophomore at Ashland University majoring in Nursing.
“Nursing has always been what I wanted to do since I lost my older brother, Ryder, to a traumatic brain injury in 2014,” Steck shared.
Some of her hobbies besides horses include playing the sports she played in high school — volleyball, basketball and softball. These hobbies have also inspired her to go into nursing since going through knee surgery from a basketball injury and continuing into therapy in high school.
Steck is a third-generation horsewoman. Her grandparents on her mother’s side, John and Mardell Shultz, trained and raced horses. The farm where they trained is where her parents met. Steck and her siblings were raised around the barn and horses. Her father trains 30 head of horses at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.
Steck spends her summers working with the horses. In 2017, when she was responsible for six horses, she realized that working with horses is not only fun but a hard job. She owned her own horse that summer as well, a Dragon Again filly that she named Riding Out A Storm.
Steck plans to continue in the harness racing industry.
“My mom and dad have taught me so many things about horses,” shared Steck. “I have worked with my dad for many years in the summers and I have met some of the best people in the business in my opinion. I’m so grateful for this business. It has shaped me to be the person I am today and has allowed me to become successful. I am also grateful for all the people that helped me get here and thankful for my parents for raising me in the harness racing business.”
Steck shares her favorite things about harness racing.
“In all honesty, my favorite things about harness racing are the simple stuff, like going to the barn and just laughing and smiling with the horses. I love to put the horses’ wraps back on and do them up in general. I also love to watch the vets do their jobs on the horses, but my favorite thing is the bond you can make with horses.
“My favorite saying is ‘every horse deserves, at least once in their life, to be loved by a little girl.’ I think that is completely true. I love to just hang out with my horses at my dad’s barn and to watch them race. They completely have my heart in every lifetime.”