Respected trainer Mike Hushion has reached the end of his career following two races this past weekend in the New York Racing Association (NYRA) circuit. The 69-year-old Hushion announced his plans to step away from training last September.
“I think like anybody my age, I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” said Hushion. “My owners have all been wonderful and this is the right time for it, that’s all. (The runners) keep us busy. It gives us a little something to do, but the winding down has gone pretty smoothly.”
“I’ve been with him for 25 years, so that pretty much says it all,” said long-time client Barry K. Schwartz said. “We’ve had a great relationship. He’s a terrific guy and a wonderful trainer. It’s sad to come to an end but I’m very happy for him. It’d be nice for him to win with one of them but, regardless, he’s done such a great job with so many horses over the years. We’ve had some amazing times together, a lot of highs.”
Hushion battled and beat leukemia in 2015 and plans to spend the early part of his retirement with this three adult children — sons Ryan and Quinn, and daughter Casey — as well his eight grandchildren. There’s a ninth grandchild on the way, so Hushion should be plenty busy with family time.
The 69-year-old trainer began his career in the mid-70s, with his first winner coming in 1975 — Tugboat Ryan. Since that initial victory, Hushion has gone on to train 1,426 winners and earned over $52 million in purses.
“With my past experience, the one thing I was sure that I didn’t want to do is go from here to basically the hospital,” said Hushion. “I wanted to take some time and enjoy everything that’s supposed to be in between.
“As soon as I made the phone calls to my owners, there’s never been a doubt in my mind, and that’s a good sign. My horses will be getting good care where they go, and I’ll move on and see what happens. Spend a little time out in the big world. We’ll see what comes along, but I have some ideas. No paying jobs, though.”