Relay event named to honor Horn


WAYNESFIELD —  Waynesfield-Goshen High School has been hosting the W-G Relay event since they opened the new track in 2005. For all those years, the invitational did not have a name, other than the W-G Tiger Relays.

After a long time coming, the W-G Relays was officially named the Joe Rider Horn Tiger Relays. 

This meet named after a staple in the Waynesfield community, Joe Rider Horn. 

Standing tall in his tan hat and sunglasses, wearing his Waynesfield-Goshen track suit, Joe Horn raised the starting pistol to begin the relays in the meet named in his honor.

“Three or four weeks ago, coach (Jim) Epperly said ‘we’re going to name the relays for you’ and I said that the person that it should really be named for is my father,” Horn said. “He was a track guy. He could win six field events. He was a high-jumper, long-jumper, thrower.”

His father, Joe Ashley Horn, competed in high school track in the late 1920’s, and was an all-around athlete that started the Horn legacy.

Joe Ashley Horn went on to compete at Miami for track and field, and his coach there, George L. Rider, inspired Horn to name his son after him. 

Now, Joe Rider Horn, surrounded by family and W-G track icons, was officially starting a new tradition. 

Just feet from the start, Joe Rider Horn’s grandson, Gray Horn, stood and took pictures.

Gray Horn was a W-G great and went on to run track at Florida. He is now training in Ashland, Ohio to try and qualify for the USA Decathlon team. 

This is a really special day for him and our family, we’re talking about a guy who has dedicated his time and even his own money, and puts his heart and soul into the athletic program here in Waynesfield,” Gray Horn said of his grandfather. “This is much deserved, I’m really proud of him. He deserves this day. He deserves this meet.”

Gray Horn graduated from W-G in 2008, and at 23 years old, is looking to become one of the youngest decathletes on the US squad. But today, he said, was about the W-G program and his grandfather.

“This meet has a lot of history, I’m glad that my Grandpa has the honor to have it named after him,” Gray Horn said.

Joe Rider Horn began coaching at Waynesfield-Goshen in 1979, and continued through the 1987 season. He then went to coach at Benjamin Logan from 1988 up until the 2005 season. That 2005 season, Joe Rider Horn returned in the Tiger Blue and Gold, where he has been for eight years now since his return. 

“I’ve been really blessed with health, and I look forward to everyday,” Joe Rider Horn said. “We run the weight room 6:30-7:30 every morning. Just being with the program really keeps me going.”

Joe Rider Horn remembers fondly the days of the old track, and the athletes he coached here in the 1980’s. Now, he’s seeing the children of some of those athletes running on the track behind Waynesfield-Goshen High School.

“This is really exciting,” Joe Rider Horn said. “We go back to the 5-lane cinder track that we’d mark in the morning and it would rain before the meet. Now we’ve got the lights, we’ve built the 8-lane track. We’ve got the double high jump pits, double long jump lanes. The throws area, the vault. The community is really behind track and field, that’s really exciting.”