Interview with Oscar Dishman, Jr., September 16th, 1986

Accession Number:
1986OH246 KH 373
Oscar Dishman, Jr.
Emily Parker
Interview Date: 
Tuesday, September 16th, 1986

Mr. Dishman began his career in the thoroughbred horse industry as an exercise boy and groom at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky. He recalls moonlighting as a barber at River Downs and his decision, in 1960, to become a trainer. The discrimination he encountered within the industry is recounted by Mr. Dishman, as is his employment by Dr. Archie Donaldson as a trainer. He remembers the racing circuits he travelled and the advantage he had when purchasing race horses. Training the winning horses for the 1973 Michigan Mile, Ohio Derby, Hawthorne Stakes, and the Widener Handicap (1977-1978) are among the highlights of his career for which he was awarded the Black Achievement Award in Lexington. Mr. Dishman talks of Wallace Howard's research on African American jockeys and the lack of other African American trainers within the industry.
Growing up in New Zion, Kentucky, Mr. Dishman reminisces about his childhood, his parents' and grandparents' educational backgrounds and interests, and the croquet tournaments in New Zion during the 1920s and 1930s. He attended a two room school in New Zion, and later a radio school at Dunbar High School in 1942. He talks about his children's education, employment and achievements, and the importance of the Bluegrass Depot and IBM to African Americans in Lexington.


Interview Restricted: 
No Restrictions