George Sholty was from a Logansport, Indiana harness racing family. He won his first harness race with George Jr. at Frankfort, Indiana in 1951. Sholty raced predominantly on the East Coast through the late 1950s and early 1960s. He was one of the dominant reinsmen of that era, winning numerous driving titles at Yonkers Raceway and Roosevelt Raceway in New York.
George Sholty racked up 2,934 driving career wins and earned over $20 million in purse money. One of his most prestigious accomplishments was winning two legs of the 1966 Pacing Triple Crown (Little Brown Jug and Messenger Stake) with Romeo Hanover. (Romeo Hanover won the Cane Pace with Wm Meyer driving.) Sholty won dozens of classic races, including the 1979 Hambletonian with Legend Hanover and the 1979 Meadowlands Pace with Sonsam. He also trained and piloted Gentle Stroke to a heat win in the 1984 Hambletonian, and won the 1985 $1 million Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands with Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year, Express Ride. Sholty trained and drove two Breeders Crown winners, Conifer in 1984 and Armbro Fling in 1987. The Sholty-trained and John Campbell-driven Express Ride captured a 1985 Breeders Crown victory. Sholty also trained and drove Anniecrombie. Considered in his time a master tactician, Sholty drove his last race in 1998. He was sixty-six.
George Sholty's success as a conditioner of champion Standardbreds equaled or surpassed his talent as a driver. He trained Fake Left to a win in the 1992 Little Brown Jug. It was Sholty's second Little Brown Jug win and an upset victory that spoiled the bid of favorite Western Hanover for the Triple Crown. Other great racehorses trained by Sholty include Coffee Break, Armbro Hilary, Scott S. Hanover, Armbro Iliad, Nevele Olympian, Calm Down, Florida Pro, Passing Glance, Ideal Society, Raven Hanover, and Rivaltime, who was partially owned by basketball star Wilt Chamberlain.
Driver-trainer George Sholty was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1985. He passed away in Lexington, Kentucky on December 14, 2000.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 2000 book, The 2000 Immortals