Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Darke County Harness Horsemen Donate to Gene Riegle Memorial Race Purse

The Darke County Harness Horsemen's Association recently donated $500.00 to the Gene Riegle Memorial Race purse. The Gene Riegle Memorial Race is held during the harness races at the Great Darke County Fair in August.

Riegle was a successful harness racing driver and trainer from Greenville, OH. In 1951, Gene at 17 years of age won the first start of his career with Victory Dale at the Darke County Fair in Greenville, in a race in which he beat Hall of Fame horseman Sanders Russell. His first "successful" horse was Red Sails, in 1952, and he burst fully onto the national scene when he drove the trotter Mr Saunders to second and third place finishes in the 1958 Hambletonian.

He was at the top levels of harness racing, producing many champion pacers and trotters. Riegle was elected to harness racing's Living Hall of Fame in 1991 and was inducted into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1987. He trained such stars as Arnie Almahurst, Jay Time, Artsplace, Western Hanover, Three Diamonds, Life Sign, among many others. Life Sign won what was perhaps the most exciting Little Brown Jug of all time.

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