Thursday, November 30, 2017

Butterflies Junior Garden Club Decorate Tree in Honor of Gene Riegle

The Butterflies Junior Garden Club was asked to make a selection from the Pioneer Room at the Garst Museum and develop a theme to decorate a tree for the Holidays. The club selected Greenville native Grant E. "Gene" Riegle and Gene Riegle Horse Stables.

Gene was an outstanding American harness racing driver and trainer. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1992. Riegle started his harness racing career in 1950 shaded by his father Roy Riegle, driver and trainer.

At the 1972 Little Brown Jug, Riegle drove Jay Time who was the odds on favorite before the race. Jay Time, who finished in a dead heat with Strike Out one month earlier in the Adios Pace, was scratched after the first heat due to a high temperature.

In 1990, Riegle along with Bruce Nicells, was awarded the Glen Garnsey Trophy as United States Trainers of the Year.

He trained 1993 Little Brown Jug winner, Life Sign.

Riegle passed at his Greenville home on October 17, 2011.

Butterflies Junior Garden Club members choice the Riegle colors of red and chartreuse adding horse ornaments, ribbon to represent the race track, plumed top to represent a horse tail and the actual silk cloth tree skirt donated by Gene's brother Jim Riegle. A portrait of Riegle is on display next to the tree, also loaned by his brother. Decorating were Saige Fellers, Mariana Ramos, Brianna Fellers and Callee Moore.

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