OBITUARY

Grant E Riegle

June 3, 1928October 17, 2011

Grant E. “Gene” Riegle , 83, Hall of Fame driver/trainer passed away Monday, October 17, 2011 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Gene was born on June 3, 1928 in Greenville, Ohio, long a hotbed of harness racing activity. His father, Roy Riegle was an accomplished horseman and the younger Riegle got his start by taking on the most menial of chores around his father’s barn. While the budding horseman was still in his early teens, Gene’s father and mother (Delilah) were killed in an automobile accident. Gene is survived by his wife Martha (Arnett) Riegle, his four children and spouses Alan & Linda Riegle of Greenville, Linda & Tracy Zumbrum of Greenville, Bruce & Diana Riegle of Washington, PA. & Tami & Richard Huff of Greenville. Grandchildren, Cary Riegle of Greenville, Nikki Riegle of Beavercreek, Ohio, Chris & Heather Bright of Dayton, Ohio, Laura & Sean Benson of Chandler, Arizonia, Chad & Ann Claire of Lexington, Kentucky, Taylor Riegle of Washington, PA., Travis Huff of Los Angeles, California, Trent & Lori Huff of Powell, Ohio. Few horsemen have had careers as lengthy and as productive as Gene Riegle. The Ohio-born driver-trainer worked for decades at the top levels of the sport, producing many champion pacers and trotters. He 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. Over the years, Gene trained such stars as the 1973 Kentucky Futurity winner Arnie Almahurst, the 1972 Adios winner Jay Time, the 1990 freshman pacing champion Artsplace, the 1991 & 1992 freshman and sophomore pacing champion Western Hanover, the 1981 & 1982 freshman and sophomore filly pacing champion Three Diamonds, and other stars such as Leah Almahurst, Troublemaker, and Life Sign. In 1951, at age 17 Gene 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 “big” 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. Among the numerous champions that Gene conditioned for Brittany Farms were two Hall of Fame racehorses that would later become legendary sires, Artsplace and Western Hanover. On the female side, World Champions Three Diamonds, Leah Almahurst and now American Jewel were directly or indirectly influenced by Gene. He also trained Western Ideal and Life Sign. Life Sign won what was perhaps the most exciting Little Brown Jug of all time, and gave this Ohio-born trainer one of his greatest thrills. There will be a private burial at the convenience of the family. Gene’s family will receive friends on Sunday, October 23, 2011 from 2 – 5 P.M. and again on Monday, October 24, 2011 from 4 – 8 P.M. at the Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville. Memorial Contributions may be given to the American Heart Association or The Darke County Harness Horseman’s Association.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, October 23, 2011
  • Visitation Monday, October 24, 2011
REMEMBERING

Grant E Riegle

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Jim SHASTEEN

May 19, 2012

My deepest belated sympathy to the Riegle family upon the passing of a great horseman and friend. I worked for Gene and Alan and Bruce from 1970--1972...groomed Sly Heel, My Old Flame, and briefly Bye Bye Dannibyrd for the stable. The BEST folks I've been associated with in harness racing and my life. God Bless the Riegle family. Jim Shasteen

Jeff Brinley

October 28, 2011

I was saddened to read about Gene's passing on the Daily Advocate's website. The enjoyment that Gene has given thousands of harness racing fans over the years as a driver and trainer will be sorely missed. Harness racing has truly lost one of the greats. May God bless and comfort the entire Riegle family during this time of loss.

jack remy

October 26, 2011

Sorry to hear about Gene he was a great horseman,and a great mentor ,he will be missed by everyone but never foregotten.


Jack Remy

Ron Holsopple

October 25, 2011

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

GENE RIEGLE

October 24, 2011

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

October 22, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I had alot of love and respect for Mr. Riegle. May he rest in peace. Former employee/caregiver to Division Street and many others. Bob Holman/ Bob-O

Norm McClurg

October 22, 2011

Martha, Alan & Bruce ... You have my deepest sympathy. Gene has been my friend since way back in the Jackson, Michigan years, and I will miss him and his wonderful disposition. I don't travel anymore, or you would see me at the Funeral Home. You are in my prayers. God Bless, Norm McClurg (Toledo Red)

Scott Richards

October 22, 2011

To Martha & Family,
So sorry to hear about Genes passing. It has been my honor to know him all these years. Your family has been such a blessing to us.

October 21, 2011

Martha and Family - I've known Gene most of my life... we grew up together as kids and working around with the horses in our younger days. I spent most of my life in the military and upon my retirement, I eventually moved back to Greenville and went to work with Gene with the horses. He was truly a great man, a genuine horseman, and an outstanding teacher. I will carry the memories he and I made for the rest of my life as a tribute to him. All of his family have our deepest sympathy - may you find peace in the memories you have of the many years you spent together. Paul and Mary Jolley

American Heart Association

October 21, 2011

May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.