Day At The Track

Gene Riegle Memorial debuts at County Fair

03:02 AM 30 Jul 2012 NZST
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Harness Racing will return to Greenville, Ohio on Friday night, Aug. 17 for the Great Darke County Fair's annual week-long race meet. Racing will also take place on Saturday, Aug. 18, both afternoon and night, on Thursday, Aug. 23 and Friday, Aug. 24 also both afternoon and night. Afternoon post times will be at 1 p.m. with evening post times at 7 p.m., eastern.

Friday and Saturday night will feature the Ohio Colt Racing Association stakes and the Terry Thomas Memorial Signature Series Trot. Saturday night will feature the Rhys Bowman Memorial Signature Series Pace.

The following Thursday and Friday night sessions will feature the Dr. H.M. Parshall Memorial Futurity, and all the sessions will host several overnight events for both trotters and pacers.

Closing night will feature the first edition of the Gene Riegle Memorial Open pace. The event is open to the world, with no more than eight starters; the top eight 2012 money-earners entered will have preference and no trainer's entries will be permitted. The event is carded as one dash for a purse of $10,000.

The week-long racing meet is dedicated to the memory of Darke County native and Harness Racing Hall of Famer Gene Riegle. The celebration will include a pictorial essay in the grandstand on race days, which will give all the fans and friends a look back at the life and accomplishments of Gene Riegle's harness racing past.

Equine artist Ann Lufkin has been commissioned by the Darke County Harness Horsemen's Association to do a painting of Gene and his champion, Arts Place, which will also be on display. The painting will be given to the Riegle family in a trackside presentation on closing night. The family then will present the painting to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in a trackside presentation on Little Brown Jug Day in Delaware, Ohio.

Closing night at Greenville will feature a giveaway -- to the first 1,000 fans buying a racing program -- a Gene Riegle bobblehead figurine.

Nightly, there will be t-shirt giveaways to the fans in the stands and the fans that line the track by the Darke County Harness Horsemen's Association.

Several amateur driving races have been carded and the race office is looking for both trotters and pacers to be used for these events. Anyone with a horse for these events should contact Tim Harless at (937) 564-3393.

The Great Darke County Fair wishes to thank all of the sponsors and the warm outpouring of contributions to make this year's events possible.

by Tim Harless, race manager, the Darke County (Ohio) Fair

Courtesy of the US Trotting Association's Web Newsroom

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