posted on 10/18/2011 10:59 am
Gene assisted Brittany Farms and its owner George Segal in evaluating and purchasing yearlings and then training them during their racing careers. Many of the great racehorses that helped lay the foundation for the success of Brittany Farms were among Gene’s trainees.
"Gene was a great horseman and had an uncanny talent for conformation," said Brittany Farms owner George Segal. "When combined with our pedigree knowledge we were able to purchase or breed some of the greatest horses in harness racing. He was a great trainer who was able to get horses to reach their full potential, and his election to Harness Racing's Hall of Fame in 1991 was a fully deserved honor. He loss will be felt through l all of harness racing."
Among the numerous champions that Gene conditioned for Brittany 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 his Ohio-born trainer one of his greatest thrills.
Brittany's Farm manager Art Zubrod said of Gene, “He made my job very easy, because every filly he bought for George, and later Brittany Farms, was an outstanding individual and they passed that on when they started having foals. The same can be said for the colts we purchased who would later become successful stallions.”
Everyone at The Red Mile extends their condolences to Gene's wife Martha and all the Riegle family.