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Obituary - Don Reinhart



It is with sadness we announce that, following a brief illness, master horse trainer, Donald W. Reinhart, Sr. of Grove City, Ohio, died on Saturday April 14, 2012. Born on April 9, 1922, one of Don’s goals was to "achieve 90 years” and this he accomplished - in the way that he most wanted, surrounded by his loving family and close friends.

Influenced by his father who was a blacksmith, Don’s interest and passion for horses began at a very early age and spanned a lifetime - training and riding horses well into his eighth decade. Don trained, showed, and judged American Saddlebreds all his life, producing and selling many champions during his career.

Among some of the notables he trained were: WC Belle Reve’s Renaissance Man (Donna Moore), Susie Sunshine (Mrs. Griffon), Radiant Decision and Really Mine (Don Harris), Happy Jack (Helen Crabtree), Happy Tu (Jim B. Robertson), Captain Tango and Stonewall Parfait (Art Simmons), RWC Enchanted Hour (Jean Davis), WC Bethany Belle (Chester Cauldwell), WC Meadow March (Townsend Industry), Commander’s Fair Lady (Ed Teater), Miss Albany (Cooks), RWC Deja Vue’s Delight, and WC Radiante.

For many years, Don Reinhart Stables was a fixture at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. During his career, he apprenticed with Frank Bradshaw and then went on to train at Joanna Lee Farms, Bellefontaine, Ohio, Countryside Horse Farm, Ashland, Ohio, Emerald Farms (A.E. Knowlton), Delaware, Ohio, Reinhart Stables with Steve Demjen (Carol & Fred Rieser), Don-A-Del Farms (Becky Donavan), Delaware, Ohio, Sunset Farm (Pam and Dave Boyers), Plain City, Ohio, and Lost Tree Farm (Sue and Gary Cook), Hilliard, Ohio.

In 1999, Don was listed in "Who's Who in Horsedom"; named Horseman of the Year; and inducted into the Professional Horseman's Hall of Fame. In 2002, at his 80th birthday celebration at Sunset Farm, a number of his friends placed an engraved tile with his name in the “Walk of Honor" at the American Saddlebred Museum, in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Don was the “consummate horseman” and really loved all his horses, bringing out the best in each of them. He loved a gaited horse, winning the Stake in his 80s at River Ridge, the Ohio State Fair, and Dayton Horse Show with Miss Angel Wings.

He was fanatical about the daily care of horses – especially making sure they always had fresh, clean water and thorough grooming. His care and training methods always ensured soft mouths and magnificent tails.

Don was very outgoing and wherever he went he made friends. His friends will always remember his effervescent spirit and some of the Reinhart sayings, including “Jeepers!” and “Lookee Here!” when he spotted talent in one of the young horses.

Don was also proud of his service to our country, having served in the US Navy on USS Ashland during WW II.

A devoted family man, Don was preceded in death by his parents, Harve M. and Marie B. Reinhart, and his only brother, Wilbur. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary Naomi; four children Dixie (Dave) Fulton, Debra (Gary) Haughn of Grove City; Don Jr. (Tina) Reinhart of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Dan (Debbie) Reinhart of Grove City. He was known as "Dedad"  and adored by his grandchildren Jamie Haughn, Alexa Eyan  Sines of Grove City; Brian, Donnie III  and Whitney Reinhart of Ft. Wayne; Cristie Fulton, of Columbus; Angie (Ron) Helm, Clermont, FL;  and Mandi Uhl of Portsmouth;  great grandchildren Rylie, Mariah, Karsen, Konnor, Sofia Mia, Sidney and Ronnie; sister-in-law Betty Reinhart of Daytona Beach, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Condolences may be sent to Sunset Farm, 7738 Merchant Rd. Plain City, Ohio 43064 and we will ensure that these messages are all given to Don’s family. A video tribute to Don is available on www.sunsetfarmsaddlebreds.com.

Editor’s Note: Saddle Horse Report thanks Pamela Boyer for supplying this heartfelt tribute. 

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