Gregg Reisinger, Eldora, Iowa, passed away Sunday, August 16, 2020, after a month-long battle with COVID-19.
Reisinger was a past president of the American Paint Horse Association and an APHA Hall of Fame member.
A savvy horseman, Reisinger saw the potential of the Paint Horse breed from the beginning. Though he registered his first Paints with the American Paint Stock Horse Association in 1965, he began buying and selling horses much earlier as a teenager at his father’s sale barn. After accumulating a herd of exemplary broodmares, he purchased his first Paint stallion, Apache Norfleet, in 1967.
Gregg is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Sandra, son Mark, daughter-in-law Rebecca, and two beautiful grandchildren. Gregg’s two brothers, Gordon and Gary, also survive him. A date for a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later time when it is safe to gather in large groups.
Gregg was a lifelong resident of Hardin County, Iowa, the son of Kenneth “K.E.” and Vera Reisinger. Gregg’s father was a renowned cattleman and livestock auctioneer whose sales attracted customers from around the country and earned Eldora the title of “Pony Capital of the World” given by President Eisenhower. Although Gregg graduated from Eldora High School and Ellsworth Community College in nearby Iowa Falls, it was the education he received in the family sale barn that shaped his life’s work.
Gregg started buying and selling horses and cattle before he could drive. At age 18, he purchased a dairy farm on the south side of Eldora and began the decades-long process of building one of the largest horse farms in the state of Iowa, raising more than 1,700 registered American Paint Horses, American Quarter Horses, and Thoroughbreds in the process.
In addition to furthering the bloodlines of the breed, Gregg was elected to the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Executive Committee and served as President during the 2012-13 term. Gregg was inducted into the American Paint Horse Hall of Fame in the Class of 2016, along with two of his stallions who helped build the farm – Teddy’s Splash and Dirti Rocki.
When he wasn’t tending to a foal, watching a two-year old being ridden in the outdoor arena, or attending a horse show, you could find Gregg in the nearest sale barn, buying cattle. Gregg loved chatting with folks and eating the lunch being served at the sale barn kitchen – he was truly home at a livestock auction.
Gregg’s life work was horses and cattle, but he was equally passionate about his family. Gregg was at his happiest any time he could combine the two – from watching Mark show horses to seeing his grandchildren’s interest in horses grow. Gregg defined family in a broad sense – and his kind listening ear and expert advice were ready for anyone interested in learning more about horsemanship or life. Over the years, many young horsemen and horsewomen passed through the barn and gained from Gregg’s experience and knowledge kindly shared, often over a glass of chocolate milk. Gregg will be forever remembered as a friend to many and his absence will be felt by family and friends alike for many years to come.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, for the care and compassion shown to Gregg in his final days.
A memorial scholarship endowment has been established in Gregg’s name through the American Paint Horse Foundation. Memorials may be made to the American Paint Horse Foundation (Fort Worth, TX) and designated for the Gregg Reisinger Youth World Show Scholarship Endowment by contacting Karen Ficklin, APH Foundation Scholarship Coordinator at [email protected] or (817) 222-8495.