the bistro off broadway

Arcanum native and trainer, Steve Weimer, holds Rockin Rhythm,  a three year old gelding owned by Janie Hartley of Richmond. Hartley and Weimer have been a team for two years and have found success on the track. Rhythm will be running tonight at the Great Darke County Fair. CNO Photo by George Starks

Hartley-Weimer a good team
By George Starks

GREENVILLE- They’ve known each other for only two short years but horse owner Janie Hartley (Richmond) and longtime trainer, Steve Weimer of Arcanum, have already found some success together on the track.

While Weimer once trained for the legendary Gene Riegle, starting over 20 years ago, Hartley has been a part of the racing scene for only nine years.

“Unlike some of the horse owners, I didn’t grow up around horses,” admitted Hartley in a phone interview. “One day a friend of mine came over and asked me if I would be interested in racing horses. The stock market was down at that time and I thought, well, I might as well lose my fanny and have a good time. So that’s what I did.”

Over the course of the past nine years, Hartley has owned between 20-30 horses with the first year being her best.

“We had a horse named Joeneedstogo. This horse was awesome,” said Hartley. “I had another horse named Miss Bogey and she was a jewel. About two years ago we had Brook land Sugarland and she is still racing in Dover, Delaware. These were some of my best horses.”

While Hartley has known success, she’s also been on the other side and wanted out of the business.

“There’s been times when I wanted to walk away from it,” admitted Hartley. “I actually quit for a year and a half and thought I could stay away. Then my friend talked me into going to a sale in Indianapolis. I had never seen one, so I went. Once I opened that door and smelled that smell, it was over and when I left there, I had four horses. I couldn’t get away from it. It’s addicting.” 

“It was once said at Churchill that the outside of a horse was good for the inside of a man,” said Hartley. “Even though they are big lugs, there’s just something about them that just sucks you in.”  

Tonight, the duo will send Rockin Rhythm to the track in a qualifying race to get the three year old gelding back in the racing scene.

Rhythm has already had success running the mile pace in as little as 1:55 as a two year old.

A time most horses will never touch.

Only with Hartley for two years, it was a man named Mike Wamsley that got the two connected.

“I thought Janie was a very interesting person and she liked horses,” said Weimer. “She was with Bruce Walls for a while and she was needing a new trainer and she had tried different ones before she met me.”

Weimer got in the business in the 80’s when he started training for Gene Riegle.

That was the beginning of a great and rewarding career for Weimer.

I met Gene when I worked at C&F Shoes and he use to go to the Eagles for lunch,” said Weimer. “At that time I got to be good friends with Bruce (Walls) and Alan Riegle and they invited me to go to Lexington or Scioto Downs. One thing led to another and I was training horses for the best horseman in the business. This was in 1988 and the first horse I took care of was Napa Valley. I learned a lot from Gene. He was the best and I couldn’t have learned from anyone better.”

Rhythm has been out of action for the past 30 days with an ailment that has hindered his performance and now he is ready to get back at it again.

“I’ve had him on the track working him for a couple of days now,” said Weimer. “We just need to get him race ready again. I’m happy with the way this horse is progressing on the track.”

So how much is Hartley looking forward to tonight’s races?

“I’m always ready for race night,” she said.

senior scribes

County News Online

is a Fundraiser for the Senior Scribes Scholarship Committee. All net profits go into a fund for Darke County Senior Scholarships
Copyright 2011 and design by