Much as Mangurian has ruled the roost in Florida the last few years, Othniel H. Wienges Jr.
has done so in South Carolina for years.
family have been in the Thoroughbred business much longer, raising and racing horses since the late 1950s.The family, originally from Germany, came to the St. Matthews area of South Carolina in the 1820s and has been on Singleton Plantation since that time. While attending the University of South Carolina, Wienges would cut classes and sneak off to watch the races at the Columbia fairgrounds.
befriended trainers Max Hirsch and Woody Stephens and began to take the trainers on hunting outings at Singleton Plantation, learning about Thoroughbred breeding and racing from them over the years.While still in college, Wienges
first in-foal mare and has been in the Thoroughbred business ever since.
Along the way, Wienges
did a few other things, as well.He was a Navy lieutenant in World War II and served as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1962-'72.
These days, he
oversees Singleton Plantation, a 3,000-acre operation that primarily produces cotton, soybeans, and pine trees.About 250 acres of the farm are set aside for the Thoroughbred operation.
Early success of the Wienges program came with stallion Double Hitch, a winning son of Double Jay whom Stephens helped the family obtain to stand at Singleton Plantation in the 1960s.Double Hitch sired 152 winners that earned more than $6-million, establishing him as South Carolina's leading stallion.
After Double Hitch's death in 1984, Stephens helped Wienges
acquire Kokand, a son of Mr. Prospector.Different stallion, same story.Kokand became the leading sire in South Carolina, topping the sire list for a consecutive seven-year period, and the Wienges program kept producing winners.Wienges remains the majority owner of the syndicated Kokand, who now stands at Tym Mar Farm near Pickaway, West Virginia. Wienges
has a new stallion, East of Easy, a stakes-winning son of Trempolino, and he
stands alongside longtime leading South Carolina stallion Valiant Lark.
In the time period considered for this article, there were 31 Wienges-bred starters, 19 winners, and earners of $414,926.The best of the group was homebred Sport Coat, a three-year-old colt by Kokand who made ten starts and posted two wins and one second and earned $48,420.