Wienges, Top South Carolina Breeder, Dies

Owner of Singleton Plantation was honored 13 times as state's leading breeder.

Othniel Henry Wienges Jr., perennially the leading Thoroughbred breeder in South Carolina, died April 2 in Saint Matthews, S.C.. He was 88.

Wienges operated the family's 2,500-acre Singleton Plantation, which was acquired by his grandfather in the 1870s. O. H. Wienges Sr. began raising Standardbreds on the farm in the 1920s and later transitioned to Thoroughbred breeding.

Although South Carolina does not have legalized pari-mutuel racing or a Thoroughbred track, Wienges had an impact on the industry. Alone or in partnership, the Wienges family has bred more than 20 stakes winners and campaigned more than 15 stakes winners. Included among the more successful Wienges homebreds were Double Stake, Double Theory, Flying Double, Outcutem, and Running Kiss.

Stallions that stood at Singleton Plantation included Kokand, a son of Mr. Prospector who was a six-time leading sire in South Carolina, and Double Hitch. Kiss and Run, a Wienges homebred son of Double Hitch, won 40 of 144 starts. The $295,681 earner made 24 starts in 1972, went to post 28 times in 1974, and started 24 times in 1975.

Wienges was honored 13 times with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's breeder of the year award for South Carolina and the award is now named in his honor. In 1974, O. H. Wienges Sr. and his son were named Men of the Year by the New England Turf Writers. O. H. Wienges, Sr. died in 1985.

"I've been very lucky to achieve all that I have and there are a lot of people who have helped along the way," Wienges said after been named South Carolina breeder of the year in 2008. "It's very meaningful, just like it is every time I win a race."

Wienges was also involved in South Carolina politics, serving in the state House of Representatives from 1962-72, and was chair of that body's Ways and Means Committee. He was also former chairman and was chairman emeritus of the University of South Carolina board of trustees.

Survivors include his wife, Callie; son, John; and daughter, Laffitte.