By DL PERRIN
SHIPSHEWANA — When it comes to Indiana harness, horse trainers and breeders, a few names stand out. Greg Hostetler is one of those names. A well-known figure in the field, Greg Hostetler lives in LaGrange County but he competes across the Midwest. But all of his work with horses took a backseat when, at 50 years of age, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.
“I’ve known him since I was a little tyke,” said Mike Christner, manager of the Shipshewana Flea Market. “I first got to know him when I competed in the miniature trotting circuit. He was well known even back then. He was a hard worker and very helpful to the young drivers and pleasant to be around; always upbeat and ready with a smile.”
“Greg’s oldest son, Jordon married our daughter Lindsey,” said Tom Hite’s wife Dona. “They have a 6-month-old baby girl, Kalaya. Greg just adores her and he is a wonderful grandpa. The other day I picked up Lindsey to go shopping, and Greg was thrilled because he got to baby-sit. There aren’t too many men who are thrilled with a tiny baby, but Greg is special.”
Teri and Greg have been married for 15 years. They met at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis where they both shared a love for racing and training horses. Greg has a son Jordan and two daughters, Erica and Eden from a former marriage. Greg is from LaGrange and when their two youngest boys, Zachary, 13, and Andrew, 11, reached school age, he and Teri decided to move back to this area.
Greg’s illness was hard on them at first. Dona said Greg is very open with the boys about his illness and they can ask him anything.
Teri was working at UPS but has taken a leave of absence so she can stay at home to look after their business, Greg Hostetler Stables. She has to take Greg to his all-too-frequent radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“I am working with the horses now that Greg isn’t well,” she said. “We have a couple of brood mares and Greg’s favorite stallion “Harry” is through with racing so now he studs.”
Mark Omara has known and worked with Greg for more than 15 years. They raced together, trained and bred horses in Indianapolis. Mark spends half the year racing in Florida. “Greg and I raced at Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park. We both boarded and trained at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. We have raced in many states and Canada,” Mark said. “We play golf together and I drive his horses for him on occasion. He is a good family man and no one works harder than Greg.” All of his friends and family members are praying Greg will win this race against cancer.
The fundraising bake sale, haystack supper and silent auction will be held at the Shipshewana Auction Barn from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Attendees can bid on everything from flat screen TVs to golf equipment. Vacations, horse gear, go-carts and many other items are up for bid from more than 90 local and statewide vendors.