By Kristin Bechthold
Trainer Tony Rengstorf currently trains 20 horses at Canterbury Park. Rengstorf also trains at Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Originally from Minnesota, he now owns a house in Hot Springs, Arkansas in addition to his house in Nicollet, Minnesota on Spring Lake.
Since Rengstorf grew up on a dairy farm, the agricultural business has been all he’s ever known. In 1983, he moved from Minnesota to Kentucky to begin working with horses. He started on the racetrack as a hotwalker and groom, and also worked at a breeding farm in Lexington. “I’ve kind of done it all, actually,” he said. “A little bit of everything.” He began working at Canterbury when it opened in 1985.
For Rengstorf, the most rewarding aspect of being a trainer is helping people. Although winning and being competitive comes along with the job, he finds that making a difference in someone’s life for the better is the most important thing. “Whether it be helping them get stalls here or giving them a job, I love to help any way I can,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love to win races, but I think helping people is the most important thing.”
Although he is devoted to his career as a trainer, the most valuable thing in Rengstorf’s life is his family. He has three children: one daughter, Katelyn, and two sons, Levi and Noah. One of his other favorite pastimes is watching Noah play football, who is his youngest son at sixteen years old.
As a true outdoorsman, Rengstorf indulges in hobbies that allow him to be outside and enjoy the fresh air. Two of these include hunting and fishing. He takes full advantage of his home on Spring Lake by spending most of his free time on the water in the summer. He hunts with his sons in the fall, mainly deer and turkey.
Although he loves Minnesota, Rengstorf’s dream retirement plan is to move to a small cabin in the mountains and live off the land. “Where that is, I don’t know,” he said with a laugh. “Somewhere out west probably.”