C.E. “Cal” Ohlinger
2001 Greyhound Hall of Fame Inductee
Cal Ohlinger was born Dec. 4, 1886 and died in February of 1956. In 1979 he was inducted into the Pioneer section of the Greyhound Hall of Fame.
In his hometown of Jewell, Kan., Ohlinger was a well-known businessman who operated a 1,000-acre farm, a wholesale meat packing company, meat market, restaurant and an automobile agency.
He bought his first Greyhound in 1922, just after the birth of Greyhound track racing, and began raising some of the best Greyhounds of that time-Pedro Meadows, Dave Meadows and Mary Meadows.
In 1927, Ohlinger and Merrill Blair shook hands on a partnership that, based on mutual faith and respect, thrived successfully for 28 years. Ohlinger handled the farm operation while Blair managed the Greyhounds at the racetrack. When Ohlinger was inducted into the Hall’s Pioneer section, Merrill Blair said: “He was loved by all, young and old. His word was all you ever needed if you made an agreement with him.”
Blair added that during the partnership, Ohlinger only went to the races twice, once in Florida and once in Mile High.
“We ran everything on the farm at the NCA and won many stakes.” One of the most successful Greyhounds owned and raced by the Ohlinger-Blair Kennel was the magnificent Flashy Sir, one of the first to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1963.
Ohlinger built a coursing park where many of the top Greyhounds, including Flashy Sir and Rural Rube, competed. Among the owners and breeders participating were Keith Dillon, Clyde Lemon, Merrill Blair, Fred “Whitey” Whitehead and Charles Mullen.
Ohlinger was vice-president of the National Coursing Association in 1942 and, according to Carroll Blair, he especially enjoyed children who always wanted to talk to him about his Greyhounds. “They would even let the kids out of school to go to the National Coursing meets; he seldom let them down.”
He also loved his Greyhounds, Blair said. “Cal never left a pen without petting each one of his Greyhounds; this is where he passed away.”