THE Queensland greyhound racing fraternity is in shock following the untimely passing of leading trainer Peter Ruetschi on Tuesday night.
The 56-year-old was on his way home from the Ipswich greyhound meeting when tragedy struck, with a head on collision occurring on the Brisbane Valley Highway just before 6pm.
Ruetschi was well-known and respected within the industry for his easy going nature and larger than life personality.
He trained several top class performers throughout his career, his kennel star in recent times being Sheza Keen Size who won the 2015 Ipswich Futurity and ran third in the Group 2 Queensland Futurity.
One of Ruetschi’s career highlights came in June 2014 when he prepared You Can Talk to win the Listed Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park. He also played a big part in the role of top class chaser Pop The Cork, training him early in his career before the dog was sent to Jason Thompson in Victoria.
His standout greyhound in recent months has been My Awesome Magic which was a finalist in the Group 2 Ipswich Cup and the Group 3 Queensland Cup and looks destined for a promising career as a stayer.
A trainer of 157 winners in 2016, Ruetschi trained his last winner just hours before tragedy struck, with There’s A Fool saluting on Tuesday afternoon.
Countless greyhound racing enthusiasts have taken to social media to express their sadness at Ruetschi’s passing.
“Unbelievable that the big man is gone. Feeling gutted. Sincere condolences to his family and friends. A big loss for the greyhound industry,” wrote one trainer.
“Rest in Peace Peter. It’s my privilege to be able to call you my friend,” said another.