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Peter Rhulen Passes

Published: June 4, 2018 4:02 pm ET

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Peter L. Rhulen, 79, a well-known insurance agent in harness racing and also a horse owner, passed away on Saturday (June 2) in New York City due to complications related to Parkinson's disease.

Rhulen built the Rhulen Agency into one of the largest privately-held specialty insurance agencies in North America. He was recognized as having the largest animal mortality insurance program in the U.S. He also served as a board member of Frontier Insurance Group.

Among the horses he owned was the Ron Gurfein-trained Higher Power, who upset No Nukes and Merger in the 1982 Adios at the Meadows. Rhulen owned Higher Power in partnership with Pearl Katz, and was in attendance to accept the trophy from Delvin Miller.

Rhulen also owned the filly trotter Habit, who swept the 1994 Midwest Grand Circuit stakes for her generation as a two-year-old and went on to become a top producer, with $1.1 million winner Civil Action among her foals.

After college, Rhulen moved to the Manhattan borough of New York City, where he spent a short time working in financial services. He then moved back to Monticello to join the family insurance business, Rhulen Agency, to work with his father, Max, his sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Jesse Farrow, and his brother, Walter Rhulen.

In addition to his business and his passion for harness racing, in the mid-1980s Rhulen devoted a significant amount of time and resources to establishing the Sullivan Country Recovery Center, a treatment facility for alcohol and drug addiction. He spent many hours helping people in recovery. He was also instrumental in establishing the Rails To Trails network in Sullivan County and he also served on the board of several charitable organizations including the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADD) and the Yeshiva University Wurtzweiler School of Social Work.

Rhulen was an avid runner and ran the New York Marathon in 1986. He enjoyed playing golf, travelling around the world, and taking advantage of the arts and culture New York City has to offer.

Rhulen is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Eileen; daughters, Samantha, Blake and Sloane; sister, Joan Farrow; and other family members.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday (June 6), at Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home, 388 Broadway, Monticello, N.Y. Burial will follow the funeral service at Landfield Ave. Synagogue Cemetery, Thompson Rd., Monticello.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st St., Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Peter Rhulen.


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