John S. Rarey (1827-66) of Groveport gained international fame in the mid 19th century for his humane methods of horse training, which involved talking to the horse and using a gentle, but firm, touch.
Rarey's horsemanship attracted people worldwide who brought their unruly horses to him for training. Throughout his life he refined his humane ?Rarey Method' of training horses and gained national and international recognition.
His greatest success was training Cruiser (1852-75), the vicious English stallion owned by the Earl of Dorchester. Cruiser was noted for speed, but his foul temper made it impossible to race him. Cruiser would go into fits of rage - kicking and screaming in his stall - if anyone came near.
While in England in 1857, Rarey accepted a challenge to apply his training methods to Cruiser. Rarey calmly walked alone into Cruiser's stall and, to the surprise of onlookers, emerged three hours later riding Cruiser.
Rarey soon took possession of Cruiser and the pair traveled the world gaining fame and fortune as Rarey demonstrated his techniques.
In 1862, Rarey built a mansion at 751 Main Street in Groveport along with a stable and paddock for Cruiser.
The story of Rarey and Cruiser is a source of inspiration to the residents of Groveport and Madison Township. Groveport Madison Schools adopted Cruiser as a mascot in the early 20th century (along with the school colors of red and black to reflect Cruiser's fiery spirit and dark coat) because of Rarey's and Cruiser's example that combining intelligence, kindness, power and discipline brings success. Likewise, a likeness of Cruiser is featured in the seal for the Village of Groveport that is displayed above.