By Mint Julep


Bobby Ussery Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

proud clarion 1967 kentucky derby winner

Join the exciting journey through the incredible career of famous jockey Bobby Ussery. Discover how he went from a modest start in Oklahoma to becoming a respected figure in horse racing history. Learn about his smart riding strategies, notable victories like winning the Kentucky Derby on Proud Clarion in 1967, and lasting impact on the racing world. Delve into the challenges he faced, honors he received in the hall of fame, and successful pursuits after retiring that cemented Ussery’s status as one of the sport’s most legendary figures.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Bobby Ussery, a name forever remembered in horse racing history, was always destined for greatness from his early days on the track. Growing up in the small town of Vian, Oklahoma, he began his remarkable career at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans with fireworks. It was November 22, 1951—a day that marked the birth of a legend when Ussery rode Reticule to a thrilling victory in the Thanksgiving Handicap. The thundering hooves beneath him didn’t just echo through that course but also inspired generations to come.

Ussery’s start as a professional jockey resembled revealing a masterpiece—every race adding to the canvas of his legacy. With incredible skill and finesse that almost seemed supernatural, he maneuvered courses like they were chapters in an epic novel—each turn narrating tales of talent shaped by passion and determination. Each stride taken by Bobby Ussery felt like witnessing poetry in motion; every triumph etching another achievement on his list.

As young Ussery raced towards success after success, spectators couldn’t help but be amazed by this skilled rider whose connection with horses seemed almost magical. His bond with these majestic animals went beyond mere partnership—it conveyed secrets only they could comprehend and propelled them swiftly past finish lines into realms reserved for champions alone. Through both grit and grace, Bobby Ussery elegantly rode atop those equine athletes as if experiencing rebirth each time their powerful bodies surged forward under him.

The ripples from that first win resonated far beyond racetracks—the beginning notes of an ongoing symphony still playing today. Bobby Ussery had embarked on a journey destined for greatness—one filled with accolades yet tempered by unforeseen challenges…

Canadian Classic Victory

In 1959, Bobby Ussery made history in Canadian horse racing when he won the prestigious Queen’s Plate while riding New Providence. This victory not only showcased Ussery’s exceptional skills as a jockey but also highlighted the strong connection and trust between him and his horse as they raced towards success. It wasn’t just about finishing first; it was a demonstration of Ussery’s ability to understand his horse, predict its actions, and skillfully guide it through every step of the race.

Ussery’s performance on Windfields Farm’s colt New Providence illustrated his talent for strategic decision-making and precise timing on the track where split-second choices could determine the outcome of a race. It went beyond simply urging a horse forward; it involved an intricate communication dance between rider and steed—a partnership that only a few could master. His win at the Queen’s Plate wasn’t just about winning a title; it celebrated his commitment, hard work, and unwavering love for the sport that drove him towards greatness.

Bobby Ussery’s legacy goes far beyond one remarkable victory at Canada’s classic event—it exemplifies perseverance in striving for excellence amidst tough competition. With each stride taken with New Providence that day, he cemented his position among horse racing legends. He became known for handling pressure with grace, navigating tight turns with precision, and displaying resilience even when facing strong opponents on challenging tracks worldwide.

As time moves forward like horses sprinting towards victory lane, Bobby Ussery’s triumph at Canada’s famous Queen’s Plate remains etched in equestrian history—an enduring story of skilled horsemanship woven into sporting lore. Every mention of that memorable race day atop New Providence serves as a reminder not just of Ussery’s talent but also his unyielding determination to succeed against all odds—a feat immortalized within those fleeting moments when man and horse unite under clear skies or pouring rain alike.

The Pros & Cons of Derby Day Delight


  1. Get ready for thrilling horse races!
  2. Be part of history in the making
  3. Enjoy a fun vibe with stylish hats and refreshing mint juleps
  4. Connect with others and build your network at an exclusive event


  1. Dealing with large crowds can feel chaotic
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  3. The weather is so unpredictable and could affect your whole experience
  4. Getting to and from the event, you might get stuck in traffic jams

American Classic Success

Bobby Ussery left an unforgettable mark on American classic races, shining like a rare gem. His victory riding Proud Clarion in the 1967 Kentucky Derby is still talked about today in horse racing circles, cementing his status as one of the all-time greats. Winning the Preakness Stakes with Hail To Reason back in 1960 not only showcased his talent early on but also hinted at the amazing career that lay ahead.

Ussery’s skill on the track wasn’t just about speed; it was a strategic dance through competitors, like a seasoned conductor leading an orchestra. He had a knack for understanding races like solving an ancient puzzle, allowing him to seize important moments with precise timing. Every race was his canvas where he crafted masterpieces with every step, earning respect from fans and fellow jockeys alike.

The cheers of fans as Ussery raced down those legendary tracks echoed stories of hard work and excellence that defined his journey through American classics. Beyond wins were tales woven with sweat, determination, and sheer grit—a story told not just by shiny trophies but by hearts touched witnessing true greatness unfold before them.

In a world where legends are made and dreams take flight on powerful hooves pounding against the earth’s surface, Bobby Ussery stood tall as both hero and competitor—an intriguing figure whose presence demanded admiration amidst intense rivalry. His name whispered across racetracks carried echoes of past triumphs mingled with promises of future accomplishments yet unseen—a timeless tribute to passion embodied in each stride taken towards victory.

As time weaves its tapestry throughout history’s fabric, Bobby Ussery remains immortalized not only for gold-clad victories but for embodying values surpassing mere sport—traits such as perseverance, sportsmanship,and unwavering dedication resonate far beyond finish lines crossed or championships won.In honoring his legacy we celebrate more than just wins;we pay homage to an indomitable spirit—one forever galloping toward uncharted horizons brimming with endless possibilities for those courageous enough to pursue them without fear or hesitation

Riding Tactics and Notable Races

Bobby Ussery’s skill on the racetrack was truly impressive. He had a unique style of sticking to the outer edge of tracks before smoothly moving towards the rail – a move now famously called “Ussery’s Alley.” This smart tactic not only showed off his amazing talent but also solidified his reputation as one of the most clever jockeys in horse racing history. His expertise with this technique played a huge part in winning races like the Travers Stakes, Whitney Handicap, and Alabama Stakes.

Every time Bobby Ussery raced, there was an exciting buzz in the air that got both fans and other racers pumped up. The Travers Stakes became his platform to show incredible bravery and smarts, leading him to many wins that made him a legend in racing. With each stride taken by his horses beneath him, Ussery created thrilling displays of speed and precision that wowed audiences – making his name even more famous with every victory lap he took around those revered tracks.

The Whitney Handicap proved Bobby Ussery’s sheer talent for maneuvering through tough courses while staying cool under pressure. As he expertly navigated tight spots with grace similar to poetry in motion, spectators were left amazed at how effortlessly he guided horses toward epic finishes over and over again. The Alabama Stakes showcased his unyielding spirit and unwavering determination – demonstrating true resilience where obstacles were simply stepping stones on his journey to greatness.

Legendary Jockey: Bobby Ussery’s Racing Achievements

Attribute Information
Name Bobby Ussery
Occupation Jockey
Born September 3, 1935
Place of Birth Vian, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died November 16, 2023
Age 88 years old
Career Wins 3,611
Honors United States Racing Hall of Fame (1980), Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2011)
Significant Horses Bally Ache, Dancer’s Image, Hail To Reason, New Providence, Proud Clarion
Major Racing Wins Canadian International Stakes (1955), Narragansett Special (1955), Champlain Handicap (1956), Palm Beach Handicap (1956, 1962, 1964), Great American Stakes (1957, 1960), Manhattan Handicap (1957, 1967), Saratoga Handicap (1957), Sport Page Handicap (1957), Whitney Handicap (1957), Alabama Stakes (1958), American Legion Handicap (1958), Cowdin Stakes (1958), Royal Palm Handicap (1958), Travers Stakes (1958), Jamaica Handicap (1959), Sysonby Handicap (1959), Toboggan Handicap (1959), Bahamas Stakes (1960), Flamingo Stakes (1960), Florida Derby (1960), Hopeful Stakes (1960), Tremont Stakes (1960, 1961), Youthful Stakes (1960, 1964), Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (1961), Black Helen Handicap (1961), Gotham Stakes (1961, 1965), Fall Highweight Handicap (1961), Juvenile Stakes (1961, 1964), Mother Goose Stakes (1961), Coaching Club American Oaks (1962), Matron Stakes (1962, 1964), Royal Palm Handicap (1962), Lawrence Realization Stakes (1963), Roamer Handicap (1963, 1966), Brooklyn Handicap (1963, 1971), Withers Stakes (1964, 1965), Edgemere Handicap (1965), Stuyvesant Handicap (1965), Wood Memorial Stakes (1965, 1968), Gardenia Stakes (1966, 1967), Morris Handicap (1966), Saratoga Special Stakes (1966), Stymie Handicap (1966), Carter Handicap (1969, 1970), Comely Stakes (1970)
Classic Race Wins Queen’s Plate (1959), Kentucky Derby (1967), Preakness Stakes (1960)

Hall of Fame Inductions

Bobby Ussery made a lasting mark in the history of horse racing, earning recognition from prestigious institutions through his exceptional skills and contributions. The United States Racing Hall of Fame welcomed him in 1980, acknowledging his outstanding abilities on the track. Later, in 2011, the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame honored Ussery posthumously for his enduring impact, cementing his status among legendary figures.

A true expert jockey, Ussery’s inductions into these esteemed halls represented more than just awards—they highlighted a lifelong dedication to excellence and an unwavering love for racing. His name alongside other greats not only showcased his talent but also underscored his significant influence on the sport. With each race he rode, he left a memorable legacy that continues to inspire riders and fans alike.

The stories within these hallowed halls tell tales of victories and setbacks—a narrative where Bobby Ussery played a crucial role. His journey from modest beginnings to revered heights reflects perseverance and talent displayed across racetracks nationwide. As crowds cheered under clear skies or rain poured down like nature’s critique, Ussery rode with determination—his strong resolve cutting through doubt like a breeze guiding a powerful stallion towards success.

In this rich tapestry woven with dedication and courage, Bobby Ussery stands as an iconic figure—one whose impact echoes through time like hoofbeats resonating across vast plains at daybreak. Inductions into prestigious halls serve not just as accolades but as tributes to a life passionately pursuing dreams fearlessly—an inspiring story cherished by those who know that greatness lies not only in winning races but also in leaving an indelible mark on hearts beating fervently for horses galloping wild under endless skies.

Major Stakes Wins and Record

Bobby Ussery had an amazing career filled with many wins, making him one of the best jockeys in horse racing history. He won big races like the Florida Derby and Hopeful Stakes, showing off his incredible talent and dedication to the sport.

Ussery’s skills really stood out at important races such as the Brooklyn Handicap, where he expertly guided his horses to victory with precision. His ability to handle tough competition made him a top jockey who could perform well under pressure every time.

With each win adding to his reputation, Bobby Ussery became known not just as a rider but as a legend in the making. His numerous victories showed how skilled he was on the track and how much he understood horses—a special talent that set him apart from others in horse racing.

Beyond winning races, Ussery created unforgettable moments that stayed with fans long after they happened—moments full of excitement, comebacks, and impressive riding skills. Each race turned into more than just a competition; it became a showcase for Ussery’s brilliance that everyone could appreciate.

As fans eagerly watched this talented rider work on the racetrack, Bobby Ussery continued building a lasting legacy—one that went beyond wins and losses to show pure love for horses and racing itself. Every step taken beside these majestic animals added another chapter to a story of bravery, perseverance, and unwavering determination—a tale sure to be remembered by generations yet unborn.

Unearth Fascinating Tales of Bobby Ussery’s Triumphs

  1. Explore the Exciting Stories of Bobby Ussery’s Victories
  2. Bobby Ussery had a remarkable career as a jockey, winning over 3,000 races and achieving a memorable triumph in the prestigious Kentucky Derby.
  3. In 1967, Bobby Ussery rode Proud Clarion to victory in an electrifying finish at the Kentucky Derby, clinching his win by just a neck and solidifying his place among racing legends.
  4. Despite facing fierce competition from other talented jockeys, Bobby Ussery’s exceptional skill and unwavering determination propelled him to become one of the top jockeys of his time.
  5. Beyond his iconic Kentucky Derby win, Bobby Ussery also claimed multiple victories in prominent races like the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes.
  6. Today, Bobby Ussery is remembered as an esteemed figure in horse racing whose success continues to inspire aspiring jockeys to strive for greatness on the track.

Controversy and Disqualification

Bobby Ussery was a famous jockey in horse racing history. He faced controversy after Dancer’s Image was disqualified following the Kentucky Derby. Despite being known for his skill on the racetrack and winning races, this incident overshadowed his successful career.

The Kentucky Derby is a prestigious event where dreams are made or broken with cheers and surprises. Ussery had experienced success before but encountered unexpected trouble when he faced disqualification on race day.

In the world of horse racing, Bobby Ussery rode confidently and determinedly. The sound of hooves hitting the ground told stories of past wins but also hinted at controversies that threatened to tarnish reputations built through hard work and dedication.

Despite facing criticism after the Derby, Bobby Ussery remained strong—a true champion inside out. The drama surrounding Dancer’s Image tested not just his skills as a rider but also his ability to handle challenges without losing focus on his goals.

When legendary figures like him face tough times, it’s not just about winning races—it’s about navigating difficulties with courage and determination. As time passed, memories of discontent faded away while applause from previous victories echoed once more—bringing Bobby Ussery back into well-deserved recognition; marking controversies alongside triumphs in a story crafted by destiny itself.

Legacy and Retirement

Bobby Ussery retired from professional horse racing in 1974, ending an incredible era in the sport. His departure had a lasting impact on horse racing history, as his smart tactics and strong dedication inspired jockeys around the world. Even after he stopped competing, Ussery’s influence remained strong in the equestrian community, showing true sportsmanship and commitment.

After retiring, Ussery smoothly transitioned to other areas of the industry, sharing his knowledge with upcoming generations. Known for his exceptional riding skills and mentoring abilities off the track, he gained respect from fans and fellow riders. Through teaching sessions, event appearances, and involvement in racing circles, Ussery solidified his reputation not only as a jockey but also as a representative of the sport itself.

Years after hanging up his saddle officially in ’74 following numerous victories at esteemed tracks like Churchill Downs or Belmont Park; Bobby Ussery’s impact continued to be felt. He was honored by being inducted into several Hall of Fames over subsequent years including recognition at the National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame & Museum In 1980 – acknowledging not just talent but also integrity that set him apart beyond wins alone – truly immortalizing this legendary rider whose tale still captivates enthusiasts today.

Endorsements and Post-retirement Ventures

After retiring from racing, Bobby Ussery explored new opportunities within the horse industry by using his reputation as a successful jockey to secure endorsements. He also shared his expertise by providing insightful commentary on races, becoming a sought-after voice in horse racing analysis. Ussery’s ability to turn his track success into off-track ventures showcased his smart business skills and lasting impact on the sport.

Alongside these endeavors, Bobby Ussery dedicated time to supporting retired racehorses through philanthropic efforts aimed at promoting their welfare. His commitment to ensuring these animals received proper care highlighted not only his love for horse racing but also his compassion for the creatures that contributed to his own achievements. Through charitable projects and advocacy work, Ussery made a significant impact beyond just winning races.

In addition to endorsements and charity work, Bobby Ussery took on the role of mentoring young riders who were keen to follow in his footsteps. By sharing wisdom gained from years of experience riding thoroughbreds towards victory, he passed down valuable lessons about strategy, perseverance, and sportsmanship. Through guiding future generations of jockeys both on and off the track, Ussery cemented himself as more than just a champion rider but also an excellent mentor.

Even though he stepped away from competitive riding arenas where he once excelled like a true champion astride powerful horses charging towards glory or defeat—Bobby never completely hung up those spurs; instead choosing quieter paths where echoes of cheers faintly lingered like whispers carried by gentle breezes across green meadows illuminated by sunlight—a legend forever immortalized among esteemed heroes whose accomplishments stand the test of time—an icon representing resilience under pressure yet elegance amid chaos embodying spirit akin unto fiery stallions guided toward greatness anew each morning breaking upon vast horizons filled with untold promise…

As dusk settled over racetracks where Bobby had once performed magic between thundering hooves drumming out symphonies heard solely by those attuned to pulsating rhythms beneath earthy layers concealing intricately woven tales spun from fate’s loom—his legacy endured vividly not merely as records etched in fading ink against time’s unyielding march—but thrived within hearts beating passionately for this sport uniting us all proudly under one banner: “USSERY.”

Passing and Remembered Contributions

Bobby Ussery, a legendary figure in the world of horse racing, passed away on November 16, 2022. His death marked the end of an era for jockeys but his legacy lives on to inspire riders and fans today. Ussery was widely admired for his exceptional skill in the saddle, as well as his sportsmanship and dedication to his craft.

Throughout a career that spanned over three decades, Bobby Ussery achieved more than 3,300 wins at tracks all across America. Known for his strategic brilliance during races, he was considered one of the most cunning jockeys of his time. Ussery had a remarkable ability to read races effectively and make split-second decisions that often led him to victory.

Bobby Ussery’s list of major victories reads like a who’s who in prestigious horse racing events. From winning iconic races such as The Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes to dominating lesser-known circuits with finesse – he truly proved himself as a masterful rider time and again. His unique understanding of each horse he rode set him apart from other jockeys and allowed him to form memorable partnerships with some of history’s greatest equine athletes.

Despite facing controversies throughout his career – including allegations of foul play and disputes with fellow riders – Bobby Ussery remained focused on excelling on the racetrack. His unwavering determination combined with sheer talent ensured he would be remembered among the greats in jockey history. Even amidst personal and professional challenges, Ussery always prioritized fair competition while respecting opponents’ skills.

After retiring from racing, Bobby continued making an impact by supporting initiatives aimed at preserving horse racing’s rich heritage while nurturing young generations’ love for the sport. Whether mentoring aspiring riders or sharing insights gained from years riding champion horses – he remained dedicated until the end ensuring that lessons learned from this influential figure would continue shaping equestrian culture for years to come.


1. How many times did Bobby Ussery compete in the Kentucky Derby?

Bobby Ussery took part in the Kentucky Derby eleven times during his successful career, demonstrating his outstanding talent and perseverance on the prestigious platform of American horse racing.

2. What was Bobby Ussery’s most memorable Kentucky Derby victory?

In 1967, Bobby Ussery rode the famous horse Proud Clarion to victory at the Kentucky Derby. This win not only secured his spot in racing history but also highlighted his exceptional talent for leading horses to success on major platforms.

3. How did Bobby Ussery’s riding style set him apart in the world of horse racing?

Bobby Ussery stood out as a legendary jockey in the horse racing world thanks to his exceptional timing, strategic patience, and natural talent for bonding with his horses. His unique riding style made him a standout figure in the sport.

4. What challenges did Bobby Ussery face during his illustrious career as a jockey?

During his successful career as a jockey, Bobby Ussery encountered obstacles like injuries, difficulties managing his weight, and controversies about how he rode horses.

5. Which horses did Bobby Ussery form notable partnerships with during his time as a jockey?

Bobby Ussery teamed up with famous horses like Dr. Fager, and Damascus during his successful time as a jockey. He showed off his amazing talent and strong bond with these top horses in the racing world.

6. What legacy has Bobby Ussery left behind in the realm of horse racing post-retirement?

Bobby Ussery left a lasting mark on horse racing even after he retired. His incredible riding skills, strategic thinking, and strong commitment to the sport continue to inspire younger generations.