R.D. Hubbard, majority owner of Ruidoso Downs and Billy The Kid Casnio, was one of 12 American businessmen to be named a recipient of the prestigious Horatio Alger Award in ceremonies held Friday, April 5, in Washington, D.C.
Hubbard, a resident of Ruidoso, New Mexico, is a prominent owner of Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, and is the the owner of Crystal Springs Farm, along with his wife Joan Dale Hubbard, in Tularosa, New Mexico. He has owned or co-owned champions since Denim N Diamonds in 1981 through Feature Mr Bojangles in 2013. He currently races the leading New Mexico-bred three-year-old thoroughbred Reaper and Joan Dale Hubbard owns the promising 870-yard specialist Storm Chasor.
The Horatio Alger Award is bestowed by the nonprofit Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and recognizes “exceptional leaders â€” all with a commitment to philanthropy and higher education â€”who have overcome significant personal challenges to achieve success.”
“Horatio Alger Association is built on the key principle that with hard work, determination and resilience, one can succeed despite facing incomparable personal hardships,” said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2000 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “The 12 new Horatio Alger members selected for the class of 2014 are extraordinary individuals who reflect the truth of that principle and who will inspire our scholars to pursue their dreams. We could not be more pleased to welcome this impressive class into the association as lifetime members. Undoubtedly, each will uphold and perpetuate the mission of this proud organization.”
A native of Smith Center, Kansas, Hubbard was born the youngest of eight children to hardworking parents who owned an icehouse. He frequently worked as a delivery boy during his childhood until the advent of electric refrigerators after World War II ended the era of the icehouse.
Hubbard received an associates degree at Butler County Community College. From there, he was a teacher and a basketball coach until embracing his entrepreneurial spirit in 1959 when he became a glass salesman with Safelite.
Working for Safelite, Mr. Hubbard rose to become general manager and ultimately president, a role in which he owned 20 percent of the company. By 1978, Hubbard was ready to strike out on his own, leaving Safelite and forming AFG Industries, Inc. In just a decade, he built AFG Industries, Inc. into a Fortune 500 company.
Hubbard moved into racetrack ownership as CEO of Hollywood Park, and helped to establish Bighorn Development, an exclusive residential development and private golf club in Palm Desert, California, in 1990. Six years later, Mr. Hubbard spearheaded its full acquisition and the acquisition of adjoining land for a second 18-hole golf course. He currently serves as chairman and managing director of Bighorn Golf Club.
Philanthropically, Hubbard formed the R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students of all ages and also founded the Shoemaker Foundation, named for the legendary jockey, to help raise funds for horsemen suffering from catastrophic accidents or illnesses.
“It is a wonderful honor to be elected into Horatio Alger Association and to be recognized not only for my professional accomplishments, but also the humble beginnings that shaped my character,” Hubbard commented. “I believe in the power of hard work, determination and having passion for what you do in your career. I am proud to be a member of an organization that not only believes in those same principles, but helps to instill them in young Americans
In addition to presenting its annual award, Horatio Alger Association administers one of the largest, privately- funded scholarship programs for at-risk students in the United States and Canada. Funding for its scholarships, which annually provides more than $9 million to selected students in need, is wholly supported by private donations from association members and friends.