Legendary jockey Jerry Nicodemus remembered

January 31st, 2019

Jerry “Nic” Nicodemus, one of Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading riders, died on January 30 at his residence in Ruidoso, NM. He was 73 years old.

Nicodemus won three All American Futurities, with Three Oh’s in 1968, Rocket Wrangler in 1970, and Ronas Ryon in 1986. He also won four Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in California, twice with Dash for Cash, (1976 and 1977), with Lady Juno in 1980, and Denim N Diamonds in 1981.

“He was a great friend to so many people within the racing industry and we are all shocked and saddened by his passing,” Ruidoso Downs president and general manager Jeff True said. “His accomplishments on the race track are legendary, and the humble way he approached his success will always be remembered. “

Nicodemus rode Dash For Cash in all but two of the stallion’s 25 starts. A life-size bronze memorializing the legendary duo and created by world renowned sculptor Jim Reno stands in front of the American Quarter Horse Association headquarters in Amarillo, Tex.

In 1978, Nicodemus was thrown and spent three days in a coma with a broken neck and back, as well as multiple broken ribs.  But he came back, tough as ever and rode for 15 more years, retiring near the top of his game, in 1993.

In 6,317 career starts, Nicodemus won 1,252 races and amassed lifetime earnings of $18,888,775. He was inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame in 2004 and into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2009.

Services and memorials are pending at this time.