Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

He has owned an NCHA Futurity champion and has been an NCHA Futurity open finalist 19 times – more than any other rider who has never won the championship.

Who is he? Terry Riddle, 65, earner of over $2.5 million and two-time NCHA Futurity reserve champion, on Freckles Playboy (1976) and on Smart Play (1990).

Riddle owned 1975 Futurity champion Lenaette, shown by his father-in-law, Shorty Freeman.

“I had hardly shown any at the time and had never finished one,” said Riddle. “The second or third time I showed her a cow, she just dropped down on her belly trying to work that cow. That about scared me to death.

“I’d never been on a good horse until then and didn’t know a lot of that was natural. But I knew I had way too much horse for what experience I had and she was too good for me to waste. So I loaded her up and sent her to Shorty and let him finish and show her.”

Riddle lives in Wynnewood, Okla., but grew up in North Texas, where his father was partners with Jim Minnick, an early-day breeder of Quarter Horses. By the time he was 12, Riddle was breaking horses, and by the early 1960s was training roping horses for, among others, rancher Joe Ayres, who would partner with Riddle in breeding and showing cutting horses, including Lenaette.

By 1976, when he and his brother-in-law, Bill Freeman, tied as reserve champions of the NCHA Futurity, just one-half a point under champion Olan Hightower on Colonel Freckles, Riddle hit his stride as a Futurity finalist, placing for seven consecutive years. In 1990, he initiated a nine-year streak.

In 2006, at 60, Riddle showed his 19th Futurity finalist, Spoonful Of Cherrios, who placed third to Oh Cay Felix and Hydrive Cat, shown by Craig Thompson and Clint Allen, respectively, both more than 20 years younger than Riddle.