August, 4, 2015, Norman, OK–Jockey Eddie Garcia has been named the winner of the fifth annual Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. Garcia will be honored at an awards presentation in the winner’s circle at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, September 6th during the All American Weekend.
Garcia will receive a trophy and a belt buckle commemorating the award, as well as a signed print of a Sam Thompson painting by artist Linda Manion made exclusively for the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. Garcia’s name will be added to a permanent plaque to be displayed every year at the award ceremony. This plaque is housed in the Racing Hallway, along with the most distinguished horses and awards, at the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas, the remainder of the year.
The Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey award is a peer-elected award. Each summer, ballots are mailed to U.S. racetracks that are running Quarter Horses. Active jockeys are invited to vote for the person whose personal character on and off the racetrack reflects positively on Quarter Horse racing. This year, the five nominees were: Eddie Garcia, John Hamilton, Berkley Packer, Ricky Ramirez and Randy Wilson.
Previous winners of the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award include: Roy Brooks, the first winner in 2011; Gilbert Ortiz in 2012; G. R. Carter, Jr. in 2013; and Cody Jensen in 2014.
This year’s award winner, Eddie Garcia, was born on November 21, 1964, in Tala, Mexico. He has been involved with horses his entire life. He grew up on a farm with racehorses and began riding them at six years of age. At 15, he moved to the U.S. where he worked at breaking race foals. At 16, he started his riding career at Laurel Brown racetrack in Utah. Eddie’s first stakes victory came aboard Easy Conversation in the 1986 Los Alamitos Championship. Since that time, he has won many stakes events including the All American Futurity-G1 aboard A Classic Dash, the Los Alamitos $2 Million-G1 twice aboard Corona Cartel and Tres Passes, and the Golden State Million-G1 twice aboard Artesias Specialchic and Tres Passes.
Eddie and his wife Jane, who have been married for nearly 30 years, live in Buena Park, California. They have three children – Tara, Christian and Tresa.
Speedhorse Magazine, in conjunction with The Jockeys’ Guild, developed the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, modeling it after the popular George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in the Thoroughbred industry. The award is named in honor of jockey Sam Thompson, who suffered a fatal riding accident in 2008. One of the leaders in the jockeys’ room during his riding career, Thompson was a Jockeys’ Guild senator, the room representative at Los Alamitos, and a council member of the Los Alamitos division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.
For more information on the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, contact Speedhorse at (405) 288-2145.