EIKLEBERRY CLAIMS A SMALL PIECE OF CANTERBURY HISTORY

Runnin Red Barron - Ry Eikleberry All Time Leading Quarter Horse Rider at Canterbury Park - 06-04-15 - R02 - CBY 002

BY JIM WELLS

 

Ry Eikleberry had not been on a quarter horse that he could recall, and yet Jerry Livingston wanted him to ride for his barn.

It was 2006 and Livingston, without a rider, pursued the young jockey through his parents.

“I was pretty much like a lot of people who don’t know,’’ Eikleberry recalled, “and thought that quarter horses were kind of strange.’’

Nonetheless, Eikleberry decided to give it a try and showed up to work a Livingston horse one morning. “How far do you want me to work him?’’ he asked. “Two-twenty,’’ Livingston replied.

Trouble was “I was looking at the “thoroughbred’’ poles and worked the horse 440,’’ Eikleberry recalled with a laugh.

It didn’t seem to matter. The next day Eikleberry mounted the horse, Sociable, and won his first quarter horse race. “History was being made right there,’’ Livingston said.

Eikleberry extended the history lesson Thursday night, winning the first two races on the card to become Canterbury Park’s all-time leading quarter horse rider with 97 wins, one more than Scott Schindler and three in front of Tad Leggett.

He was aboard a 3-year-old filly named Beautifulish, owned by Bob and Julie Petersen, in the first race and Runnin Red Barron, owned by John Lawless, in the second.

“I like riding Ry because he tries so hard and he never gives up,’’ said Bob Petersen.

Eikleberry was aboard a Petersen horse named Seis it Fast on one occasion. “He didn’t get a good start and the announcer said that he was a beaten favorite,’’ Petersen said. “But Ry kept after him and won the race.’’

 

 

Several years ago, Eikleberry was aboard a horse named Oak Tree Boulevard, a horse with an attitude. The Petersens had to put a helmet on the horse whenever they moved him by van from place to place.

Bob recalled a race when Oak Tree broke from the one hole and was run into the fence by the horse in the two hole. Didn’t matter. “Ry still got that horse home to win,’’ Petersen said.

Eikleberry won five races on Sociable that first year. In fact he won all of the races for the barn and Livingston lost the training title on the final day of the meet to Ed Ross Hardy.

All of that seems now like ancient history to Eikleberry, who won  the first of three consecutive quarter horse titles in in 2008 and his first thoroughbred title last season.

Thursday, after dismounting Runnin Red Barron Eikleberry was greeted by a number of well wishers. One of them was Bob Petersen. “Way to go. Congratulations,’’ he said.

And, of course, Livingston, smiling from ear to ear, as he extended his well wishes.

“It all started with you,’’ Eikleberry said to him. “You started it.’’

 

 

 

 

 

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