2015 AQHA Champion Jockey Ricky Ramirez

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January 29th, 2016

Quarter Horse jockey Ricky Ramirez was very emotional when he made his acceptance speech on January 20 as  he was named AQHA Champion Jockey

. It was the first time he had received the honor, which is the Quarter Horse equivalent to Thoroughbred's Eclipse Award.

However, Ramirez was very deserving of the title, winning noted graded stakes at Remington Park, Lone Star, Ruidoso Downs and Louisiana Downs. He piloted Tres Friends to victories in both the Rainbow Futurity and the Texas Classic Futurity (G1) and had two derby wins with Bodacious Eagle. Ramirez completed 2015 with 91 wins,74 seconds and 49 third-place finishes. His mounts won $3.6 million, which was his best showing.

Growing up in Odessa, Texas, the now-30-year-old Ramirez cut his teeth in the early days at the match racetrack in his hometown. But it was his status as first call rider for Blane and Trey Wood that vaulted him into the elite level of Quarter Horse racing.

He thanked the entire Wood family when accepting his award in Oklahoma City, and received a big hug from his young son.

If you don't see him named on too many horses in February and early March, don't worry. He is busy working horses for the Wood barn and other horsemen in Oklahoma. Count on watching him get 2016 off to a big start when the 2016 Quarter Horse meet kicks off at Remington Park on March 11.