Former Quarter Horse Jockey Jerry Richards Passes Away

Courtesy Green County Funeral Home
Former Quarter Horse Jockey Jerry Richards Passes Away

FAYETTEVILLE, AR–FEBRUARY 5, 2024–Former Quarter Horse jockey Jerry Lee Richards, affectionately known as Jerry to his loved ones, passed away February 2, 2024, in Fayetteville, Arkansas surrounded by the warmth of his family’s love.

Born March 19, 1943, he was a man of remarkable spirit and faith whose adventurous soul shone brightly through his life’s endeavors and relationships. His legacy is one of courage, tenacity, laughter, and the pursuit of dreams, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who knew him.

He was born into a family with horse racing in their blood. Jerry’s passion for horse racing was evident from a young age. He embarked on a riding career as a young kid and began his training on match tracks near his home. This would ignite a journey that would define much of his life.

Jerry’s service in the United States Navy further instilled in him a sense of discipline and resilience that he carried into every facet of his life, including his return to the racing world. His dream of becoming a recognized figure in horse racing was not merely a vision; it was a reality he crafted with every race, his win photos across the country serving as an autobiographical testament to his tenacity and skill.

After proudly serving his country, Jerry continued to chase his dreams with vigor, his name becoming synonymous with determination and success in the racing community. His natural ability as a rider, coupled with his small-town charm and unwavering dedication, allowed him to live out the dream that had been a part of his family’s legacy for generations.

According to AQHA records, Jerry rode 449 winners with earnings of more than $1.27 million dollars. He won the Los Alamitos Derby twice aboard Inkys Angel in 1972 and Etta Capri in 1974.

Jerry’s quick wit and entertaining stories made him a beloved figure, not just in his professional circle but also within the close-knit fabric of his family and friends. He was a fighter in every sense of the word, never shying away from a challenge and always facing life’s hurdles with a mixture of humor and grace.

Jerry is the grandfather of current top PRCA Saddle Bronc rider Rocker Steiner.

He leaves behind a loving family including his children, Randy Richards and wife, April, of Keota, Oklahoma; Rhonda Patterson of Cambridge, England; Renae Price and husband, Jeff, of Stilwell, Oklahoma; Rodney Richards and Starlyn of Mescalero, New Mexico; Jamie and husband, Sid Steiner, of Weatherford, Texas; Robin Harris and husband, Jimmy, of Lawton, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Heath, Nick, Casey, Chad, Waylon, Kyle, Courtney, Jeran, Kade, Chasen, Morning Star, Rocker, Steely, Bryce and Gavin, many great-grandchildren, beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Aubrey Richards of Westville, Oklahoma; his daughter, Regina (Sissy) Richards and son, Chase Vann, a brother, Kenneth Richards of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and a sister, Deloris Hendrix of Proctor, Oklahoma. His passing marks the end of an era for the Richards family, but the memories they hold dear will continue to inspire and guide them.

Jerry’s life was a vivid tapestry of courage, passion, humor, and unwavering faith. Those who knew him were blessed by his spirited nature and the adventurous tales that accompanied his many journeys. He was a source of inspiration for his family and friends and those who crossed paths with him.

As we bid farewell to Jerry, we celebrate a life lived fully and with great passion. His story does not end here, for his spirit will forever gallop across the hearts of those who loved him, just as it once did across the racetracks of his youth.

Services are under the direction of Green Country Funeral Home.