Bobby D. Cox

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017

Bobby Cox registered his first winner in 1979 and through July 2016 had been represented as a breeder by stakes winners and the earners of more than $21.8 million.

Highly respected in the breeding and racing worlds, Bobby Cox is third behind only Dr. Ed Allred and Vessels Stallion Farm as an all-time leading breeder of racing American Quarter Horses. Cox registered his first winner in 1979 and through July 2016 had been represented as breeder by 63 stakes winners and the earners of more than $21.8 million.

“Brimmerton is my all-time favorite horse,” Cox says, of the now 15-year-old stallion by First Down Dash and out of Fitting Celebration. Brimmerton has sired 17 stakes winners and the earners of more than $5.4 million.   

Cox named Brimmerton for the cruiser on which he served in the Navy. “My first racehorse was a Thoroughbred claimer, and I’ve run some other Thoroughbreds over the years, but I’ve just always primarily stuck with Quarter Horses. First of all, they’re beautiful animals and second they are the most versatile horse there is. You can do anything with them.”

At age 81, Cox still rides on his ranch of nearly 3,000 acres, where he breeds mares and raises their babies, and uses homebred Quarter Horses to work his Black Angus cattle. The ranch is at Peaster, Texas, just west of where he and Leona, his wife of more than 60 years, live in Fort Worth. The AQHA champion owner in 2004 and 2010, Cox was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2008 and to the Ruidoso Racehorse Hall of Fame in 2013.

But he has yet to get to where he wants to be.

“I feel like I’m a pretty big failure in the horse business because I’ve never won the All American Futurity (G1), which is the race everybody wants to win,” he laments. “The closest I’ve come is running third twice. I’ve won the All American Derby (G1) twice, but that’s not like winning the Futurity.”

Cox scored his Derby wins with Brimmerton in 2004 and Dont Let Down in 2007.

“Our ranch has a sign saying, ‘Winning is not everything, it’s the only thing,’ ” he says. “That’s correct in one sense, but in another very real sense, the experience – being there, being in the race itself, just being a part of it – is great even if you don’t win.

Cox was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017.