Jensen Wins Sam Thompson Memorial Award
California rider becomes the fourth winner of the award.
August 14, 2014
Jockey Cody Jensen has been named the winner of the fourth annual Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. Jensen will be honored at an awards presentation in the winner's circle at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, August 31, during the All American Weekend.
Jensen 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. Jensen's name will be added to a permanent plaque to be displayed every year at the award ceremony.
The Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey award is a peer-elected award. Each summer, ballots are mailed to U.S. racetracks that are running American 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: Oscar Delgado, Eddie Garcia, Cody Jensen, Ricky Ramirez and Stormy Smith. The first winner of the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award winner was Roy Brooks in 2011. The 2012 Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award winner was Gilbert Ortiz. The 2013 Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award winner was G.R. Carter Jr.
This year's award winner, Cody Jensen, was born on October 31, 1975, in Providence, Utah. He has been involved with horse racing his entire life. His father, Leon, was a jockey, and some of Cody's earliest memories are of being at the racetrack. Cody feels he was extremely blessed to have his father as his mentor. He even got to ride with him for two years.
Cody started riding the intermountain region before moving his tack to California in late 2001. He now splits his time between the tracks in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and California. Cody lists his most memorable accomplishment as winning back-to-back All American Futurities (G1) in 2005 aboard Teller Cartel and in 2006 on No Secrets Here.
Jensen is one of the leading riders of 2014 and has stood at the top of his field each year for over a decade with his mounts having earned over $1 million every year for the past 12 years. As of August 12, he has ridden the earners of nearly $31 million. Jensen has started in 8,753 races and his record includes 1,476 wins and 160 stakes wins with 91 graded stakes victories. He is only the third jockey to have won the prestigious All American Futurity two years in a row, joining Billy Hunt (1980-1981) and Jacky Martin (1988-1989). Other notable Grade 1 stakes that Jensen has won include the All American Derby with Inseperable, as well as the Rainbow Derby (four times), Ruidoso Futurity (twice), Golden State Derby (twice), Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (four times) and Los Alamitos Winter Derby (four times).
Cody and his wife, Amy, live in Orange County, California, where Amy is a high school teacher.
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.
AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.