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Posted on May 18, 2015
Empty Saddles

Robert Adair 1943-2015




Bobby Adair, Springville, CA. passed away May 16th following a battle with cancer. He was 71-years-old. Bobby was elected to the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1998, and received a shout-out from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert minutes after winning the Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert said during an interview with NBC that he dedicated American Pharoah’s victory “to a friend of mine, Bob Adair, who isn’t doing too good right now.”


Bob graduated from high school in 1961 in Hagerman, NM and began his riding career at Ruidoso Downs that same summer, later riding winners at La Mesa Park, Sunland Park and at the state fair competition in Albuquerque; and, throughout the 1960s he rode at various tracks in Texas and Colorado, ultimately competing from New York to Washington.; In his twenty-year career, Bobby Adair won 1,705 at the Los Alamitos, California track alone. One hundred seventeen of these wins were stakes victories with bonus purses. For six consecutive seasons he was the track's leading rider and the first rider in track history to win one hundred or more races in a season, winning one hundred three in 1969; and, from 1968 through 1972, for five consecutive years, he was the nation's leading quarter horse jockey. He ended his career coming up just a little short of his personal lifetime goal of 3,000 victories.


In 1984, Adair retired from the track after he broke his shoulder when a horse fell with him. Following his retirement, Adair worked for Los Alamitos as an outrider, and he did the same job behind the scenes during the filming of “Seabiscuit.” During his off hours, Bobby and his wife Linda and their daughter Julie became team ropers. Bobby joined a new outfit in 1990 called USTRC, member number 1074.

On Friday, may 15th, one day before he passed away, Los Alamitos Race Course owner Ed Allred announced that starting in April 2016, the Orange County track will host a new $60,000 race named the Bobby Adair Stakes for 3-year-olds and upward at 350 yards.


Services will be held Friday, May 22nd, at 11:00 AM, at The Lighthouse Chapel, 35811 Rio Vista, in Springville, CA.


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