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From the personal collection of jockey Jacinto Vasquez. A saddle filled with sentiment and history. Personally used by Jacinto Vasquez while working for Hall of fame trainer Frank Whiteley. Worn repeatedly during the jockeys morning workouts on racing greats from the Whiteley barn including Ruffian and Forego, and most likely worn by other Whiteley-trained champion Damascus. Vintage leather saddle probably dates back to the sixties and was used by those working in the barn for morning workouts and exercise riders. Time-worn saddle was a particular favorite of Vasquez's. Whiteley and Vasquez struck up a friendship which endured for more than a quarter of a century which saw Vasquez first ride for the legendary trainer in 1963, ultimately becoming his regular rider in the mid-seventies and given the mount on the great Ruffian. Vasquez continued working for Whiteley all the way up until the trainers retirement in 1984. In the late seventies, Whiteley gave Vasquez the familiar and sentimental saddle as token of appreciation for the jock's devotion to Ruffian as well as his years of service and friendship working together in the barn. The saddle is hand-signed by Vasquez and has accompanying photo taken this year at Saratoga Race Course during the 2015 Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Ruffian received many accolades over time, but none may have been more powerful and poignant than those of Lucien Laurin, trainer of 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat: “As God is my judge, she might be better than Secretariat”
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Summer/August 2006 Catalog