The Ironman Takes Some Time Off

by Ed Meyer

posted on August 7, 2019 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>

Image may contain: Perry Ouzts, smiling, outdoor


Perry Wayne Ouzts is a fixture on the Ohio scene and a legend in the history books. On July 7th, he turned 65-years-young doing what he loves. – He had a spill at Belterra Park on July 28th. – For the 51,218 mounts in his career, you can bet this isn’t his first injury.

Initially, he was taken to the hospital for a dislocated shoulder. – Perry was heard as saying; “I’ll go and get checked and be back on Thursday.” – These were great plans, and if I had to bet a dollar he would’ve been working horses on Wednesday. – His shoulder was put back in place, and as a precaution, the doctors wanted to have an MRI. It came back showing three cracks in his rotator cuff; according to OTBO Executive Director, John C. Engelhardt.  This changed his plans for returning the following Thursday.

Of his 51,218 mounts, he has 7,065 career wins that started with Rablu at Beulah Park in 1973. Perry is the 7th all-time leading rider in Thoroughbred history. He still works horses on a daily basis where most younger riders won’t do the early morning shift. But that’s his work ethic from a storied family of riders who grew up doing it the right way. – If you call that “old school” it would make Perry Ouzts the Headmaster.

He is 8 wins ahead of Angel Cordero and 34 wins ahead of Edgar Prado. – If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching him ride a winner he jogs back slowly to the winner’s circle. You could liken it to enjoying a fine cigar or a vintage glass of wine. – He knows the way and enjoys every moment like it was his first win.

He is going to be on the shelf for eight to nine months. – He’ll miss the remainder of the meet but plans on returning to Belterra Park next spring. “I’m not gonna let this end my career. I’ll be the one who makes that call and go out on my terms.”

I’ve been watching for a number of years and have enjoyed every milestone in his storied career. – I’m already counting the days until I see him take the track in the summer sun at Belterra Park. – Get some rest, Perry. We wish you the very best taking time to heal and look forward to seeing you at the races.