12/20/2015 9:15AM

Quarter Horse legend G.R. Carter retires

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Jockey G.R. Carter Jr., the all-time leading Quarter Horse rider in wins and earnings, retired Saturday night at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. His final mount was a fifth-place finish aboard The Valiant Man in the $257,650 EVD Futurity. The race came on the final card of the meet at Evangeline. 

Carter, 47, has won 4,153 races in his career for mount earnings of more than $73 million, according to Daily Racing Form records. Of his wins, more than 3,800 have been aboard Quarter Horses, according to a release from Evangeline. He has had 25,220 mounts, according to Daily Racing Form.

Carter became the all-time winningest Quarter Horse jockey in May 2014 at Ruidoso Downs, hitting No. 3,632 in a trial race with Tempting Destiny. At that point, he had already held the earnings mark with Quarter Horses, according to a release from Ruidoso. 

“It’s been a great ride,” Carter said in a Saturday interview at Evangeline. “I’m not walking away from horse racing. I’ll probably own a few, might train a few.”

Carter said he also would spend time working with one of his business ventures. He told Daily Racing Form in September that he and a friend have an oilfield pipeline business in Oklahoma City that employs 70 people. Carter also said in the interview that he planned to retire at the end of the year, but that he was leaving the window open to ride a few horses in 2016.

 

Carter said Saturday night that he was appreciative of his family, the horses, owners and trainers that helped him in his career. He said the “ultimate” for him was winning two runnings of the prestigious All American Futurity. His wins came in 1998 with Falling In Loveagain and in 2008 with Stolis Winner.

Carter in July won 10 of the 32 trials held for the Rainbow Futurity. He qualified a total of five horses for the 10-horse finale at Ruidoso Downs.

Evangeline feted Carter in a winner’s circle presentation following Saturday night’s 10th race, the EVD Futurity. The rider’s first career win came on Aug. 16, 1986, at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, Okla.