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The UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame Award: Robert Ruxer

Editor's Note: The following speech was read by Jimmy Robertson on Friday, Jan. 11, 2002, at the UPHA/AHHS Convention in Lexington, Ky. Bob Ruxer has added his own words at the end of the speech.
I’m going to start this speech with the last line, first. Let’s have a round of applause for our newest member of the UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame, Bob Ruxer.

Bob, I put that last line first because you were going to sit there while I talked, fidgeting around and saying to yourself, "I don’t deserve this." Well, three- or four-hundred of your closest friends beg to disagree, as that round of applause will testify.

Bob Ruxer’s Hall of Fame trip has been a different route from many people. We all know Bob’s uncle, Alvin Ruxer, had big ideas. He needed a special person to help carry them out. Out of college, enter Bob. As a professional horseman in Jasper, Ind., he helped develop that wonderful piece of real estate called Ruxer Farms. While he orchestrated this farm into a record shattering breeding operation for American Saddlebred horses, he had all the humility of a Gesthesemian monk.

In our world of showing, breeding and training horses, our egos can run rampant. Sometimes, we carry our egos on our chest like a red badge of courage. Our humble Hall of Famer is just the opposite. As Ruxer Farms, the broodmares, the stallions, especially Supreme Sultan, set record after record, Bob was quick to put credit elsewhere; the mares, the studs, the countless other trainers around the country who benefited from his program, Alvin’s vision. Oh, Alvin had a vision all right, but Bob had bifocals. . . to see the fine print and tend to the details, and sometimes keeping vision from becoming fission!

If I took the time needed to list all the accomplishments of Ruxer Farms under Bob’s watch, we’d have to cancel the auction, and, heaven forbid, "The Weakest Link". However, add all the great horses Bob trained and showed, the likes of Lovers Eyes, Barbados Exit, Magic Supreme, Candle Dance, and the other great horses Ruxer Farms are responsible for, such as Sultan’s Starina, Imperator, Sultan’s Supremacy, Sultan Commander, King of Siam, Ramses, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and so on. That farm, over there in RUXER, Ind, is responsible for more ribbons at Louisville than Louisville awards in a year! Not to mention the great Ruxer-bred equitation horses, the likes of Magic Marauder, Sargeant Royalty, Mellow Magic, and Harlem’s Gorgeous George. Hey, Bob! How would you like to have Magic Marauder for Chelsea right now?

While operating one of the largest farms and breeding operations in this country, Bob found time for us! He was president of the UPHA at a critical time when we really needed his calm reserve, and his own vision.

His vision is perhaps no more evident than this week, with all the talk of the judging system. Almost 20 year ago, he almost single-handedly championed the MOS System, which is now a comfortable way of life in our business.

He is not an officer of the UPHA now, but nobody’s thoughts and opinions are thought of more than Bob Ruxer’s. Those of you who were in the general meeting today heard vintage Bob. Those of you who went to the next meeting, heard vintage Bob quoted!

My favorite poem is "IF" by Rudyard Kipling. I’d like to read a few lines that are Bob Ruxer…

"If you can Dream
And not make dreams your master,
If you can think,
And not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with triumph and disaster,
And treat those two the same,
If you can talk with a crowd,
And keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings,
And not lose the common touch,
And yet, don’t look too good, or talk too wise."

I would like Bob and his two partners, his wife, Laura, and his daughter, Chelsea, to come forward, and one more time, let’s show them who belongs in the UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame. Bob Ruxer wrote the following about receiving the Tom Moore Hall Of Fame Award.

Last week at the UPHA convention in Lexington, Ky., I received a wonderful award - the UPHA Tom Moore Professional Horsemen's Hall of Fame award. While words escape me as to how surprised I was, I do have some words that need saying. Over the years, it has been my privilege to work alongside some of the most talented horsemen (and horsewomen) in the land, and we have always shared in whatever successes that have come our way. This is no different. It has always been a team effort at Ruxer Farms, and the role I have played has been a small one. To all our staff at home, to the veterinarians and farriers, and to the wonderful trainers over the years, this one is for you.

Bob Ruxer

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