H.C. "Bubba" Werner Jr. Passes Away
NEW BRAUNFELS, TX—APRIL 23, 2019—H.C. Werner, Jr., a member of the Ruidoso Hall of Fame and former leading Quarter Horse trainer, died Friday (April 19) following a lengthy battle with cancer. Known among friends and in his profession by his boyhood nickname, "Bubba", he was 82.
A memorial services will be held later this year in Ruidoso.
Born in Corpus Christi "Bubba" was a resident of New Braunfels, Texas at the time of his death.
He had a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Texas, however horses have always been his life. As a boy he hung around his father’s racetrack in Kerrville and was a rodeo performer in college. Following graduation he sold veterinary pharmaceuticals and began as a part-time trainer, hauling his clients' horses to run weekends on the small-town tracks of Texas. In 1969 he quit his job to train full-time.
Ironically, Werner’s lucky break came when an owner fired him.
After a profitable two-year-old season in 1971, the owner of a gelding named Come Six concluded that Werner’s services were no longer needed. After Come Six's 3-year-old year started out disastrously, the owner came back and Werner consented to train the gelding on a 50-50 basis.
Come Six was AQHA Racing Champion Gelding three years in a row and finished a four-year career with 17 wins in 39 starts and $345,322 in winnings. Among his many wins were the Los Alamitos Invitational Championship, World’s Championship Classic and the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association Derby.
In 1973 his horses won $466,000, ranking him second among quarter horse trainers nationwide. In 1974 he led all trainers in races won at Ruidoso Downs.
Inducted in the Ruidoso Racehorse Hall of Fame in 2017, he won many major quarter horse stakes races. He took the All American Derby and the El Primero Del Ano Derby with Mito Wise Dancer, the Kansas (now Ruidoso) Futurity with Gentlemens Feature, the World’s Championship Classic at Ruidoso Downs with Bar Roula, was runner up in the Kansas Futurity with Baby Hold On, to name only a few of his outstanding trainees.
Come Six participated in probably the greatest match-race in Quarter Horse history when he went up against the famous Thoroughbred sire *Beduino at the Hipódromo de las Américas in México City, Mexico. The match race took place February 24, 1974 in front of a crowd estimated at 50,000 racing fans. Even though he was beaten, Come Six posted a personal best time at 440 yards, but it was Beduino’s :21.3 clocking that proved to be too much.
"Bubba" saddled stakes winners at seven different tracks during this career and he developed the ranch and training center that is now Fulton Quien Sabe Ranch in Stonewall, Texas.
His son Ronny Werner is a notable Thoroughbred trainer of earners of more than $23.4 million including Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap winner Ermine and his grandson, Will Werner, is a successful racetrack veterinarian.
Information regarding his memorial service will be posted when it becomes available.