Clarence “Court” Courtright
A Horseman’s Journey:
Born into an Oklahoma family of horsemen in 1934, it is no surprise that Court chose a career doing what he loved. At a very young age his family left for California to escape the deadly dust bowl, they returned to Oklahoma when he was 13 and purchased acreage. By the age of 14 he began riding quarter horse match races on Oklahoma tracks.
Age 18, he graduated from Perkins High. Representing the state of Oklahoma competing in livestock showing and judging throughout the Midwest, Court earned a two-year scholarship in Animal Husbandry, dairy cattle and products. Of course, every weekend and free day was spent riding and racing, including a period of competing in rodeo rough stock events (bull and saddle bronc riding).
From 1954 thru 1961 Court worked at his mother’s upholstery/drapery shop while racing on weekends; this included the Oklahoma Futurity & Derby trials and matched races in Muskogee, Tulsa and various tracks in Oklahoma and Texas, mostly on quarter horses. Appaloosa’s were just beginning to race on parimutuel tracks, and he rode those races too.
In 1962 trainers asked him to ride thoroughbreds from spring to early fall at Centennial Park Denver and eventually in Phoenix and Tucson. His career as a Jockey eventually led to the NW & California circuits. While riding the NW circuit in the early 1960s, he met the love of his life, Nancy. Court and Nancy were married in January 1965 and were joined by their first son Colton in 1969 and second son Clay in 1972.
In 1974 Court went down while horse racing at Santa Rosa. The horse behind him clipped the heels of his horse. He suffered a serious neck injury and was advised to retire. But retirement did not end riding, as he became a successful jump rider with a stable owned by Nancy and Court. He served as Assistant Racing Secretary and Patrol Judge at Portland Meadows for Jerry Collins, who owned the track.
Court and Nancy eventually sold their stable, NK, and moved to Corbett, Oregon in 1979. During this time, he started a 20 plus year career as a rural mail carrier for the US Postal Service. Never one to stay idle, as all of you know, he never really hung up his spurs and immediately returned to horses upon retirement. He became a licensed racehorse trainer in Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia. In 2006 he was inducted into the Appaloosa Hall of Fame by setting more world records on Appaloosa’s than any other jockey at that time.
Although Court ran his last race on December 24, 2020, he leaves behind his beloved wife of 55 years. His son’s loving families Colt and Marlys, Arowyn and Addison (granddaughters), and Clay and Jami Courtright. And all of you, his good friends.
Court will always provide a strong inspiration as he truly lived, loved, looked for the good in people and situations, and remained positive with a can-do attitude throughout his life.
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Shinta Imansjah saysDecember 28, 2020 at 11:08 pm
My deepest condolences to the Courtright’s family.
I know words can’t take away the hurt you’re feeling, but I want you to know how much I care. Sending you love and strength in this time of loss.
Kathy Bates saysDecember 29, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Nancy and family….my deepest sympathies and condolences. Clarence was one of the bright memories from long years at the Post Office. Glad Judy and I were able to visit with you both this fall. I will miss him terribly
Judy McIntosh saysDecember 29, 2020 at 7:31 pm
Nancy you and Puddin were the perfect couple.I feel lucky to have worked next to him for all those years at the post office. He was truly a good friend. My heart goes out to you and your family. He will be missed by many.
Linda Stemerick saysJanuary 5, 2021 at 9:07 am
Jami and Clay I am so very sorry for your loss. Keep all the memories close to your heart and one day you will meet again. Hugs to you both.
Keri Corrigan-Smith saysJanuary 17, 2021 at 10:26 pm
Our hearts are broken hearing this news. I’m so sorry. I will carry many fond memories of Court close to my heart. We are sending you all lots of love and prayers.
Susan Hennessy saysFebruary 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm
Nancy, Colton and Clay ; We are so sad to learn of Courts passing. The Houf /Hennessy families are so sorry and heartbroken. We all have such wonderful memories 🙂 Nancy could you please call Jackie with your phone number.
Pat Horne saysSeptember 13, 2022 at 8:39 pm
We were the Courtright’s neighbors through our children growing up. Our children grew up together. They learned from Court, how to show animals. Court and Nancy made raising children easier. They did a remarkable job and helped me as well. Courtright took life with humor and ease. Thank You Courtright’s.
Your neighbor and friend
Nancy Courtright saysDecember 23, 2022 at 10:08 am
I still miss you every day and will never stop loving you. At Christmas you always put “to my loving wife Nancy”. All my memories of you confirmed.
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