Sam Lockridge '80, who has bred stake winners for four decades, bred his first winner when he was just 13. When he was in his in twenties, he bred the Triple-Crown contender, El Bakan.
Later as a racing official, Lockridge suffered a severe neck injury when a horse flipped over onto him and a jockey in the starting gate. "I owe my life to the team of neurosurgeons at UK [the University of Kentucky] who screwed my neck back together," he said. "But I owe my long, painful, and miraculous recovery to the tenacity instilled in me by both the warrior Maj. [Luke] Worsham and the logician Coach [Bill] Cushman, who taught me that with clear thinking, there is a way out of anything."
Lockridge first got to know Worsham because of their shared love of hunting and fishing. He learned a lesson about respect after talking back to the Major—just once—in class. Soccer coach Cushman also influenced Lockridge, who played on the school's undefeated, state championship team for two consecutive years. "My most vivid Baylor memory was our triumph over Father Ryan the second time for our second state championship. If anyone believes that soccer is not a contact sport, they should watch a tape of that game. We may as well have been gladiators in a coliseum that day."
Today, Lockridge, whose hands are 50% paralyzed from his horse injury, writes about the thoroughbred business. He is working on several books, and earlier this year, he wrote about a piece for the Lexington Herald-Leader about the use of drugs in racehorses.
"If it were not for Baylor I would not be the man I am today."