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Rigan McKinney

Rigan McKinney
Induction Year: 
Career Years: 
Number of Mounts: 
Number of Winners: 
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    Rigan McKinney rode steeplechase races during the years of the Great Depression. McKinney had grown up in a family long associated with Thoroughbred racing as owners, breeders, and amateur riders. He won his first race at age 14 at an Ohio Fair. His preparation for steeplechase riding under famed trainer Tommy Hitchcock began a few years later.


    McKinney's reputation as a daring rider is clearly visible in his racing statistics. In 1936 and 1938 he won on 55 and 59% of his mounts, respectively. His best mounts were Green Cheese, Beacon Hill, Annibal, Chenango, Rioter, and Amagansett. In 1931 McKinney won the American Grand National aboard Green Cheese and set a record time that would last a quarter of a century. He won a second Grand National with Annibal. He also rode Beacon Hill to victory in the Bushwick Hurdle under 170 pounds.


    When McKinney retired from riding, he trained steeplechase horses, including Navigate, Drift, The Heir, Quiet, Hot, Banner Waves and Sundowner. He also was a leading breeder.


     Rigan McKinney was the nation's leading amateur steeplechase rider for four seasons: 1933-34, 1936, and 1938. He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1968.