Jockey Ronnie Franklin


The Belmont Stakes
Spectacular Bid
"Gallop to Glory"
"Gallop to Glory" Photos
**Final Appearances**
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I remember crabbing on the Wye river a few times with Ronnie and my son. Sorry to hear of his death. RIP Ronnie. Condolences to his family.



I can say I knew him when he first came on the track, before he ever sat on a horse. I always thought it was not a good idea to place such a young, inexperienced child amongst us hardened race trackers. We all tried to help him as much as he would allow. He was a kid and had all the answers, as all kids do. He did finally grow up, after he left the track, and I've read some very nice articles about him and was happy to see that he found his place on this earth. And now, he is in his ultimate home, where peace and understanding abound. RIP, Ronnie.



Death is sad enough, let alone passing at a fairly young age. The Bid will always be remembered as a great one in my book of who's who. I will think of Ronnie when I call on memories of the gray. Lung cancer is vicious. I hope he is at peace now. My sincere condolences to Ron's family and friends.


man o' war 

I think The Bid is one of the top 5 greatest horses, at least in my opinion. As for lung cancer, yes, I knew a lady who had it and her end was absolutely horrid. I hope no one goes through what that nice elderly lady went through. Ron did good on Bid but I always had wished both Bid and if I can interject, Easy Goer had different jockeys. But, now he's met up with his great grey horse and galloping the greener pastures!


Neil Nap 

Very sad; much too young. Some of the interviews from 1979 (youtube) are painful to watch. This kid had a target on his back, and didn't seem to know how to handle it. I wonder if Cauthen hadn't gotten it done in '78 if the owners of Bid would have stuck with Franklin they way they did. Some of his rides (The Florida Derby in particular - The Belmont aside, were pretty bad). In any case, much too young. RIP.



The Florida Derby is the race that proves Bid’s greatness; any other horse wouldn’t have recovered from that horrible ride



RIP, Franklin. Forever reunited with the Bid.


Lisa Achilli 

I find it ironic that a lot of us have been discussing Spectacular Bid and Franklin on another thread today, and I come back to my desk and see the news of his passing. Rest in Peace, Ronny. You were blessed to be on one of the best.



very sad; RIP


Lomita Momcat 

Oh, my, that's so sad to hear, 58 is far too young.

Jockeys have a really tough time, health-wise. So many of them resort to unhealthy ways of keeping their weight down, and the constant focus on weight is psychologically hard. Because of the many falls they take during their careers, the rate of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is as high or higher for jockeys as it is for pro football players. And they all know every time they enter the starting gate, they could have a fall that leaves them paralyzed or dead.

Most of them face financial stresses, too, because of the ups and downs of the career and problems with injuries.

I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Franklin's passing, his life cut short. I hope his soul is at peace. I'm sure his family is grieving his loss, and I hope they find peace too. My heart goes out to them.


Bill B. 

I know what the saddle cloth says, but that doesn't look like the Spectacular Bid that I remember. Not even a hint of gray. Franklin rode the worst race I've ever seen in my life in a major race in that Belmont and caused a giant of a horse to miss out on history. It must have haunted him for life. I don't remember seeing him ride again after that Belmont, but it's been a long time and obviously he did. Rest in peace.


Was very sorry to hear about Ronnie, so young, relatively. And had no idea he was in poor health, last heard he was working with horses at a training center in Louisiana. Rest In Peace, Ronnie, we will always remember the Glory Days ...



Such a path of battle to run against and beat ~ it is an odd, however sad relief to know that he finally found his peace; took his mount upon the Spectacular Bid, reins in hand and rides home in a final win of glory ~

Rest well Ronnie; breathe deep, the air of comfort and the breeze of memories cover all those that loved and held you dear to heart:(

Patricia King 

My condolences to his family and friends. His rides on Bid were life altering I am sure.
Rest in Peace.


Laura Fleischer Coronado 

Condolences to his family and friends.



Deepest sympathy to his family, friends and loved ones. May you all find comfort that his pain and suffering is no more.



Condolences to Ronnie Franklin's loved ones and may he find peace. 



Steve McPherson 

Troubled but talented guy. Deep down really was a good guy.



Brudder_A  Steve McPherson 

Not the only jockey who has had issues....



Lomita Momcat  Brudder_A 

Many of the problems jockeys have parallel the problems pro football players have, and for the same reason: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

I remember Johnny Longden and Bill Shoemaker both had alcohol problems, and I remember that Johnny Loftus, Man O' War's jockey, had some issues too after he retired.

Being a jockey is a tough job. Really hard on the body.