LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen November  19, 2017

TRAINER BOBBY TOUCHET

Appearances can often times be deceiving. At first glance, Bobby Touchet might seem more suited to be an actor in one of the vintage Westerns, waiting for his cue for a colossal shootout. Without a doubt, he would be the last man standing, blowing the smoke from his pistol and galloping into the sunset on a gorgeous Palomino.

Okay, maybe that's a tad far-fetched, but in reality, Touchet is not the intimidating, serious dude you might gather from first glance! He's a hard-working trainer and breeder with a heart of gold and an engaging personality.

Texas Born and Raised

Touchet was born in Brownsville, Texas, and learned the ropes from his father, Dennis, a trainer. Neither of his two brothers or sister had any interest in the horses, but it was a certainty for Bobby. He graduated high school and attended college, but knew he wanted to make a career in racing.

He took out his trainer's license in 2002 and developed many stakes winners including Gray Invasion, Zupers Quick Dash, Check Cathy and Mr Queens Mystery, his biggest earner. The Oklahoma-bred son of Shazoom won the 2008 Texas Classic Futurity, picking up a check for $513,888.

"I had never won a million dollar race," recalled Touchet. "He didn't even break his maiden as a 2-year-old until October. He was paid into the Texas Classic and blew the doors off them in the final. It was awesome!"

Texas remains important to Touchet as he still has his home and farm in Brownsville. He prefers to skip the Louisiana Downs meet in favor of breaking his 2-year-olds in the first three months of the year. He will be prominent at the upcoming Sam Houston Race Park meet, which gets underway on March 27.

Game Patriot

Touchet owns Game Patriot, who made 15 starts from 1999-2000 and earned close to a quarter of a million dollars. Following his final race in 2000, the son of Chicks Beduino has become a nationally acclaimed stallion, standing at Robicheaux Ranch in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. His stakes-winning progeny includes Little Bit Trashy, Worlds on High, AB Hope for Cash, Game and 2008 All American Futurity runner-up Jet Black Patriot.

Ryan Robicheaux, who manages the operation for his parents, Jude and Regina, has a world of respect for Touchet.

"Game Patriot made Robicheaux Ranch," states Robicheaux. "As far as Bobby is concerned, he is one of the nicest guys in the business; always willing to help people out."

Champion Breeder Recognition

At the annual Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association banquet on April 11 at Delta Downs, Touchet will be honored as Champion Breeder for 2014. The incentives for breeding in Louisiana are growing and Touchet earned $151,000 in breeder (mare) awards last year. He is grateful for the recognition and gives all the credit to a mare named Hot Charge.

Hot Charge made 13 starts for Touchet in 2009-2010, winning 3 races and earning just $15,076.

"I trained Hot Charge, a Hotdoggin mare," said Touchet. "She had stifle problems and only ran for two years. But she had an unbelievable heart. I really felt she would make a great broodmare."

On February 24, 2012, Hot Charge, who was bred to Game Patriot, delivered a colt named Game. Ryan Robicheaux remembers Game being "kind of small" and sold for $12,000 to Joseph Landreneau at the 2013 LQHBA Yearling Sale. Game went on to win both the Laddie and Lee Berwick Futurities at Delta Downs, finishing off the board just once in nine starts in 2014. The investment at the sale paid off handsomely for Landreneau, as Game's earnings stand at $505,994.

For Touchet, he is delighted, but not surprised in the success, and is proud of his mare.

"As a breeder, I believe a lot in the mama," states Touchet. "Hot Charge may not have been a winning race mare, but she is so smart and is as sweet as she can be. I always had faith in her."

Overcoming Adversity

Eight years ago, Touchet was diagnosed with Tinnitus, a medical condition more commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears". He is one of 50 million people in our country with the ailment, which sometimes sound like hissing or clicking. Other times the volume can be shattering and debilitating. There is no cure for Tinnitus, but several treatment options exist.

"It can be tough," said Touchet. "In the beginning, I would just avoid talking to people because I would not be able to understand what they were saying. I am sure that some thought I was rude, but it was really hard to hear."

Touchet is a positive guy and accepts this condition with dignity. He prefers to focus on his horses and is looking forward to seeing some of the 2-year-olds prepare for their debuts at Sam Houston and Delta Downs.

It's probably no surprise that Touchet does not have a list of vacation plans stockpiled for the future. He's a self-admitted workaholic, who loves what he does, despite the challenges of the racing and breeding industry. But pressed, he does admit what he enjoys doing in his rare spare time.

"My idea of a super vacation is going to the Ruidoso and Heritage Place Sale," admits Touchet. "That's when I don't have to work and can look at all those great babies."

It's hard to put a closing bid on this guy!

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.