This man was truly a gentleman’s gentleman. No hair was ever out of place, he was always well dressed and his horses were immaculate. He won all the major shows that could be won in that era. It was common knowledge that when you rode against Ray and palomino Twiddle Dior, you rode for second. He rode Ziper and under his training and guidance, Shiney Pants was inducted into the Cow Horse Hall of Fame.
His friend of over 5 decades, Jack Swanson, wrote the following: “He rode slightly forward with a balanced seat and a lot of let. He was very respectful of his horse and very careful. To my observation he talked to his horse through the reins. He never raised his voice, his quite demeanor never panicked a colt. I have a tape of his last words describing Shiney Pants and his love of this horse. He said the horse told him he didn’t want to show anymore. Ray took off his bridle and never showed him again.
“Anyone could have learned from Ray. He was never drunk but enjoyed his whiskey, and a good visit talking of horses. I don’t know how a man could be so lucky to be able to have known Hackworth He was my friend.”