KINGSTON, Jamaica – Percy Hussey, who started his professional career of conditioning horses for at Caymanas Park in 1977, left the game in 2011 after saddling a respectable 434 winners in his 34-year career, has returned to his old job.
Hussey said that while he was not conditioning horses for racing he was still active in the sport as a breeder.
“The horse that I can remember I last saddled was around 2011. I left the training aspect of the game because of family reasons. My brother Charlie [former jockey Charles “Bogle Man” Hussey] stopped riding; my father [Lawrence Hussey] took sick, and I lost interest in the sport. I kept breeding horses, and although I lost interest I never left racing,” Hussey stated.
After years away from training, Hussey made a return to competitive racing on Saturday, March 25, 2023, when he saddled his first runner, One Don, in the third event on the 10-race card.
The five-year-old American-bred chestnut horse One Don was entered in a three-year-old and upwards Claiming ($750,000–$600,000) spread over six furlongs (1,200m). Ridden by champion jockey Dane Dawkins, One Don, who led for most of the way, finished in third place behind Johncrowjeff and Kay Boy.
“My son Ruben is back now helping me and he wants to learn the game, so I am back helping him as well. Trainer Anthony Nunes is also helping him [Ruben], and so that’s why I am here.
“I am very excited to be back training horses; I mean, this is amazing. It is nice, and I am looking forward to it. It is nice to be back,” Hussey said.
Hussey, who currently has three horses under his care, said he will be conditioning horses for competitive racing at Caymanas Park for a while.
“I will be here. As long as my son is enjoying his time here, I will be here with him. Ruben is 25 years old and he is an owner. His first winner was Adwa the other day for trainer Ray Phillips, and his syndicate racing name is called The Next Generation,” Hussey said.
Hussey shared how it all began for him in the racing industry.
“My father was a trainer. Charlie was a jockey at 12 or 13 years old. Mommy [Ruth Hussey] was a breeder and champion owner twice, so you could see the family connection.
“My first winner as a trainer was with a horse by the name of Fire Deen and my groom was Ralph Porter, who is a trainer now. In those days you couldn’t imagine it; the feeling was just unexplainable, it was just exciting. And racing in those days was a lot tougher with a lot more different trainers than we now have as little boys,” he said.
Despite numerous Grade One winners — including Aero Star who won the 2000 Jamaica Oaks, and Fromrussiawithlove, winner of the 2002 Jamaica 2000 Guineas — Hussey said the talented filly Miss Ruth will forever have a place in his heart.
“The most talented horse was probably Miss Ruth. She was versatile; I mean, she was everything. Anything you asked her to do, she could do, and unfortunately she didn’t make it as a three-year-old.
“Miss Ruth was a very fractious horse, she won the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, beating Bruceontheloose with Dick Cardenas in the saddle, his first year riding here. Charlie had brought him in from Panama to ride for us and everybody else when he stopped riding,” Hussey informed.