July 7, 1954
Perry Ouzts was born in Lepanto (Poinsett County); he was primarily raised in Rivervale (Poinsett County). During his years in Rivervale, Ouzts began riding horses with his cousins Earlie and Jackie Fires. Earlie Fires was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame of Jockeys, while Jackie’s career ended when his body was crushed during a horse race in 1977, paralyzing him. Ouzts began riding professionally in the spring of 1973 at Beulah Park. Ouzts became one of twenty-one professional riders to have won 5,000 races. He was nicknamed the “Workingman’s Hero” or, for his unique riding style, “Scoot N’ Boot.” He also overcame numerous potentially career-ending injuries.