This is not a picture of Cliff Berry. This is a picture of my friends, Jon Court and me. We also took a picture with Jon's wife, Krystal, in it, too, but I look even worse in that one, so it hit the editing room floor. Cliff Berry comes into the picture because the Cliff Berry Band was playing the night this photo was taken. Cliff Berry isn't quite as good as playing music as he is at riding horses, but I appreciate a person with broad interests, and I cheer Cliff's interest in the guitar. I turned to Krystal, told her I was a very happily married woman, and asked if I could dance with her husband. It would thrill me to no end, I told her, to be able to say that I danced with a back-to-back Arkansas Derby winner. She said she had been married for 17 years, was very comfortable and happy in her relationship, and she welcomed me to dance with her husband. Cliff Berry provided the music. It was a great night.
Cliff has been riding the Arkansas/Texas/Oklahoma circuit for years. While in Texas this year, he announced his plans to retire at the end of Oklahoma. Which means that we fans in Arkansas watched him race for the last time at our track without realizing it. Cliff has been a fixture at Oaklawn, and he will be missed. I did get a little bit of closure, personally: we visited yesterday, and then I wrote this article: Jockey Berry Ready to Ride Off Into Sunset. My husband and I are hoping to make it to Remington this season to see Cliff ride one more time, perhaps on Cliff Berry Day. Cliff Berry, you will be missed!