Jump to: navigation, search

Gordon Glisson

Gordon Glisson
Occupation Jockey
Birthplace Winnsboro, South Carolina, U.S.
Birth date October 31, 1930
Death date February 23, 1997
Career wins Not found
Major racing wins, honours & awards
Major racing wins
Kentucky Oaks (1949)
Santa Anita Derby (1949)
Saratoga Special Stakes (1949)
Del Mar Debutante Stakes (1951)
La Jolla Handicap (1951, 1955)
San Luis Rey Handicap (1952)
Santa Maria Handicap (1954)
Hollywood Gold Cup (1955)
Los Angeles Handicap (1955)
Palomar Handicap (1955)
San Felipe Stakes (1957)
Racing awards
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Sports Star of the Year (1949)
United States Champion Jockey by wins (1949)
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1950)
Significant horses
Old Rockport, Rejected

Gordon P. Glisson (October 31, 1930 - February 23, 1997) was an American Champion Thoroughbred horse racing jockey.

Born in Winnsboro, South Carolina, at age fifteen he and his mother moved to Seattle, Washington. He began working at the Longacres Racetrack in nearby Renton, Washington then as an apprentice jockey rode in his first race at the Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha, Nebraska]]. In 1948, younger brother John Weldon Glisson would also become a jockey.

Within a few years, Gordon Glisson developed into a top jockey and in the 1948-1949 winter racing season he led all jockeys at Santa Anita Park in wins. In 1949 he also rode in New York State where he had four winners in one day and ended the year as the leading in New York and in total won more races than any jockey in the United States. During his outstanding 1949 campaign he won the prestigious Santa Anita Derby with Old Rockport then rode him to a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby and to eighth place in the Preakness Stakes. Among Glisson's other important wins, on January 26, 1950 he rode Miche to a huge upset win over the great Citation in the La Sorpresa Handicap at Santa Anita Park. In 1955, Glisson won another major West Coast event, capturing the Hollywood Gold Cup aboard King Ranch's, Rejected.

A fan favorite, The New Yorker magazine of March 5, 1949 (p. 79) wrote that "What impresses horsemen most is that his style is remarkably like that of the late George Woolf, even to the coolness he shows in tight finishes." In a similar vein, the October 31, 1949 issue of TIME magazine did an article on Gordon Glisson titled "The Kid with the Cold Eye."

In 1950, Glisson was the first recipient of the newly created George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award given to a successful Thoroughbred racing jockey in North America who demonstrates high standards of personal and professional conduct, on and off the racetrack. In 2003, he was nominated for the Washington Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame.

Gordon Glisson was living in Ojai, California when he died in 1997 at the Sherman Oaks Burn Center following an accident at his home.


  • The History of Race Riding and the Jockeys' Guild by Turner Publishing Company (Compiler) (1999) ISBN 978-1563114564


Premier Equine Classifieds


Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...

The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...

That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...