Year Inducted: 2017
Joe Offolter has interesting occupations in his life. While both of his jobs have their own set of edgy thrills, the life of a racehorse trainer was the right choice for Offolter.
Born in Purcell, Okla. in 1959, Offolter grew up in nearby Dibble where he graduated high school. His Dibble roots run deep as the area is still home.
Offolter wasn’t interested in more schooling after high school so his father pointed him in the direction of lucrative work. Offolter got on with a crew that constructed microwave communication towers, at the beginning of their existence. The money was big for the late 1970s and Offolter enjoyed his lifestyle, even if it meant sometimes working 200 feet above the ground to assemble the tall towers.
Offolter and his wife Karen both enjoyed horse racing and owned their first Thoroughbred, Countess Zonic, who won at Blue Ribbon Downs in Sallisaw, Okla. in 1985. Legendary Quarter Horse jockey Boyd Morris, a fellow Dibble resident and acquaintance of Offolter from his childhood, trained the winner. When Morris had health issues a short time later, Offolter stepped in to help, learning the racehorse trade in the process.
Offolter made a career change, opting for the fun and the thrill of horse racing over the elevated heights of tower construction. When Remington Park opened on Sept. 1, 1988, Offolter had one horse entered, Native Gay, who ran third.
Offolter won his first Remington Park stakes race in the 1996 Prevue Stakes with Demand Deposit. He has accumulated many more since, including; Miss Natalie in the Oklahoma Classics Distaff Sprint (2012); Capture The Flag in the Oklahoma Classics Turf (2011); Rosemaui in the Oklahoma Classics Distaff Turf (2007 & 2008) and Strawbailey in the Ricks Memorial (2002 & 2003).
The consistency of the Offolter stable has led him to a pair of Remington Park titles in 2001 and 2003. Offolter gained his 500th Remington Park victory on Labor Day 2017 when Lady Will Power broke her maiden. He is only the third trainer locally to reach the milestone.
Offolter achieved his 1,000th career win in on May 8, 2017 at Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, Okla. with Heademoffatthepass. His runners have earned more than $14 million thru 2017.