But perhaps such reverses do not worry John Sellers because, for all the success he has had in racing, he does not have the real passion for horses that characterizes a Johnny Longden—who at 54 does not count it a full day unless he starts it by galloping horses at 6 a.m.
"I find," says Sellers, "that there's always a constant fight and argument within myself to keep going. I know I have the ability, but I have to exert myself all the time to be sure I go on and do my best." So far he has managed to maintain the necessary competitive zeal.
But, unlike the venerable Eddie Arcaro (45) and the truly ancient Longden, Sellers has no intention of going on forever. He has set himself a limit of six more years of race riding, plans then to retire (at the age of 30) to the 100-acre cattle ranch he owns in Tulsa. "I would like to raise quarter horses and cattle," he says, "and be financially independent, so I won't have to spend the rest of my life walking hots around a stable or tending a filling station.
"After all, I'm making more than $100,000 a year, none of which I put back into racing because I don't bet. My interest is investing in some stocks and in an education for myself—and, of course, in the ranch and the chance to settle out in the country in a life I really love."