A bit of everything: Letcher owner-trainer also does shoes, tattoos

Farm Forum

Tom Moody got involved with horse racing from the ground up – literally.

Moody, who lives in Letcher, is a horse owner and trainer. He first got involved with the horse races by putting shoes on the horses, which is a trade he still does today.

“That is how I got started,” he said. “I came to the track to start shoeing first, and then started racing after that. I started shoeing 31 years ago and I have been racing horses about that long, probably 28-29 years.”

He now has 18 horses that he either owns or trains for other people. Seven of the horses he trains are entered in today’s races at the Brown County Fairgrounds, while five more are entered in Sunday’s races.

When he first started, he said he ran only two of his own.

“I was always here shoeing horses anyway,” he said. “I figured I might as well run a couple. It just got bigger and bigger.”

Moody, 54, has since been involved in racing at tracks in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming and Montana. This year he is just running at Fort Pierre and Aberdeen. He usually starts training horses in early February.

What is his favorite part about the horse races?

“The people,” he said. “There is a lot of good people around.”

Moody also tattoos the horses’ upper lips for identification purposes and floats the teeth. He was also an outrider at the track in Aberdeen for more than 10 years.

“I do about everything,” he joked.

Moody, whose nickname is Skip, owns Moody’s Western Wear in Mitchell. He and his wife, Diane, have owned the store for 12 years. The Moodys have three daughters, Brandy, Laura and Tyrell.