Robert McLeod, 1938 – 2019
Robert “Bob” McLeod, 1938 – 2019
Bob McLeod, 80, passed away on July 6, 2019, in Houston, Tex. Born on November 10, 1938, in Merkel, Texas, McLeod attended Abilene Christian University, where he was a star football and basketball player, and graduated with a B.S. in Education. In 1961, he was drafted by the American Football League’s Houston Oilers and remained with the team for six seasons.
After retirement from professional football, McLeod established a successful investment career in real estate and became a longtime resident of Benham, Tex., where he raised cutting horses.
As a West Texas native, McLeod was naturally drawn to the sport of cutting and, by the late 1960s, owned several horses of his own. In 1976, he purchased a Futurity prospect from prominent cutting horse breeder Marion Flynt. Later that year, McLeod’s colt, Colonel Freckles, won the NCHA Futurity under trainer Olan Hightower.
McLeod sold Colonel Freckles in 1981, but retained a daughter, Lovely Freckles, who placed for him under Rod Edwards in the 1981 NCHA Futurity. Edwards also showed Lovely Freckles for McLeod to place third in the 1982 NCHA Super Stakes, and McLeod showed her in non-pro competition, most notably as winner of the 1984 NCHA Non-Pro Challenge.
Under new owners, Colonel Freckles would go on to establish an impressive sire record, but his most famous offspring, Colonel Lil, bred by Ken Hammett and shown by Joe Heim, came from a first crop under McLeod’s ownership.
McLeod was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Opal Omega Yoakum McLeod, and a brother, Garth McLeod.
Among survivors are his wife, Judy Bibb McLeod; daughters Edie McWilliamsand husband Marty, Katy Pugh and husband Kenny, and Ellie Ferguson and husband Tommy; a brother, Jerry McLeod; sisters Sue Tucker, and Jan Rivera and husband Ray; and grandchildren Caitlin McWilliams, Capt. (ret.) Harrison McWilliams and wife Kendal, Anna Pugh, Abby Pugh, Emma Mahon, Halle Mahon and Aidan Mahon.
A private memorial service for Bob McLeod’s family will be held at a later date.