Raymond Johnson, Older Brother of Ben Johnson
Raymond Johnson was born in 1909, the oldest of 5 children. He was 7 years older than his brother Ben and always said there was a carload of biscuits between them. Working horses on the family farm was a way of life for the Johnson boys. Raymond enjoyed rodeo and riding the rough stock and competed on week-ends as long as there was a rodeo to attend. Later, Raymond took a job with the U.S. Forest Service on the eastern slope of Colorado and lived with his uncle and aunt Otto and Bertha Borchers.
Otto had a good thoroughbred saddle mare named Lady that Raymond really liked. Unbeknownst to Otto, Raymond took Lady and bred her to the Appaloosa stallion Sundance. When Otto decided to sell Lady, Raymond had to “fess up” what he had done to be able to keep the resulting foal. We don’t know for sure what financial arrangements were hammered out between them, but Raymond ended up with a leopard marked filly who was later registered as Leopard Lady.
Unfortunately, Raymond was killed in an auto accident in 1939 when Leopard Lady was a two year old. The bond between Raymond and this Appaloosa filly was over whelming. Otto was a very tender hearted man and couldn’t bear to see Leopard Lady run the fence every time a car drove in the yard expecting Raymond to be in that car. Otto called Ben and asked if he wanted the mare. This was Ben’s entrance into the Appaloosa world.