Richard Bates is an American cockfighting legend with close ties to Filipino cockers. He actually lived in the Philippines for three decades, breeding game fowls for both the ordinary and big time cockers in the country.
He first became interested in cockfighting when he was nine years old. His father, a cocker himself, was his single biggest influence to take up the sport. Richard was an active breeder until he reached the age of 76.
When it came to selecting material, Richard preferred a chicken with small head, long feathers and beautiful body. He loved chicken with good physical characteristics.
For him, bloodline was never an issue. Richard actually didn’t know the bloodlines of his chickens. He was not interested to know because he thought every chicken was unique.
Most of his chickens came from his friends. He never bothered to ask them the bloodlines of their birds.
When he was alive, people always asked the secret behind his many triumphs in derby. There was no secret, he said. He just bred the chickens and followed his instincts.
Richard was not afraid to try new things. If what he did was ineffective, he would try another way. His way wasn’t conventional, far from it actually, but it worked.