DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Theo Ribbs holds a $9,000 Beretta in his hands, calmly and decisively shooting clays in his backyard. His famous father moved to a spacious ranch outside Austin with several acres just so Theo could practice shooting everyday.
Willy T. Ribbs was the first black driver to race in the Indy 500. Now, Theo is also breaking barriers as the only black competitor in the sport of shooting clays.
Theo is already winning and highly ranked. He is currently competing in an average of three competitions every month.
When his dad was racing, Bill Cosby was his sponsor. Now, Cosby is sponsoring Theo in his quest to be the best.
“You have one window of opportunity,” said Willy. “Don’t let it close on you.”
He remembers breaking the race barriers at Indy with fondness now. “It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Some of those guys challenged me.”
That’s not the case with Theo, he says.
“When Theo walks into a sporting clay competition, sometimes they are so glad to see him, they start clapping. It’s the greatest group of people. I have so much fun just being around all of them.”
“I think I’m just focused, Theo said. “I want to win. I want to be the best.”
Willy is also one of Theo’s coaches. At least five days a week, they are out on their own course practicing. “Sometimes there’s a lot of yelling and screaming,” laughs Theo. “But it’s only because we both want the same thing. We want me to succeed.”
Theo’s next competition is later this month in Florida.