Refrigerator

Refrigerator

Refrigerator

 

“All horses that are bred to run don’t run.  But those that run are bred to run,” said Sonny Vaughn of Refrigerator. Bred by Vaughn, Refrigerator was out of Native Parr and by Rare Jet, a full brother to racing champion Jet View, and out of Native Parr by Heisanative (TB). Refrigerator rose from humble beginnings and dominated the first half of the 1990s, becoming the richest racehorse in history.  From 1990 to 1995, the bay gelding won 22 of 36 races, including nine Grade 1 races, and earned a record $2,126,309.  He captured the Champion of Champions (G1) in 1992, 1993 and 1994, becoming the first horse to win three runnings of that race.  Refrigerator was voted the racing world champion in 1992-93 and received eight other divisional titles. Refrigerator surpassed Eastex as the sport’s richest horse when he won the 1993 Champion of Champions.  He became the first sprinter to exceed $2 million in earnings when he finished second in the 1994 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. Refrigerator was retired after running the Champion of Champions in December 1995.  He spent most of his time at the home of owner Jim Helzer, where he loved to race around the trees in his paddock.  He made two appearances at the State Fair of Texas and led the post parades of the 1996 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos and the 1997 Refrigerator Handicap and 1998 MBNA America® Challenge Championship, both at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Texas. The Helzers believed Refrigerator would make a great candidate to become an AQHA Supreme Champion.  He entered into training in February 1999 as an 11-year-old gelding.  He was in rope horse training when he was involved in an accident and sustained a severe head injury.  A few days later, Refrigerator was euthanized and buried at the Helzers’ JEH Stallion Station in Pilot Point, Texas. The Helzers set up a program through the American Quarter Horse Foundation to raise funds to further the research on equine trauma, increasing awareness, information and technology for veterinarians and horse owners. Refrigerator was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.

Miss Jim 45

Miss Jim 45

Miss Jim 45

 

Miss Jim 45’s sire was Jim Harlan and her dam was a Waggoner Ranch mare named Miss Paulo 45.Her sire traced back to King P-234 as well as Peter McCueTraveler and Oklahoma Star P-6. Her dam traced to many of the same sires, including King P-234, Traveler, Peter McCue and Yellow Jacket.

 

“She was the prettiest red dun mare you ever saw,” Frank Merrill said of Miss Jim 45. “Everything Miss Jim 45 did, she did pretty.”

 

Miss Jim 45 was bred by James Nance of El Reno, Oklahoma, and was by Jim Harlan and out of the Waggoner Ranch mare Miss Paulo’s 45. Nance showed her to the Oklahoma high-point filly title as a yearling and 2-year-old. Matlock Rose and George Tyler bought her in February 1969.

 

Between February and June 1969, the filly was shown 69 times, with 65 firsts, three seconds and a third.
Frank Merrill noticed the red dun mare in the May 1969 Western Horseman. He knew then that he wanted that horse and decided to give Rose a call.

 

Merrill made the trip to Gainesville, Texas, in June after school ended. When Miss Jim 45 was walked out of her stall, all Merrill saw of her was her head and neck and knew he had to own her. Tyler declined Merrill’s first offer of $20,000, but accepted a deal for $25,000 the next morning.

 

Merrill showed Miss Jim 45 throughout the summer of ’69, the mare giving horsemen nervous fits in Merrill’s home state of Michigan. At the Chicago International Livestock Exposition, legendary horseman Jack Kyle named the mare grand champion.

 

Merrill decided in 1970 to enlist Clark Bradley to campaign the mare. After 120,000 miles, 153 shows, 139 firsts, 12 seconds, a third and fifth, Miss Jim 45 was the 1970 high-point halter mare. At the end of the year, she had earned 436 points – more than any other mare up to that time. In her lifetime, she won 230 of 250 shows, earning 176 grand champion mare titles, 33 reserves and 642 halter points.

 

Merrill sold Miss Jim 45 to Michael Mulberger of Arizona in May 1971. Her lone offspring was a 1973 bay colt by Boston Mac. A racing Register of Merit earner, Mr Colt 45 started seven races with earnings of $696.

 

Miss Jim 45 died in 1978 and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Jet Deck

Jet Deck

Jet Deck

“If that’s a racehorse, then I’m gonna quit the business,” Bud Warren, Perry, Oklahoma, said in 1961 after looking at a thin-necked, pot-bellied bay colt. At the time, Jet Deck did not inspire Warren, but that would all change.

 

Jet Deck was foaled in the spring of 1960 on William H. and James V. A. Carter’s California ranch. J. B. Chambers of Colorado bought the colt as a yearling, and it was in Chambers’ barn that Warren made his statement about the colt.

 

As a 2-year-old, Jet Deck was put into training with Wilbur Stuchal. It was not long before Stuchal knew he had a serious racehorse on his hands.

 

In his freshman year, Jet Deck was named the champion 2-year-old colt and champion stallion. The next year, the bay was named world champion racehorse.

 

Warren kept track of Jet Deck’s career and approached Chambers about leasing the stallion. Chambers agreed to lease the horse, and Jet Deck arrived at Warren’s Perry, Oklahoma, ranch in 1963.  Four years later, Warren bought half-interest in the bay.

 

Jet Deck was literally at the height of his prime as a stallion in August 1971. Warren was in Ruidoso, New Mexico, when long-time employee Dean Schultz called to tell him that Jet Deck was dead.  He was only 11.

 

An autopsy found a massive overdose of barbiturates in the horse’s bloodstream. Tire tracks were found on a nearby country road and boot tracks led to and from Jet Deck’s paddock.  He was such a gentle-natured stallion that it would not have taken much to convince Jet Deck you were a friend.

 

The mystery surrounding the stallion’s death was never solved.

 

Some of Jet Deck’s winners include Easy Jet, Jet Smooth, Jolly Jet Deck, Jet Charger, Mar Deck, Jet Royale and Tony B Deck.

 

“He had great conformation, great desire and determination, and the best coordination of any horse I’ve ever seen in my life,” Stuchal said. “As a sire, he was the greatest.  His loss to the horse breeding industry can’t be evaluated.”

 

The stallion was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ima Cool Skip

Ima Cool Skip

Ima Cool Skip

A. B. Green

A B Green

A B Green

 

 

From his Green Pastures Ranching in Purcell, Oklahoma, oilman A.B. Green raised and raced some of the most famous horses of their day, with four of his horses honored with induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame: Miss MeyersBarbara LGo Man Go, and Miss Olene.

 

He bought Barbara L in 1947 for $3,500 and raced her for four more years before retiring her to the broodmare band with track earnings of $32,836.  Barbara L’s daughter Miss Olene won $31,022 on the track before producing the earners of $700,673.

 

In 1953, A.B. bought Miss Meyers for $6,000, a tidy sum for a mare in those days. She went on to set track records at four different tracks, was the highest-money earning horse of 1953 and was world champion and champion mare.

 

After Go Man Go’s freshman season in 1955, A.B. purchased him from J.B. Ferguson for $42,000 cash.  A.B. owned and raced Go Man Go from 1955 to 1957, the same years Go Man Go was the world champion racing horse.

 

In all, horses that A.B. bred earned $1,515,340 on the track, with Mr Kid Charge earning the most, $299,187. In 1971, A.B. was the leading breeder of racing American Quarter Horses by money earned.

 

Horses that A.B. bred also earned nearly $1,200 in National Cutting Horse Association competition and 469.5 points in AQHA competition.

Kid Meyers, a son of Miss Meyers and Three Bars (TB), was a steady racer with earnings of more than $10,000. When he returned home from the track, A.B. asked trainer Jerry Wells to assess Kid Meyers as a halter prospect, and they decided to point the colt toward AQHA’s new Supreme Champion award and earned the title.

 

In the breeding barn, Kid Meyers sired Mr Kid Charge, the winner of the 1971 All American Futurity.

 

A.B. was inducted into the Ruidoso Hall of Fame, along with Kid Meyers.  Go Man Go was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1990, followed by Barbara L in 2007, Miss Meyers in 2009 and Miss Olene in 2013. A.B. Green was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Bill Brewer

Bill Brewer

Bill Brewer

When Bill Brewer was growing up in southwestern Oklahoma, he dreamed of being a cowboy. He never dreamed he’d work his way up the ranks to become the wagon boss and a strong, confident presence at AQHA, the world’s largest equine registry.

 

After graduating with an animal science degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967, Brewer went to work as a field representative for the American Polled Hereford Association.

 

It was after the third offer by Ronnie Blackwell, who was assistant to the AQHA executive secretary, Brewer agreed to an interview at AQHA. Brewer in 1971 drove to Amarillo for the interview with Blackwell and then-Executive Secretary Don Jones, and accepted the job as an advertising representative for The Quarter Horse Journal.

 

And for the next 37 years, AQHA and the American Quarter Horse were Brewer’s passion. From 1971 to 1972, he served as a sales representative for the Journal, then moved up to director of advertising in 1972. In 1978, Brewer became AQHA’s senior director of administration and field services. Five years later, he became the senior director of administration and marketing. Then, in 1992, he was appointed the Association’s executive vice president.

 

Brewer, the AQHA Executive Committee and the staff expanded AQHA’s business model from being primarily a breed registry to include a long-term initiative to offer more opportunities for people to enjoy their horses through membership-based programs.

 

Prior to and after retirement, Brewer’s activities in the equine industry included working with the American Horse Council, the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo, the United States Equestrian Federation, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, FEI and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. He has also been recognized as a graduate of distinction from Oklahoma State University, and received leadership awards from Texas 4-H and the National Western Stock Show. In 2007, he was inducted into the Tri-State Western Heritage Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2008.

 

Bill Brewer was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.

Roy Brooks

Roy Brooks

Roy Brooks

Jack Brooks

 

Jack Brooks

Jack Brooks

Few people get to make a career out of doing what they love.  Jack Brooks was an exception. Brooks learned the trade of training horses from the ground up, breaking colts and riding on bush tracks and county fairgrounds while growing up on his dad’s ranch near Blanchard, Oklahoma. He trained one of the family’s mares to jump.  His dad could not figure out why the mare kept getting out until he saw his son jumping her out to gather the cows.  Brooks figured it was easier than getting off to open the gate. Brooks first made his presence as a trainer known in 1969, when Hell’s To Betsy outran Easy Jet in the Oklahoma Futurity.  He later received the name “Mr. All American” when he went on to train the winning horses of a record eight All American Futurities. His first All American win was in 1978, sending out champion Moon Lark to score in the world’s first $1 million horse race.  Four years later, he won his second All American, conditioning Mr Master Bug and Miss Squaw Hand to run 1-2 in the world’s first $2 million race.  Brooks won the race in 1985 with Mr Trucka Jet, in 1988 with world champion Merganser, in 1989 with Strawberry Silk, in 1992 with champion Dash Thru Traffic, in 1998 with Fallin In Loveagain and in 2000 with champion Eyesa Special.   Brooks’ horses made more than 9,500 starts and earned more than $33.2 million between 1970 and 2004.  He has held the title Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association trainer of the year five times.  He also won the Quarter Horse conditioning title six times at Ruidoso Downs and twice at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.  In 1992, he received Sunland Park’s Bob Haynesworth Sportsmanship award.   Jack Brooks was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2008.