In 1989 Alice Holmes got a call from a fellow trainer who said they had a unique mare they wanted to sell. Alice went to their farm, tried the mare out and returned the next day with a jump in tow.
She learned that the mare was a former race horse and a former barrel horse. Neither of which CC Surprise (affectionately known as Molly) was successful. She had a speed index of 66 with two starts, and at that time, the present owner, famous barrel racer Mary Burger, said she could not turn left .
Alice ended up making the deal and bought the mare with the unusual skunk tail and took her home. The team of Brian & Alice of Goldsby started CC Surprise’s new career.
By 1990, the mare was jumping and had learned to pull a cart, and was showing promise as an under saddle horse. She earned her ROM, placed at the Congress in the driving and was third at the 1990 World Show in Pleasure Driving, and fourth in the Hunter Under Saddle. She also finished in the Top Ten nationally in Pleasure Driving, Hunter Under Saddle, and Hunter Hack.
In 1991, now that Molly was a seasoned driving horse, Alice got a wild idea to let her Dad, Chuck Whistler, try and qualify for the World Show in Pleasure Driving. Being a retired engineer, Chuck had the time to attend enough shows to qualify.
As a youngster, Chuck had driven teams of horses on his grandpa’s farm- but never had been in a show pen. However, at age 67 he started! That same year, Molly acquired enough points to finish 3 Superiors in the events of Hunter Under Saddle, Hunter Hack & Pleasure Driving, earning her an AQHA Performance Championship, as well as the High Point Pleasure Driving horse for 1991.
The 1991 world show began her unprecedented, record running World Championship Title Wins by winning the amateur Pleasure Driving with Chuck Whistler, the only man in the pen, and at the age of 68.
Molly and Brian Holmes were also crowned the World Champions in the Open Pleasure Driving class. Molly was then purchased by Joyce Saul of Des Ark, Ark.
While the Saul family was no stranger to showing horses, Joyce had always acted in the role of sideline supporter. Now it was her turn in the ring. Continuing with the expertise of Alice & Brian, the new team of Molly & Joyce started in 1992 at the Florida Gold Coast and Joyce is still a driving exhibitor today.
In 1992, Joyce was the High Point Rookie of the Year in the 50 and Over age group, Congress winner and the Amateur Pleasure Driving World Champion. Not one to settle, CC Surprise persisted and was the World Champion in the Open Pleasure Driving as well.
Her list of accomplishments are vast: Amateur World Champion 1991 with Chuck Whistler, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 with Joyce Saul. Open World Champion in 1991, 1992, 1993, and Reserve in 1994. High Point Open Pleasure Driving Horsein 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996.
High Point Amateur Pleasure Driving Horse in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 in addition to numerous Congress wins. Molly earned 483 open points in halter, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunter Hack, Working Hunter, Jumping, Reining, and of course Pleasure Driving. She also racked up 210 points in Amateur Pleasure Driving alone.
CC Surprise also was the mother and grandmother to many winners that have followed in her footsteps. Her first offspring, Surprise Me Moxie, earned 131 points in 4 events as well as winning the Pleasure Driving at the Congress in 1999. All of her foals have been Pleasure Driving horses, as well as many of her grandkids.
Most recently Joyce won a World Championship as well as the Year- End High Point with a granddaughter of CC Surprise, Huntin the Blues, a beautiful gray mare by Sky Blue Boy. The unequalled heart and abilities have formed an unimpeachable legacy that continues in her offspring.
CC Surprise was a groundbreaker and she set the bar for all the pleasure driving horses to follow. Molly was truly one of the greatest. Accepting is Alice Holmes.
It goes without saying that in November, 1944, Sharon Collins hit the ground running and has not slowed down since.
She is one of nine children born to Jack and Lois Collins who were farmers in Verdigris, Oklahoma.
She and her siblings milked Holsteins, baled hay, and played a lot of basketball.
There were always riding horses on the farm but it was not until after college and Vietnam days that Sharon got caught up in the younger siblings’ adventure of showing in AQHA’s new youth division.
She soon became efficient with her riding–her race-bred mare, Tinky Seven SI 89, was her first to break to the flat and western saddles.
Tinky was Grand Champion Mare at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show in 1974, became Superior at Halter and was an AQHA Champion. She qualified for the first AQHA World Show but did not make the trip to Kentucky because she was in foal.
Since Tinky was retired, Sharon broke, trained and showed two mares, Black Shantel and Tonto Bars Holly to 50 and 44 western pleasure points respectively—both within a three-year period.
She also rode Pretty Springtime (Georgette Breeding’s youth mare) at Fort Worth to top-off her Superior in Hunter Under Saddle.
Subsequently, Sharon won Hunter Under Saddle at Fort Worth on brother Clay’s mare, Miss White Socks, the same year that Clay won Western Pleasure on her.
In those days, we thought of the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show as the biggest and the toughest!
Sharon also showed Rocket Ridge SI 93 at halter. He was purchased from Paul Travis to breed mares including Tinky Seven not just to have a little fun in the show ring with those two.
Sharon literally ran the breeding program inseminating about 80 mares per year with great success. The end came prematurely when Rocket Ridge died after two breeding seasons.
At that point, Sharon went back into the hotel business managing hotels for a hotel management company. During this time, she hauled her daughter, Shannan, to shows.
In the fall of 1990, she and Bud married so she moved to Oklahoma City and really found her groove in volunteering.
The Oklahoma Youth voted Sharon as “Mother of the Year” in 1982 and again in 1984. She has been involved with planning of the Annual Convention since 1991, cooked lunch and dinner for 50-75 workers every day at the Spring and the Redbud Shows for several years, has been coordinator for 750 Youth World Gift Bags annually, books about 25 Progressive Parties for the Redbud yearly, coordinates the Oklahoma School for the Blind Western Playday,and helps the youth with fundraisers.
These are in addition to the very event this evening which she has planned, researched, and coordinated since its inception ten years ago.
Sharon is proud to be an OQHA Past-President along her father, Jack Collins, and her husband, Bud Breeding, who are also members of this Hall of Fame.
Sharon says volunteering at quarter horse events keeps her involved with the people and horses she loves.
Tim O’Toole was born on August 4, 1947 in Duluth, Minnesota. He moved to Oklahoma City not long after and has lived in Oklahoma City for almost 60 years. He has two sisters, Sharon and Debbie and two brothers, Daniel and Terry. He graduated from Bishop McGuiness High School and received his degree from Southern Nazarene University.
Tim has served as the President and CEO of the Oklahoma State Fair and State Fair Park since January 2004. Under his leadership, the Fair Park has undergone a $90 million renovation to its Equine and Livestock facilities. Plans are now underway to complete a $60 million revitalization of the exposition facilities and gateways to the State Fair Park as part of Oklahoma City’s Maps3 Program.
O’Toole served as president and general manager of the Oklahoma RedHawks Baseball Club in Oklahoma City from 1998 to 2004. He worked with local government officials finalizing the construction of the citizen-financed $33 million Bricktown Ballpark. That park is now considered one of the nation’s finest minor league baseball parks.
Tim’s experience includes seven years as director of operations for the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball, based in Oklahoma City, where he planned and managed the association’s gold medal participation in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He also served as Director of Operations for the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival held in Oklahoma City.
Tim serves on the boards of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, OSU-OKC Advisory Board and the Oklahoma State Fair Board of Directors.
He and his wife Kathleen have three children: Stacy, Ryan and Blake.
Eugene Claremont “Gene” Mullendore was born in 1905 in Cleveland, Oklahoma while Kathleen Boren was born 1905 in Caney, Kansas. Her parents rode 45 miles on their horses to register Kathleen’s birth at the Osage Indian Agency. Thus making her eligible as an original allottee to receive Osage Headright. Each allotte was issued 640 acres and an interest in Mineral Rights owned by the Tribe.
The main Cross Bell Headquarters are located on that original 640 acres. On December 21, 1926 Kathleen and Gene were married in Caney, Kansas. Together they built an empire which, at one time, covered more than 130,000 acres along the Kansas/Oklahoma border.
Eventually, they purchased the Boren Ranch owned by Kathleen’s parents, the Little Chief Ranch in Fairfax and the Bird Creek Ranch in Pawhuska.
They focused on breeding fine Quarter Horses to work the large cattle operation they had developed. They raised the best of the best Hereford cattle and were recognized as the largest cattle shippers ever on the Santa Fe Railroad.
The Ranch also raised hogs for market and to feed the Mullendore Family and the cowboys and their families. Large goat herds were used keep the land clear and dairy cattle supplied milk and butter for everyone on the Ranch. Sheep were sheered to make their blankets.
The Cross Bell also had farmland which produced wheat, corn, apples, pecans, and potatoes. They baled hay and in the winter when the animals had to be fed, they used wagon teams pulled by mules.
The Mullendore mules were known as the best in the Country. At one point, 600 head were sent to Kansas City to be sold to the Government to be used in the war.
Although the Ranch contained a multitude of animals, their true love was the American Quarter Horse and the challenge of acquiring the best Stallions and Mares to improve the quality of their horses. Among those were Little King, Cee Bar Badger, Roan Hancock, Bill Doolin, Doolin Bill, Rack Pal, Johnny Keen and Lowry Boy. Their foundation bloodlines included Hank H, Three Bars, Vandy, Leo, Bacon Rind and Peter McCue.
Gene and Kathleen were partners. Kathleen was in charge of the Main House, the Cook House for the hands and also kept the books while Gene oversaw the ranch.
Eventually, they bought a small plane, which Kathleen piloted. She would fly over the Ranch and if animals had gotten out, she would radio Gene. She also flew to town to do the grocery shopping, pick up parts and farming equipment, and anything else the Ranch needed.
Eventually, they built a school on the Cross Bell for their children–a daughter, Katsy and a son, E.C. lll. Their classmates were the children of the Cowboys who worked the ranch.
In 1960, due to failing eyesight, Gene handed the ranching operation over to his son, E.C. lll. In 1970, E.C. was tragically killed in a shooting in his home on the Ranch. The crime remains unsolved.
Although Gene was suffering complications from diabetes, he took charge of the Ranch again and continued until his death in 1973. At which time Kathleen took the reins until she passed in 1998 at the age of 93.
It goes without saying that the Cross Bell Ranch has always been and remains today a family endeavor. In addition to Gene and Kathleen including their children in the ranch business from a young age, there is now a third generation–their granddaughters, Little Katsy and Kathleen both competed on Cross Bell bred horses and have learned the ranching business as well.
In the elder Kathleen’s later years, Little Katsy moved to Oklahoma to assist her beloved Grandmother in keeping the Cross Bell running. Upon the elder Kathleen’s death, her daughter Katsy and granddaughter, Kathleen stepped in–and continue to run the ranch today.
Their love of family, respect for the land, knowledge of the livestock, and their work ethic are what make the Cross Bell Ranch so deserving of being inducted into the OQHA Hall of Fame. The ranch and its history are a true example of the tradition of the American Frontier.
Accepting is Katsy Mullendore Whittenburg.
A widely acclaimed foundation sire, who sired 120 starters 46 of which earned AQHA Registers of Merit and multiple AAA runners including Quincy Lady who excelled as a performance competitor.
In 1961 she was an Open Superior Halter and Open Performance Register of Merit earner. In 1962 she was an Open AQHA Performance Champion. 1959 stallion Joak Van, out of Coogan’s Van, earned his Racing Register of Merit in 1961 and went on to earn his AQHA Performance Register of Merit.
These are just two notable get sired by Joak. There are multiple Futurity winners and AAAT achievers. The list is too long to mention the impressive abilities of Joak’s get individually.
We are privileged to have Mr. Nolan Combs present to accept on behalf of Joak. There is no one better than he who can tell us more about the phenomenal offspring of this tremendous sire who is so important to the history of the American Quarter Horse.
John was born in Lawton in 1935 and grew up in the cattle country of Southwestern Oklahoma, where a great horse was as important to most people as a good car. John says, “We have needed a good versatile horse with athletic ability. I just enjoy being around those horses who have cow sense and the sense to do anything you ask of them.”
Like many who were raised around horses, he tried his hand in the rodeo arena. “I rodeoed a little until I realized I was not going to make any money!” John laughed. So, he graduated from high school in Elgin and subsequently received an Associate BA Degree from CameronCollege.
John’s interest in the horse show industry was inspired by his wife’s obsession. Susan worked for Harold Adams who a very successful standard-bred trainer. But when their daughter, Lynn, started showing in 4-H shows, the interest immediately shifted to quarter horses.
John was President of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association in 1984, and when someone was desperately needed to run the office in 1985, John accepted the challenge as the OQHA Executive Secretary – a job which he fulfilled with exceptional dedication and distinction for the ten years.
Hard work has always been a way of life for John. He worked in the Transportation industry for over 30 years. Much of that time was spent working Labor Union negotiations for Leeway Motor Freight.
His hard-nosed negotiations in that venue helped him become a decisive judge and earned him a reputation as an honest, strict, no-nonsense judge in the horse arena as well.
John has worked 18 AQHA World Championship Shows, 10 AQHA Youth World Championship Shows, and served as Paddock Master at the American Paint Horse National and World Championship Shows and the Appaloosa Nationals.
An active supporter of 4-H and other youth activities, he was instrumental in the formation of the OklahomaCounty 4-H horse club. He served as Consultant to the Oklahoma 4-H Advisory Council for four years and as Chairman of the OklahomaState 4-H horse shows for over ten years.
John holds judges cards in 11 equine associations and judges from 40 to 60 shows a year. In addition to the US, John has judged in Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Honduras, New Zealand, Norway, The Netherlands, Sweden, Uruguay, and Mexico.
For 25 years, John and his wife, Susan, owned and operated a training facility specializing in youth and amateur halter and performance horses. His dedication to so many programs and his willingness to donate his time proves his unique passion for seeing others succeed.
Accepting is John.
All of her life, Debbie Schauf has had an immense infatuation with the horse business. At 8 years old she finally convinced her dad his life would be easier if he got her a horse. She has never strayed far from being involved in the horse industry. Beginning with a cart behind her horse, she earned summer money selling pop out of a cooler to the construction workers when she was a kid. As she grew up, she filled in as a timer at the local rodeos, and then for 15 years or more, was the rodeo secretary for Kansas largest open rodeo held during Mulvane Old Settlers Days. Her dad always told her that she couldn’t make a living by riding horses, and she needed a good business background if she wanted to be able to afford horses the rest of her life.
For over 20 years Debbie was a real estate broker and owned and managed a residential construction and real estate company.
She was recognized with many special awards for her work in Real Estate and continuing education. In 1986, Debbie was elected to two terms in the legislature before taking up a new career providing representation for Quarter Horse racing horsemen. After her four years in the Kansas Legislature, Debbie became the director of the Kansas Horsemen’s Association.
In 1991 she accepted a position as General Manager of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association, and from 1994 thru March of 1996 she was Director of Racing and Executive Director of the Texas Quarter Horse Association.
For the past 18 1/2 years she has served as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association. She also serves as a consultant in Quarter Horse racing issues for Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, and a number of other racing jurisdictions.
Debbie was instrumental in setting up the structure for the Kansas Bred program while still in the legislature in Kansas, and one of her first accomplishments in California was to help pass legislation to move the administration of the Cal-Bred program to the PCQHRA.
She has worked closely with the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, the Oklahoma Legislature, and the Oklahoma racetracks providing representation for the Quarter Horse industry with regard to racing laws, development of rules and regulations, medication issues, and promotional efforts for the horse racing industry.
In 1991 while still in Kansas she helped the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission set up a new computer program which assisted in administering the Oklahoma Breeding Development program. In 1996, the first year she was executive director of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, she was instrumental in drafting the language that authorized full card simulcasting in Oklahoma.
And in 2004 was very involved in crafting language for the State Tribal Gaming Act which was known as State Question 712. That single piece of legislation is one of the finest pieces of racing law passed in any state in this decade and it did exactly what was promised for education and for the State’s Horse Industry.
Just this past year, in 2013, Debbie worked with the tracks and the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association to produce a comprehensive economic impact study encompassing the entire horse industry in Oklahoma.
Debbie will tell you that “Working for the horse industry has been the love of her life and she is blessed to have developed skills other than riding a horse that allowed her to carve a niche so she could do something good for the horse industry. She says she is honored beyond words that the AQHA has twice recognized mher with the Millie Vessels Award for outstanding achievement in the Industry.
If you ask Debbie what her favorite role in the horse industry is, she will tell you the best part is now being a grandmother and watching her grandchildren grow in their love for the horses in their lives, and still being able to go to work every day and help make racing as good as it can be for horsemen.
She says she could not dream of a life she would like any better.
Accepting is Debbie.
Barbara L was foaled in 1947, a bay daughter of a Thoroughbred stallion named Patriotic and a Quarter Horse mare named Big Bess. Her sire was a grandson of Man O’ War, while her damn was a descendant of the AQHA Hall of Fame member Peter McCue.
In 1948, Barbara L was sold to W.D. Lumpkin of San Angelo, Texas for $140, which would equal $1,300 in 2013. He changed the fillies name to Barbara L, after his daughter, who broke her to ride.
Barbara L’s first race was in 1949, and didn’t have her first win until her third start, at which time she ran the 440 yards in 23.4 seconds.
In 1951, A.B. Green bought the mare for $3,500 and continued racing her for four more years. She was retired in 1955 after a distinguished career. From 81 starts, she had 21 firsts, 23 seconds and 9 thirds which earned a AAA rating. Her lifetime winnings were $32,836.
As a broodmare at Green Pastures, the bay mare produced 14 foals from different stallions.
Miss Olene by O.Q.H.A and A.Q.H.A. Hall of Fame member Leo, Cuter Yet by O.Q.H.A. and A.Q.H.A Hall of Fame member Jet Deck, Barbara 3 by A.Q.H.A Hall of Fame member Top Deck and Mr. Walt by Vandy. Nine of the foals earned AAAT/AAA ratings; four were stakes winners and one stake placed.
Barbara L died in 1977 and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.