Dale Robertson

Robertson_Dale

 

Dale Robertson

Dale Robertson parlayed his Oklahoma drawl and a way with horses into a long career as a popular, strong-minded star of westerns on television and in the movies

 

Dale L. Robertson was born on July 14, 1923 in Harrah, OK to Varval and Melvin Robertson. Attended Classen High School in OKC. As he started his junior year, he was declared ineligible to participate in any sports because he had fought in two professional boxing fights. Because of this, he decided to go to the Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore OK, where he could still participate in sports. There he was nominated “All Around Athlete”.

 

When he was in the middle of his first year of college the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor (WWII). He along with several other students, volunteered and began his military service at Fort Sill, OK. Then was sent to the horse cavalry at Fort Riley, KS. From there, to Fort Knox, KY to officer candidate school where he was commissioned a Second Lt. in the armored forces, but, was later sent to the Engineer school at Fort Belvoir VA. He was wounded in Germany near the end of the war while serving with the 322 combat Engineer Battalion. Awarded the Bronze Star and one of those whom we refer to as “The Greatest Generation”.

 

He was discovered by Fox Studios from a photograph he had made for his mother in North Hollywood that had been displayed in the window of that studio. He was signed a multi-film contract. He was a true cowboy and did mostly westerns with exceptions like Son of Sinbad with Vincent Price, Fast and Sexy with Gina Lolabrigida and Take Care of my Little Girl with Jeannie Crain, Call me Mister with Betty Grable and many more.

 

He was most well-known for his long running series Tales of Wells Fargo. He went on to make The Iron Horse, host of Death Valley Days costarred in Dynasty and Dallas. Again in his own series JJ Starbuck.

 

He was beloved by the public and his friends for his down home values and what he represented as a man. Dale treasured his family and placed deep emphasis on the value of his friends. “The love of Life” was his motivating factor.

 

In 1947, He purchased 436.8 acres in Oklahoma’s rolling Canadian River Basin and began building his dream, The Haymaker Farm. He had been in the horse business practically all of his life, but with Thoroughbreds. He wanted to enter the horse racing business in a big way, but the question was whether he should stay exclusively with Thoroughbreds or also breed Quarter Horses.

 

Later that year, a celebrated horse race at Hollywood Park, CA, provided his answer. He was there and saw Barbara B, a little bay Quarter Horse mare, outrun Fair Truckle, a big strapping brown Thoroughbred colt.

 

Fair Truckle was bred in Ireland and many horsemen considered him the fastest Thoroughbred ever imported to America. Barbara B was known within the rapidly growing Quarter Horse fraternity, but she wasn’t considered the greatest mare of the time. There were much faster horses around. Still she outran him.

 

Fans loved the race and Dale envisioned a future for the Quarter Horse racing business not unlike a comparison of Barbara B to track star Jesse Owens and Fair Truckle to mile – runner Glenn Cunningham. If you ask people to identify Glen Cunningham, maybe one out of 10 would know about him. Ask them about Jesse Owens and everyone knows him, even small children who were not alive when he was winning Olympic Gold Medals. Cunningham was a champion mile runner. Owens was a sprinter. Owen’s 100 yards were short, but they were 100 exciting yards. We remember the sprinters. Based on this analogy, Dale thought there would be a future for these “short horses”. That is when he set his goal to breed the best there ever was.

 

The Haymaker legacy began in the late 1940’s. Along the way, they bred world champions, stakes winners, record setters, and outstanding breeding stock.  For 17 years the Haymaker Farm was absent from the horse racing business and just bred their stock for the marketplace which was the Haymaker Sale. After the death of Dale’s brother Chet Robertson, the Haymaker Sale was sold and became known as the Heritage Place.

 

The original broodmare band of five were Hy Dale, Granny, La Machine, Bankette, and Nuggett Hug. Each was either a world’s champion, a world record holder, or the dam of a world’s champion or a world record holder.

 

Other horses which have helped create Haymaker’s bloodstock were the legendary stallions Wingo Boy, Three Tiers, Easy Triple, Spread the Rumor, Chick’s Etta Deck, a Bart B S, The Haymaker, Rebel Cause, Bart’s Maid, Antler’s Trade, Joan Buck and Doll Up.

 

Dale owned a horse named Jubilee who was living proof that a racehorse can perform more than one job. He made more than 200 motion pictures, which is the most exacting work a horse can be made to do. He was hauled more than 200,000 miles, appeared in countless rodeos and fairs, and carried hundreds of children on his back. There was no job he could not do.

 

Later in the 1980‘s the Haymaker also started breeding Paint Horses. Dale at the time envisioned a great future for the breed. He considered, as they should be, works of art, because there are no two alike.  The last paint horse he bred, “Painted Bullet” is still living at the age of twenty- Nine, owned by his brother and sister in law in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

 

What a life, Dale Robertson had. He often remarked that he felt he had lived more than one life time.

 

He passed away Feb. 26, 2013 from complications of lung cancer and pneumonia.

 

He was adored by his family. He is survived by his loving wife Susan, his daughter Rochelle Robertson and granddaughter, Jade Fusco.

 

Accepting the award for Dale Robertson is his wife Susan Robertson.

 

Johnny Dial

Johnny_Dial-_2bigJohnny Dial

The story of Johnny Dial is a story of both fact and fable. Bred by Charles Hepler of Pinon, New Mexico, Johnny Dial was a 1948 son of the legendary Depth Charge (TB).

 

Racing from age two to four (1950 through 1953), he amassed a bankroll of $22,906 and was the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Champion in 1952 after winning the Ruidoso Stallion Stakes and placing in the California Championship at Los Alamitos.

 

As a two-year-old and three-year-old, the brown sprinter also placed in the New Mexico State Fair Futurity and State Fair Stallion Stakes at Albuquerque and the Lincoln County Stakes at Ruidoso.

 

The nation’s No. 1 money earner in 1952 when he was World Champion, Johnny Dial set a 330 yard track record at Los Alamitos, a 440 yard track record at Bay Meadows, a 400 yard track record at Albuquerque and equaled the 220 yard track record at La Mesa Park.

 

Although he was bred and raced by non-Okies, it was as a sire that he became an Oklahoma legend.  Johnnie Dial was recognized back then as one of the top Oklahoma sires, standing at Rowland Stanfield’s Stallion Station in Broken Arrow, OK.  His first foals were born in 1953 and began racing in 1955.

 

Earl Shapiro, Johnny Dial’s final owner, was raised in Festus, MO. He was father to four children, a successful business owner, a property developer, a political behind-the-scenes guy, a city council member, a survivor of five WWII campaigns  (Africa, Sicily, Anzio, France, and Germany), and an escapee of a POW camp. Though Earl had many interests, he was most passionate about quarter horses.

 

Earl was enthralled with bloodlines and voraciously studied, compared and analyzed them. Night after night, he pondered the bloodlines of winning quarter horses in his effort to arrive at a promising combination for a new generation of winners. There was no Internet at this time; there was only paper information. A typical midnight reading located next his bedside would be loaded with everything imaginable about bloodlines. At times, the bed and floors were covered with paper.

 

What he noticed was that Johnny Dial coupled with mares of Leo’s lineage produced solid performers who, at the time, were greatly undervalued in the market.  Steadfast in his conviction, Earl Shapiro purchased Johnny Dial in 1968 for $25,000 (in today dollars, $171,865.04). With that, and at the ripe old age of 20, Johnny Dial moved to Festus, MO.

 

This was not an easy task to accomplish.  Earl first had to deal with equipment and construction tycoon Ed Honnen, owner of Quincy Farms in Aurora, CO, famous for the brand “2” up and the “2” down.  Earl would address Ed Honnen as “Easy Ed,” and later just “Easy.”  This made many of the Quincy Farm’s employees leave rapidly to escape the explosive response. Ed’s reputation was larger than life. He learned how to rope cattle at 60 years old; he was as a hard-core businessman just like Shapiro, but where Earl could be charming Honnen was more disciplined. “If you are so smart, why are you not rich and I AM rich” is a direct quote from Ed Honnen. Somehow this kinship between Earl and Easy would continue throughout the years. Their mutual admiration for Johnny Dial and each other kindled a long-term friendship.

 

Earl’s son Gregg remembers going with his father to Quincy Farms and picking up Johnny when he was11 years old.  They waited for four days for Honnen to return from a business trip. Only with Honnen’s approval would Johnny Dial be released to the new owner regardless of what any paperwork might indicate.

 

Johnny was a small horse, no more than 14.2 hands.  He was Honnen’s wingman: the perfect companion. Johnny’s personality of determination was similar to his last two owners Ed Honnen and Earl Shapiro. Champions are made up of more than physical confirmation; it has to be internal, and they have to have the determination to achieve the goal. Johnny was all business.

 

In buying Johnny, Earl Shapiro had a vision. It was important to win races, but it was more important was to sell horses. In his studies, he was convinced that with Johnny Dial as the broodmare sire, he would stretch the bloodlines to a winning brood mare assembly. That winner at the track would be the outcome.

 

Johnny Dial had the most lavish stall in the farm in Festus, MO. It was 25 by 25 feet, heated, with piped-in water, and constantly freshened straw. The Shapiro children unfailingly considered that Johnny’s accommodations, relativity speaking, were with par with their own household. If Earl’s wife Virginia would have allowed it, Johnny would have had a place in their home, in the bedroom next to children or maybe instead of one of the children. At one time the walk-out basement was actually considered.

 

At twenty years, and two times a day, five to six days a week, Johnny was still a virile stud. Johnny was a pace setter for the advantage age sires. Since in the early years of his life Johnny was underused as a stud horse, he was making it for lost time.

 

The stories of Johnny breaking from the starting gates were legendary. Johnny Dial was a challenge to ride out of the starting gate. At times he would be yawning and look almost asleep in the starting gate, but when the gate would open and the bell sounded, no other horse broke harder than Johnny Dial.  Jockeys of that time traded tales about almost falling off him from his explosive instant energy out of the gate.

 

Everyone at the Shapiro Farm could attest that swinging stall door quickly, and NOT stepping into the opening until Johnny ran past was the only safe way to turn him into the pasture. The startling burst of speed out of the stall probably rekindled his memories of early days out of the gate. Even at the end of his years, Johnny would come out of the stall door with an athletic amount of speed and determination.  Toward the end of his life, his initial burst of speed would be followed by endless hours of Johnny lying down in the tall grass in the sun sleeping.

 

As Johnny advanced in years, he was relaxed and pleasant to be around.  Johnny passed away in his sleep.  It was a sad day for the Shapiro family and he is still mourned.

 

Although they could not attend tonight, the Shapiro family wishes convey their appreciation for this acknowledgment of Johnny Dial. Johnny was a part of their family and memories. If Earl Shapiro was alive, he would be grinning ear to ear telling everyone that he was right forty years ago.  He would tell you, “There were two kinds of people in this world.  People who wanted Johnny Dial mares, and people that had them.”

 

Thank you for recognizing Earl Shapiro’s dream.

Linda Shapiro Springer, Janet Shapiro, Dave Shapiro, Greg Shapiro

 

Accepting the award for Johnny Dial is Rowland Stanfield’s daughter, Patricia Wofford.

Bully Bullion

Bully_Bullion

Bully Bullion

Bred and raised by Jean and Andy Chavers of Fort Lupton, CO and raced his entire life by Jean Chavers, Bully Bullion was a member of the first crop of foals sired by 1981 World Champion Special Effort, the only horse to ever win the two-year-old Triple Crown at Ruidoso Downs.

 

A May 1, 1984 foal, the bay colt rolled up earnings of $225,384 with stakes wins in 1987 at Sunland Park and La Mesa Park as a three-year-old and a pair of stakes wins at Ruidoso Downs as a four-year-old.

 

The wins in the All American Gold Cup (G1) and the Mr Jet Moore Stakes in 1988 led to Bully Bullion being named the American Quarter Horse Association’s Champion Aged Stallion of 1988.  In 28 lifetime starts, Bully Bullion had 10 wins, 8 seconds and 4 thirds.  Only four times did he fail to run 1st, 2nd or 3rd and 3 of those 4 times were in Graded Stakes.

 

But it is as a sire that Bully Bullion will best be remembered.  Standing his entire career in Oklahoma with Dee and Betty Raper at their Belle Mere Farms, Bully Bullion sired the earners of nearly $9 million in American Quarter Horse races and with his earnings in Paint and Appaloosa racing and barrel racing his gross earnings easily tops $10 million.  Bully Bullion is the No. 2 all-time siring son of Special Effort.

 

The all-time leading money earner for Bully Bullion is the 11-time stakes winner Bullions N Garters.  His other major runners include the 4-time stakes winner Bully Bonds; 4-time stakes winner Bullet Bullion; 7-time stakes winner and track record setter Tanisha; 6-time stakes winner and track record setter Aint It Fun; Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Shake The Bank; 4-time stakes winner Casino Bully; 3-time stakes winner Prowl; and 6-time stakes winner Bullisa.

 

Some of the most highly-sought mares today are daughters of Bully Bullion.  They have produced such major stakes winners as Bullys Runaway; DMNV Mountable; Rarest Daisy; Shawshank; Finche; All American Derby G1 winner and Ruidoso 440-yard track record setter Snow Big Deal; SF Royal Bank; Eye Yin You and many other big runners.

 

Throughout his life he was noted as being a sire of individuals with good minds and a lot of try, and many of his offspring went on after their race careers to be useful in almost every performance discipline.   Dee and Betty often have shared that Bully “had one of the most unique personalities they ever saw; he was almost Human and he passed that on to many of his foals.  It wasn’t unusual for the farm to receive letters to Bully asking about his new foals, or to have visitors stop by on their way through town just to see him.  Bully Bullion touched many lives.

 

With his daughters already producing the winners of 71 stakes races and the earners of more than $12.1 million, the influence of Champion and Leading Sire, Bully Bullion will be felt in American Quarter Horse racing for many, many years.

 

 

Accepting the award for Bully Bullion is Jean and Andy Chavers.

Drummond Ranch

Drummond_Brand

Drummond Ranch

The Drummond Ranch was founded in 1910 by R C Drummond, who was later joined by his brothers and sons in expanding the ranch. By 1920, R C had increased his cattle, bison, and horse operations; Horses were utilized in both ranching and farming, as well as travel. By 1930, R C had around 100 brood mares of all different types.

 

In the early 1940’s, one of R C’s sons, Fred A, purchased 20 daughters of a quality horse known as Leo, thereby establishing Drummond Ranch’s registered Quarter Horse operation. Fred A. continued his horse operation for the next 30-40 years, building a herd of between 40 and 50 brood mares. Fred was constantly either buying or leasing outside studs for his mares.

 

In the early 1940’s, Fred A. married schoolteacher Ruth Thatcher (a city girl), and had three children together —one of whom is Chuck Drummond. Chuck was interested in horses at a very young age, riding almost before he was able to walk. While completing his education at Oklahoma State University, Chuck met Nan Olsen and the two were married in 1964. They moved back to the ranch after college and raised three sons, Todd, Tim, and Ladd.

 

In 1983, Chuck had open heart surgery and was encouraged by his cardiologist to find a hobby. Neither tennis nor golf was in the cards for Chuck, so fortunately a friend in the cutting horse business encouraged him to attend a clinic—and with that, Chuck was “bit by the bug.”

 

Later that year, he began acquiring what he believed would be a quality set of brood mares and went on to win numerous titles with mares such as Foxie Merada, Playbos Samatha and several others.

 

Then he found himself in need of a better stallion to breed these outstanding mares, so he purchased Doc Stylish Oak in 1988.  Stylish proved to be a major cross on Chuck’s broodmares, producing offspring such as Mr Mom, Playin Stylish, Pepto Stylish Oak, Stylish and Foxie and others.  Chuck went on to be one of the top breeders in the cutting industry.

 

Doc Stylish Oak proved to be one of the leading sires of the National Cutting Horse Association and the American Quarter Horse Association.  Daughters of Stylish have proven that they are producers as well.

 

In 1993 Chuck sold Stylish and once again he needed cross on the Docs Stylish Oak mares.  Drummond purchased Lizzielena who was in foal to Freckles Playboy producing a colt named Lizzy Gotta Player.  The colt proceeded to win numerous titles and was the world champion in 2004.  Every horse produced on this ranch plays a strong role in the programs of breeding, competition and ranch work.

 

In 1995, Tim, Chuck and Nan’s middle son, took over the cutting horse operation. As of 2014 at the Mecuria Finals, four of Drummond Ranch’s horses were in the finals. Throughout the years, they have continued to breed some of the leading mares of the equine industry.

 

As of today the Drummond Ranch family is home to fourth generation of AQHA breeders and is continuing its appreciation of the American Quarter Horse with the fifth generation.

 

Accepting the award for Drummond Land & Cattle Company is Chuck Drummond.

 

Betty Wells – Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit Award

Wells_Betty

Betty Wells – Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit Award

Petite brunette Betty Jeanne Cope Wells is always actively promoting the industry which involves her passions horses, youth and volunteering.

 

Betty was born in Sulphur, OK, on September 8, 1945, to Gene and Lucille Cope. She attended Sulphur schools and graduated high school there in 1963.  From the time she was five years old until she graduated high school, she studied piano and voice. She was a member of the high school glee club, pianist for the boy’s glee club, played clarinet in the band and was a twirler for both the Junior High and High School bands. She won Tri-State in music in 1962 and All State in1963.

 

She was active in 4-H, FHA, Spanish Club, was a Red Cross Life Guard and taught swimming at the local pool. She was also on the long distance swim team. She was Band Queen and Annual Queen in 1962 and was Basketball Queen in 1963. She was voted Most Talented Girl and Most Likely to Succeed by her Senior Class. She was also a member of Sulphur’s Herford Heaven Round Up Club, traveling with them to many towns, riding in the parades and the rodeos.

 

Betty was very involved in her church, singing in the church choir, playing the organ and played for weddings at the church. She attended Falls Creek Baptist Assembly for many years and was a counselor for the grade school kids at camp. She also was a life guard there.

 

It was from her grandfather that she got her love of horses. Betty lived in town, but her grandfather lived in Denison, TX, and had a very large dairy farm. He had some riding horses and every summer she would go and spend a couple of weeks and all she ever wanted to do was ride the horses.

 

She talked her father into letting her bring one of her grandfather’s horses to Sulphur for a summer and she went with the round up club to parades, rodeos and entered the barrel race. Betty didn’t have a pickup and trailer, so she put her horse in the big cattle hauler that they used for the rest of the Roundup Club’s horses. She didn’t mind, she was just happy to be there.

 

Betty’s father, Gene, was an Oil and Gas dealer for Conoco Oil Company for 40 years. He had a gas station in town and delivered oil and gas to the local farmers and ranchers.

 

Betty said she got her work ethic and desire to volunteer from her parents. They were very involved in their city and with the school system. Anytime they needed a parent they were always there. Her parents had great aspirations for Betty’s future until she met a cowboy named Jerry Wells.

 

He was five years ahead of her in school and she had not met him until one day when she was 16, in her front yard practicing her twirling for the Friday night football game. Jerry Wells drove up, stopped, and asked her if she could fix him up with a certain friend of hers. Well, he never did go out with THAT friend!

 

They dated steadily through her senior year. When Betty graduated they went their separate ways and Betty enrolled at East Central State University in Ada, OK, majoring in music. She was a member of the Chi Omega sorority, a twirler for the ECU band and worked in the college post office. During the second semester, she had a call from one of her friends who said Jerry Wells would like to talk to her.

 

He came to Ada for a date and their love relationship took up where it had left off. They were married at the end of her first year of college, on June 24, 1964. She was 18. Needless to say, Betty’s parents were not too thrilled about her quitting school and marrying a cowboy, but they both gave their blessings. Thus began 43 years of a special marriage and a business built from very little.

 

The American Quarter Horse was the foundation of this life-long journey. Her love of horses fit right into Jerry’s business. Being married to an up-and coming horse trainer, she knew she wanted to learn as much as she could, and Jerry agreed to teach her, but he told her it would take a lot of practice. Anyone who ever knew Jerry Wells or read anything about him knew his mantra was: We have to practice more. Finally, after five years of marriage, he let her ride one of his horses in the pleasure class. Then she went to halter, and when the under saddle event came in, she got someone to teach her that discipline. She was still riding barrel horses. She was still raising and selling barrel horses when Jerry died.

 

Betty showed a stallion named War Machine in halter and western pleasure and Jerry reined, roped and ran some barrels on him. He later was named Supreme Champion.

 

She went on to win 9 World Championships: 8 in Amateur Halter and one in Open Halter at the first AQHA World Show in Louisville, Kentucky in 1974. That horse was Two Eyed Dandy. Betty owned two Junior World Champion Barrel Horses: Cool Approach in 1987 and Miss Mergie in 1996, which she owned with AQHA Past President Frank Howell. Both were Jerry’s ex-race horses, and both were ridden by Mary Burger of Pauls Valley. She also had a halter World Championship in the Paint Association in 1997 with Perpetualized.

 

Betty has been a member of AQHA for many years. She joined the Amateur Division the first year it was formed. She was a member of both the American Paint Horse Association and Palomino Horse Breeders of America. She joined the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association in the late 1970’s. She was on the OQHA Amateur board in previous years and on the Open board, and is currently serving on the Open board. She is a long-time member of OQHRA, and she and Jerry are founding members of the World Conformation Horse Association.

 

Jerry and Betty built their first ranch from scratch in 1971 in Purcell, OK, where they stood many stallions over the years and had numerous horse shows and sales. In 1982 they sold the ranch and built their second one from scratch in Sulphur OK. In 1999 they had a chance to sell this one and built their third and final ranch in Wayne, OK. Jerry was diagnosed with two kinds of cancer in 2000 and was getting to the 4 ½ year mark when another completely different cancer was diagnosed. They decided to sell their ranch and just lease a barn, as he was now a patient at M D. Anderson Cancer Center. Jerry fought another 4 ½ years and passed in May, 2008.

 

Shortly after Jerry’s death, Betty and her children, Nancy Wells Berry and Marty Wells, started a memorial scholarship fund available to OQHA youth who were going to college. In 2009, she started the Jerry Wells Memorial Scholarship Halter Futurity for yearlings. Each futurity entry has ten per cent deducted for the Scholarship Fund. The futurity is a special WCHA event during the Redbud Horse Show and this June completed six years of shows. Luke Castle, Betty and Nova Boyd are the Futurity Committee for OQHA, working together on this.  There is a patient room in Jerry’s honor at the Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, given by Doug Landon and Lana Brooks. There is also an exam room in his honor given by Betty and the family.

 

She has another passion these days and that is spreading the word to get more financing for cancer research, especially for children with cancer. The first two years of the Futurity she gave some of the Futurity money to relatives of OQHA members dealing with cancer.

 

Betty is an avid OU football fan and has had season tickets for many years. She is also an avid fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Betty currently lives in Norman, OK, where she is a member of the First Baptist Church there, and is currently working as a sales associate at Christopher and Banks in Sooner Mall. She also is an independent distributor with Evolv Health.

 

Jerry and Betty have two children. Nancy Wells Berry, Loudin, TN, who is married to Ken Berry. Marty Wells and wife Mary live in San Juan Capistrano, CA, where Marty owns a barbeque restaurant called Bad To The Bone BBQ. She has two grandchildren, Nancy’s children, Brendon Barr, 22, attending East Central State University in Ada, and Brittney Barr, 18, attending Southeastern State University in Durant where she is on the Rodeo Team.

 

Since Betty no longer has any horses, nor is she involved in showing, she said she loves working with OQHA, promoting our organization and our state. Continuing to be involved with the horse industry allows her to maintain contact with the people that she said were a part of her life for so many years.

 

Sharon Collins Breeding will be presenting this award

 

Accepting the award is Betty Wells.

Mr Bar None

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Mr Bar None

Mr Bar None, the only World Champion son of Three Bars, was foaled in February, 1955, to owners and breeders Oscar and Zelma Jeffers Jr, Wagoner Oklahoma Ford dealers. Oscar was known as “June” which was short for Junior as his dad was Oscar Sr.  June is quoted in the 1967 Stallion Issue of the Quarter Racing Record about the morning of his foaling, “I never saw anything like him.  He was the most magnificent looking colt I have ever seen.” 

 

June and Zelma had purchased his dam, Murl L, from Byrne James in Raymondville, TX.  In the late 1940s, Murl L had a reputation as a top match race mare in South Texas and Oklahoma.  In 1951, she won a 220-yard match race in Enid, 5 months in foal at the time, as seen in this win photo.  The next day she was shown at halter by June and won reserve champion.

 

In February, 1957, before his first start in official competition, Mr. Bar None won his first race in Porter, OK, defeating Queenwood AA.  The next Sunday, he won in Tulsa over Vinegar Bend.  And then it was on to Rillito Park in Tucson, AZ.

 

The story of Mr Bar None has been published often in various equine magazines over the many decades. Let’s step back in time tonight and listen to June, who was also Mr Bar None’s trainer.  These are his own words from letters he wrote to his sister Ruby as he traveled the country with his dark chestnut 2-year-old.

 

March 1957: “Dear Ruby, Mr. Bar None on his first outing.  I guess some folks call it his debut.  He has made the fastest time of any colt here for 300 yards.  He is the colt I got when I hauled my best mare to Tucson and bred her to Three Bars and got this stud colt.  There is a fellow here in Tucson that just follows me around offering me $10,000 for him.  He will say, ‘Please June.  Sell me that colt for $10,000.’  That sounds fantastic but it is true.  The next races I have him in are the Kansas Futurity and Rocky Mountain.  They are both run at Denver.  Then the next is Enid.  Then the next and largest is Pomona, California.  It is the richest of all 2 year old races, a $15,000 purse.  I am importing a jockey from California that I know to Denver — Kenneth Chapman”.  

 

A string of seconds followed at Rillito, and then an overnight win at Los Alamitos.  From there, the Oklahoma horseman and Mr Bar None traveled to Centennial Race Track where he wrote:

 

“Dear Sister Rube – Well, here I am in Littleton, CO. This is the last leg of my journey.  At the last of June I go home from here.  Then in September I go back to California to run in a $15,000 purse.  I have already run against most of the colts that will run in it and beat about all of them.  Me and my jockey think we have a good chance.  We run the Kansas Quarter Horse Futurity trials here June 7th and the finals on the 12th.  Then June 17th we run the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse trials.  After that I will be on my way home.  I sure am going to try hard to win them both.  We have a good enough colt if we get some good breaks.  I have the leading quarter horse jockey riding for me.  He is the one that come down to Tucson.  Weighs 115 pounds.  Has a wife, one boy, a Buick car, and he bought a trailer house just the other day.  July 14 we run at Enid in the Oklahoma Futurity.  I sure do want to win that this year, as it would mean so much to this young stud for breeding purposes.  When I start to breed him I will start him at $300.  That is as much or more than you can make now selling a new car.”

 

Mr Bar None won the Kansas Futurity.  He then won the Rocky Mountain Futurity, setting a new track record at 350 yards.  He was then first under the wire in the Oklahoma Futurity.  After a brief rest in Wagoner, June hauled Mr Bar None once again to California.  There, he would run in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Futurity, where he day-lighted the field to equal the track record at 350 yards.  Next, in his first quarter mile run, Mr Bar None won the Winner Take All Stakes at the October New Mexico State Fair, equaling the two-year-old track record.  At the end of his two-year-old year, Mr Bar None would have 18 official outs with 10 firsts and 8 seconds.  This earned him the title of Champion Two-Year-Old Running Colt, rated AAA at every distance.  After a good winter’s rest in Oklahoma, it was back to Rillito in March, 1958.  Mr Bar None won his first out there, a 400-yard allowance race, by a length and a half.  Then, he and June were off to Los Alamitos.

 

In April, 1958, June writes: “Dear Sister, Sorry I haven’t wrote you sooner but I haven’t had no good news until now.  April 26 we won the richest of all quarter horse races here in Los Alamitos.   Our race here was on television.   Dale Robertson, the T.V. star, was supposed to make the presentation but he didn’t make it.  I was never so thrilled in my life; to the quarter horse people it equals the Kentucky Derby.  August 10th we run another race, the 440-yard Derby at Ruidoso, New Mexico.  The $30,000 purse that will be the last big race of the year.”

 

Indeed, on April 26th Mr Bar None won the Pacific Coast Horse Racing Association Derby, only to be defeated on May 3rd in the 440-yard Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Championship.  He finished 5th to some of the greatest racehorses in history, in order of track record-setting finish — Vanetta Dee, Go Man Go, Vandy’s Flash, and Clabber’s Win.   Then, on May 24th at Bay Meadows, he turned around to defeat Vanetta Dee in the Bay Meadows Handicap.  On May 31st, Mr Bar None won the California Horse Racing Association Handicap.

 

June and Mr Bar None were then off to Ruidoso Downs to run in the Maid of Cotton Allowance.  June wrote his son Robert: “Me and Mr Bar None are just waiting for the big race Sunday.  We are running with the fastest horseflesh in the world.  A horse that has been World Champion 3 straight years – Go Man Go! It rained hard here all last night.” 

 

On June 29th, 1958, Mr Bar None set the world record for 350 yards in a time of 17.6, defeating Go Man Go and Rocket Bar.  “Dear Ruby: I think I told you in my last letter that Mr Bar None beat the fastest horses in the world of all ages.  Not only that, but he set a new world record.  It’s hard to believe we have the fastest quarter horse in the world.  If nothing happens to him this year, he will be the world champion running quarter horse, and also the highest money earner of all time.  Of course, that is counting your chickens before they hatch.”

 

In August, Mr Bar None won the Ruidoso Quarter Horse Derby with Dale Robertson’s Spanish Fort running a close second.

 

That month, Zelma Jeffers would write son Richard from New Mexico:  “All you can hear down here is Mr Bar None, Mr Bar None.  Some guy about half drunk bought our dinner yesterday.  Never saw him before.  He would set there at our table and say so pitiful, ‘I sure would like to own a good horse. Mr Bar None is the best horse in the world.’ – he would go over and over that.   June lives and breathes Mr Bar None.”  Mr Bar None won the Wonderland Stakes a few days later.

 

Another letter to Ruby:  “Here me and Mr Bar None are in Albuquerque.  I believe the people of Oklahoma are about ready to wake up.  I understand our governor is for legal whiskey and horse racing.  The horse people have been getting a lot of petitions signed for the people to vote on it.  I sure believe we will have it in the near future.  Mr Bar None has 8 straight wins now.  I am going to build him a barn that will cost about $5,000, cement block fireproof.  I will have a big sign upon the highway, saying Mr Bar None: fastest quarter horse in the world.  I am sleeping in my truck right by his stall.  The only time I leave him is to eat.”

 

In November, June and Mr Bar None were back in California.  “Dear Ruby. Mr  Bar None made the big time.  A personal story and picture in the Los Angeles Times.”   Mr Bar None even seems to outshine the Hollywood starlets who posed with him.  He also got his picture taken with World Champion Heavyweight Wrestler Dick Hutton.

 

After a couple of disappointing 5th place finishes, June wrote his last letter on the racing circuit to his sister in late November from Los Alamitos: “These are the same horses I run at Ruidoso and beat them except one horse.  This race meet will be awfully tough, as all the horses are in the best of condition, including Mr Bar None.  So we will just do our best and hope.  No use to worry about if we win or lose.  Now you see why I have stayed on the road with him and lived with Mr Bar None.  I just sleep 30 feet from him now as I write this letter.  I can see his pretty head sticking out the door.  It’s no wonder he is about all I talk about.  The football coach in Wagoner came up to me last year and said, ‘June, I had predicted that horses one of these days would break you’, but he said he guessed he was wrong.  Well, tell all my friends hello and we will all get together Christmas.  Love, June”.

 

On December 13, 1958, Mr Bar None ran his last race, The Autumn Championship, the forerunner of today’s Champion of Champions.  He was out to defeat one of the greatest casts of race horses ever assembled:  Go Man Go, Vanetta Dee, Double Bid, Clabber Bar, Dividend, Vandy’s Flash and Clabber’s Win.  Late that afternoon, June placed a collect call back to Wagoner where Zelma, his sons, and daughter-in-law were waiting for the results.  Son Robert taped the call, where you can hear June yell, “We Won! – – by daylight!!”  And later in the call:  “You never saw so many people in your life.  They took pictures all evening.  That is something, boy, yessir.  Hell, I didn’t think we’d win it.  I got up this morning.  He was walking around like an old horse with the dead lice falling off of him.  I tried to get him to trot, he wouldn’t trot, he wouldn’t gallop.  Chap, was there a headwind? No, no headwind.  He day-lighted the field just like he did in Ruidoso!” 

 

June then recapped the race for the folks back home.  “I about gave Chap a heart attack in the paddock. Old Chap liked to have fainted because I told him to take him around that backstretch and work his ass over with that bat and I tell you he came out of there just like a cannon!  20 yards out, Chap hit him once and he just took off.  He left there like the devil was after him.  He day-lighted the field just like he did in Ruidoso.  It is good to retire him on a race like that.”  And so, at the end of 1958, Mr. Bar None held new titles: Champion Running Horse of the Year, Champion Stallion, Champion 3-Year-Old, and 1958 World Champion.

 

Mr Bar None was retired to stud in Wagoner, OK.  He went on to sire champion running quarter horses Bar None Doll, Mr. Juniper Bar, and Bayou Bar.  He was also one of the industry’s very successful broodmare sires, as sire of the dams of Flight 109, Mighty Deck Three, and Native Empress, to name a few.  As a testament to his classic quarter horse versatility, Mr Bar None also passed on his greatness to paternal grandsons: the fabulous show horse sire Sonny Dee Bar, and The Bar None Quest and Mr. Bar None Cactus, both NFR roping qualifiers.  In March of this year, Mr Bar None took his place in the 2014 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

 

As June promised, Mr Bar None got his new cement block barn, built not more than 50 feet from the Jeffers’ bedroom window.  The grand old man remained with the Jeffers family until his death on a cold, windy February afternoon in 1982, not more than a few feet from where he had drawn his first breath, one of the great chapters in Oklahoma quarter horse racing, the story of Mr Bar None.

 

Mr Bar None was inducted in to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

Accepting the award for Mr Bar None are Oscar and Zelma Jeffers’ granddaughters Richelle Jeffers and Dalinda Jeffers.

Kid Meyers

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Kid Meyers

The American Quarter Horse Association’s first Supreme Champion had everything going for him the day he was foaled in 1963.  He was sired by the legendary Three Bars (TB), then the leading sire of racing horses of all time, having sired the winners of $2,850,000 and 185 AAA horses.  His dam Miss Meyers by Leo, was world champion running horse of 1953, and the dam of Oh My Oh and Mr Meyers, both AAA on the track.  If ever a horse was bred to run, it was Kid Meyers.

 

He was foaled at the famous Green Pastures Ranch just west of Purcell, OK home of some of the greatest names in Quarter Horse racing.  He was bred and owned by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member A B Green.  On those 600 acres have trod some of the truly immortals of the sprint tracks, including the mighty Top Deck and Go Man Go.

 

Green, one of the most colorful personalities the Quarter Horse racing world had known at that time, had bred over thirty AAA horses and was considered to be the one of the cleverest breeders of running horses of all time.

 

Although bred in the purple and foaled in the luxurious foaling barn surrounded by white panel fences in the Kentucky-like setting of Green Pastures ranch, Kid Meyers was dealt nature’s cruelest blow.  His mother died of colic when he was just two weeks old.

 

Thanks to the efforts of Mrs Green and son Bruce, the tiny foal survived.  Mrs Green brought the foal to town and put him in a small barn behind their house.  She left him alone for a few hours, then took out a small pan of water.  She put it down and stepped back, and he moved up and drank it all.  When she returned about an hour later with an adequate amount of warm milk, he walked right to her.  He was raised in the back yard, in town, for the next six months.  He became quite a pet and developed a personality that made him easy to work with.  He grew into a 15.1 hand, 1280 pound beauty of a chestnut stallion with a marvelous disposition.  His greatest past-times during that time was running along the fence with the dogs or playing with a feed sack.

 

Then he was a two-year-old, and it was time to fulfil his destiny.  Kid Meyers was shipped to Roderick Kaufman in Del Rio, Texas, and put into race training.  He made his first start on March 21,1965, winning easily under jockey Clifton Detiege, who had piloted winning horses at All American Futurity.  He was then hauled to Ruidoso for several stakes races.  He ran against the best there and at Albuquerque, Sunland Park, Bay Meadows, Sacramento and Los Alamitos. He ran the 400 yards in the Sunland Futurity trials in a blistering 19.93 seconds.  He quickly earned his AAA rating at 350 and 400 yards while earning a then-very respectful $11,155 through his second year at the track.  He won six races, earning 31 racing points.  Before leaving racing, he earned AAA at seven distances.

 

Because of his flawless pedigree and his display of speed, Green decided to bring Kid home to the breeding barn.  His success at stud was assured.

 

Then came one of the most important events of Kid Meyers career.  Jerry Wells, a 27-year-old Sulphur, OK, cowboy, had observed the admirable conformation of the speedy chestnut.  Wells had served as apprentice trainer to Matlock Rose and later worked for George Tyler, so he was essentially a cow horse man.  Wells went to Green and asked if he could show the horse at halter.

 

A B Green, strictly a racing man famous for his staggering wagers during the match-race days, was not immediately enthused with the idea.  But after some deliberation, he decided it might help the horse’s stud career, so he granted Wells his wish, and brought Wells to Purcell to work out of Green’s barn.

 

Wells took him out on the show circuit and won first place with him the first time shown.   He had four more consecutive wins including two grand championships and one reserve champion.

 

One day, Wells had an overwhelming urge to ride Kid Meyers to learn if he had any natural reining ability.  His hunch was right, and Wells began to train Kid Meyers for western pleasure in secret.  Wells said he was the best natured horse he ever worked with.  That discipline was also a success on the show circuit.

 

When Wells heard AQHA’s announcement about the Supreme Champion title, he began to get ideas.  Would Kid Meyers make a roping horse?  In a paddock behind the barn, safe from the watchful eyes of other ranch hands, he began roping on the Kid.

 

Of course, Green found out.  He told Jerry if he could make Kid Meyers the AQHA’s first Supreme Champion, he would buy him a new Cadillac.  Jerry did, and Green came through.

 

And the rest is history.  Kid Meyers accumulated 45 open halter points, 17 open western pleasure points and 10 open calf roping points, and was named the first American Quarter Horse Supreme Champion in 1967.

 

When A B Green walked across the Stardust Hotel stage in Las Vegas to accept the highest award granted by AQHA before seven hundred applauding members at the 1968 annual convention, it was a tribute to the founders of the world’s largest and fastest growing equine registry.

 

Kid Meyers exemplified the ideas charter members had conceived twenty eight years before at the organizational meeting in the Blackstone Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.  Kid Meyers accomplished what many knowledgeable horsemen considered impossible.  He represented the nearest to an ideal horse which 40,000 AQHA members had sought to breed for nearly three decades.

 

The ideal quarter horse had speed, conformation, disposition, intelligence and the ability to perform, but a horse superior in all these categories is indeed rare.

 

Kid Meyers then went to stud and his second crop of foals in 1969 showed the promise of this exciting young stallion.

 

A fatal bout of colic took Kid Meyers prior to the 1972 breeding season but he left a record of 29 winners and three stakes winners.  It is hard to say what he might have achieved as a sire had he not been lost so soon before his time.

 

He did leave behind four crops of 104 foals, 62 performers with 23 Race ROMs, including: AQHA Champion Kid Saleen, Superior Western Pleasure Horse The Maple Kid; Superior Race Horse Bar Pass Meyers; and AQHA /AQHYA Top Ten High Point Horses, Buffalo Kid and  Pretty Kid Bar; and 10 Open Show ROMs: Buffalo Kid, Kid Girl, Kid Saleen, Kids Delight, Meyers Trouble, Miggi Meyers, Mister Aabee, Otoe Meyers, Pretty Kid Bar and The Maple Kid.

 

His most famous son was Mr Kid Charge, out of Fancy Charge by Go Man Go.  This sorrel two-year-old colt won the 1971 All American Futurity and Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.  In the All American Futurity, he set the track’s 400-yard record and earned $200,841.  Mr Kid Charge, SI-104, winner of a total of $299,186,  was subsequently named the American Quarter Horse Association’s Champion Two-Year-Old Colt and was the breed’s leading money earner of 1971.

Tonight, Kid Meyers joins his owner, his dam, his trainer and his dam’s sire in the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

Accepting the award for Kid Meyers is Betty Wells.

 

Rowland Stanfield

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Rowland D. Stanfield, Sr

Rowland Stanfield’s influence on the Quarter Horse industry had such an impact that ten years after he left the business Jim Scarborough, from The Quarter Horse Journal, wrote an extensive article about him.

 

Some called him the first of the big spenders. Others called him reckless. He was probably a little of both but the truth is that Rowland Stanfield was a shrewd businessman who believed in the future of running Quarter Horses and had the guts to put his money where his mouth was.

 

Rowland “Stan” Stanfield was in the Quarter Horse business in a big way for a relatively short time. He operated his Stanfield Stallion Station in Broken Arrow, OK from 1958 through September 11, 1962 and the impact he left on the industry is still being felt today. A decade or more after he left the business his dollar sign S brand could still be found on some of the top-flight stallions and mares around the country. He was a fun loving, generous man, but when it came down to business he was always thinking about the future of the industry.

 

When Stanfield came on the scene in 1958, the Quarter Horse world was at an important crossroad.  Three Bars and Top Deck blood had taken the Quarter Horse tracks by storm, much to the consternation of some, but the squat, bulldog type horses were still winning the halter shows. Many horsemen were in doubt as to which way to breed, the longer, streamlined Quarter Horse or the blockier built Quarter Horse.

 

Stanfield showed them the way. Part of his theory was that a good horse is a good horse regardless of breeding.  Stanfield, whether he was actually thinking of it in this manner or not, directed the Quarter Horse public to both racing and halter horses.

 

In addition to uncertainty about body type, there was also much apprehension among breeders and owners as to what a horse was worth. Again, Stanfield led the way.  He bought horses as cheaply as possible, but he bought with confidence and didn’t let price get in the way of owning what he thought was a good horse.

 

Well-known names owned by Stanfield in the halter class were Poco Chata by Poco Bueno, Ace’s Loeleta by Moore’s Ace; Tamet, winner of 44 Grand Championships, Strummer by Pretty Buck and never defeated Grand Champion Hot Shot B. Stanfield definitely led the way in halter classes all over the country with these and other horses.

 

The racehorse world should remember such names as Clabber Bar, son of Three Bars; Johnny Bull; Piggin String; Johnny Dial, the 1952 World Champion; Tonto Bars Hank, 1960 and 1961 champion colt; Paula Thomasina; Paula Laico; Myrna Three; Leo’s Queen Bee; Maggie Dial; Goldseeker; Sweetie Bar; Depth Charge; Sixteen Tons; Miss Wonder Bars; Sugaree Bars; and others of equal importance. Stanfield led the way with these horses in the running end of the game. Winnings from horses owned or leased at one time by Stanfield garnered every conceivable honor in the Quarter Horse Running world.

 

Further proof of his good judgment lies in the fact that direct offspring from mares owned by Stanfield compiled fantastic records.  Through 1971, the produce of the mares earned approximately $1,400,000 on Quarter tracks; 15 are AAAT; 53 AAA; 58 AA; 24 arena ROM; 11 AQHA Champions, 1 World Champion Running Horse; 2 Champion Two-Year-Old fillies, 1 Champion Three-Year-Old Filly; The World’s Richest Quarter Horse; and numerous track record holders at various times. In addition, offspring from mares owned by Stanfield have won virtually all of the major championships, futurities and derbies around the country at one time or another.

 

Add to this list the names of the winners of grandsons and granddaughters of the mares and stallions who made names for themselves in the 1970’s. This story has no end, as good horses for generations to come will bear the stamp of Rowland Stanfield.

 

He gained the attention of the Quarter Horse World in a big way when in October of 1959, two of his horses, Tamet and Poca Chata made national news by winning the top stallion and filly grand championships at the International Quarter Horse Show in Chicago. A clean sweep by two Oklahoma Horses had never happened in the history of the show. The Tulsa Tribune even published an editorial cartoon about the two history making horses.

 

One month later, more news was made when Tamet won the grand championship at the American Royal Quarter Horse show in Kansas City.

 

Many claim this man, who grew up in Tulsa and graduated from Central High School, put together the best set of Quarter Horses to be found. He conducted two sales, one in 1959, the other in 1962. Both were record setters.

 

The 101 head of Quarter Horses at the Stanfield sale on November 19, 1959 averaged $4,000 per head.  Fifteen daughters of Three Bars were in the offering. The total take of $406,010 was a record high, in total dollars for a public Quarter Horse auction. Also included in the sale was Sugaree Bars by Sugar Bars, which later proved to be the first AAA-AQHA Champion of the breed.

 

Stanfield’s second and final dispersal sale, on September 11, 1962 was another record breaker. A $647,000 gross, a $10,110 average and $86,000 paid for Clabber Bar, were the magic numbers. All three figures were new highs for a Quarter Horse dispersal sale.  Lady Bird Leo and Leo’s Queen Bee, both by Leo and out of Yeager’s Lady JA, tied for the top-selling mare honors at $26,500.

 

That day the ranch in Broken Arrow was packed with buyers, horsemen, curiosity seekers and locals who had heard about the sale and the free barbeque. Cars were lined up along all the roads surrounding the ranch and Rowland said people from every state in the country attended. August Busch, Rowland’s friend and customer, made sure there was a large Anheuser Busch truck there dispensing the well-known brew.

 

That year, the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce honored Stan for his contribution to the Quarter Horse industry and the Broken Arrow Community.

 

The two sales culminated what had been a profitable experience for Stan.  But there had been many obstacles, much skepticism and not all of his dealings had been peaches and cream.

 

Stan was fond of telling about various horsemen proclaiming, “Here comes the sucker” as he came walking up. “They honestly thought I was a sucker because I paid what they asked for their horses”.

 

The man from Tulsa knew what he was doing and turned what many thought to be mistakes into handsome profits. According to knowledgeable sources, he did well by knowing his business and playing his cards right.

 

Stan had a heritage of shooting for high stakes and dealing with big numbers. He was born in 1920 on an 8,000 acre ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma near Ketchum. His grandfather, Wade Stanfield, was one of the first U.S. Marshals in Indian Territory and later a circuit judge for the northeastern district of Oklahoma. Wade Stanfield was one of the first developers in the Alluwe oil field and according to Stan, did very well in the oil business.

 

Stan’s father was born in Indian Territory, and served in World War I. After being gassed in the war he could no longer stand the rigors of running a ranch and settled in Tulsa in 1921. He later became the CFO for Williams Brothers Pipeline Company.

 

Stan told of going to the ranch every weekend to visit his grandmother and he spent all his summers there.  As he related to the Quarter Horse Journal in February of 1972, “I remember there were around 20 families who worked and lived on the ranch and I vividly remember the purebred Percherons they raised. One picture that we used to have showed 22 teams of those huge Percherons breaking bottomland.” It was Stanfield’s uncle who imported the first registered Shorthorn cattle into Oklahoma in 1914.

 

Stan’s education from the University of Tulsa was interrupted when World War II broke out. Captain Stanfield first served in Panama, then as an Air Force pilot operating out of the Flight Test section at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. He was a project engineer and test pilot on the remote control aircraft that were being secretly developed at the time. We now know them as drones. In October of 1945 his photo appeared in Life Magazine as he pilots a “robot plane” from the mother ship, as they called it, using a box with what look like “joy sticks” similar to today’s video games.

 

Before heading to Panama, he was briefly stationed at Hunter Field near Savannah, Georgia. While there, friends introduced him to a Southern Belle and beauty queen, Patty Johnson. Ironically one of Patty’s titles was Miss Savannah Air Queen. She was selected by actor Clark Gable to preside over the opening ceremonies of Savannah’s newly constructed airport at Hunter Field, just before meeting Stan.

 

They became engaged before he left for Panama and got married only a few days before they headed to the Dayton Air Force base.  They had three children, Rowland Jr., who died in 2010, Patricia and Jeffrey.  Mrs. Stanfield still resides in Tulsa, and regrets that she could not be here this evening.

 

After the war Stan returned to The University of Tulsa to complete his degree in petroleum engineering.

 

Stan went to work for Williams Brothers Pipeline. In 1950 he and six other partners bought the company. As vice-president and director of the company, Stan fell victim to the pressures of the business world. In 1951 he developed a severe case of rheumatic fever that left him with extensive heart damage. His doctor told him to slow down and not work so hard if he wanted to live.

 

The partners owned Angus Valley Ranch west of Tulsa, one of the top Angus cattle establishments in the country. Eventually, Stan left his executive job to manage that business. Mrs. Stanfield told her daughter that while recuperating from rheumatic fever he studied and memorized the bloodlines of the finest Angus cattle in the world. As a result he quickly learned the cattle business and traveled to Scotland and Canada to purchase champion bulls. He had an uncanny eye for spotting fine bloodlines. His daughter recalls driving with him in a pickup across the pastures as he pointed out the champions among the grazing herd.

 

The partners owned another smaller ranch near Broken Arrow. With the desire of being his own boss, Stan sold his interests in Williams Brothers, took the smaller ranch as part of the payment and started a horse business.

 

He hired Darrell Rose as ranch manager and they worked very closely together. Darrell said in 1972, “Rowland learned a good horse just like he had learned the parts of an airplane. When he went to look at a horse it had to be a doggone good one or he wouldn’t buy. On the other hand he expected his horses to sell for a good price and they usually did. He was an awful good judge of horses.”

 

Another thing about Rowland, Darrell said, “He spent a lot of money helping youngsters in the area. He gave away lots of colts and fillies to kids that a lot of people didn’t know about.”

 

Rowland was also an active proponent of urging the Oklahoma State Legislature to approve a pari-mutuel horse racing bill.  In December of 1960, he and other members of the Sooner State Thoroughbred Breeders Association, including Dale and Chet Robertson, designed a plan to gain state-wide support for pari-mutuel betting. They also ratified a proposed bill laying out a pari-mutuel betting plan that was submitted to the legislature.

 

Feeling positive that their efforts would succeed, he even put his money where his mouth was by planning the Stanfield Stallion Stakes, a racing event which was to take place in Oklahoma in 1965.  Since he sold his business in 1962, the event never took place.

 

As many of you are well aware, pari-mutuel betting was not approved by the state until September of 1982, but it was Rowland, the Robertson brothers, and many others who paved the way for the pari-mutuel racing we now enjoy in Oklahoma.

 

After the sale of the ranch, part of which is now the Indian Springs Country Club and housing addition, Stan explored various business opportunities for several years. None of them panned out as well as the horse and cattle business.

 

On March 11, 1968, Stanfield’s 24th wedding anniversary, the snow from an oncoming blizzard had started to fall. While returning home from a business engagement his car went into a spin as he was coming around a curve on the icy “river road” near Jenks. He hit a bridge abutment and his car settled in a ravine.

 

Attending physicians told Patty Stanfield that her husband would not make it through the day. He suffered multiple injuries including a punctured lung, broken ribs, facial cuts and a massive coronary. After three months in the hospital, one leg had to be amputated and he lost the sight in one eye. Miraculously, he lived, although it took a full year to recover. He acquired an artificial leg and started figuring out a way to make a living.

 

Once again, while recuperating, he had plenty of time to think. He used his engineering education and developed a better trailer sway control device. He also designed a new automobile transmission and engine cooler. In 1970 he formed Thermo-Chem Corporation and marketed his products all over the United States, Canada, South America, South Africa and Australia.

 

He and a partner owned two race cars used to promote their high performance equipment. With the excitement of the racing bug still in his veins, the two cars racked up wins in every major off-road race in 1971 including the famous Baja 1000 Road Race. Their car sliced 44 minutes off the record previously set by the well-known Parnelli Jones.

 

On the evening of July 23, 1973, after watching the All Star baseball game and eating warm apple pie with ice cream, Stan retired for the evening.  The damages from the rheumatic fever and the automobile accident finally took their toll and he died at age 54 from a massive coronary attack.

 

Accepting the award for Rowland Stanfield is his daughter Patricia Wofford.

Jeff Terpstra

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Jeff Terpstra

Jeff Terpstra has dedicated his life to the horse industry and contributed tremendous amounts of time as a volunteer.  He is found pushing calves at the AQHYA Youth World Championship Horse Show, delivering roping chutes and panels to Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association horse shows or showing an Oklahoma School for the Blind student how to rope.

 

He was born and raised in central Iowa.  His dad was a professional horse trainer, so Jeff was involved and around the horse industry at a very early age. He grew up riding all round horses.  The family showed them at halter and then saddled them to do the performance classes.

 

His dad also trained rope horses so Jeff has been roping ever since he could swing one. He showed horses all through his youth.  Jeff’s father, mother and sister also exhibited horses.  They were a horse show family!  Jeff lost his dad when he was 14 in a horse related accident but he left the family with the love of horses that lasts to this day.

 

At 19, Jeff moved to Oklahoma with Lynda, his wife for 31 years, and started a life in Oklahoma. He worked as an ironworker for five years when a crane operator hit the structure he was on and knocking him off breaking both heels and his back in 3 places. Two years later, in 1988, he started training horses for a living.

 

In 1989 their daughter Lacey was born and which launched another horse show family program. 1991 the Terpstra’s bought a place near Guthrie OK where they still live today.  Jeff began training riding horses for a living.  He rode anything from mules to the broncs that no one else wanted to ride. But there were some real nice ones too. He trained horses that earned points in halter, western pleasure, western riding, reining, cow horse, trail, speed events, roping and even the English.

 

In the late 1990’s Jeff became a director for Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association. In 2002, Jeff served as OQHA president and has been an American Quarter Horse Association Elected National Director for Oklahoma since 2000.  In 2015 Terpstra will elevate to AQHA Director at Large due to his years of service. Jeff was instrumental in the establishment of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame after attending a similar ceremony in Iowa.

 

When Lacey was little she used to say daddy ropes cows and mommy works and Lacey plays, well not much has changed.  Jeff still rope cows and Lynda still works and Lacey works now but she still comes and plays with her dad every once in a while.

 

Accepting the award is Jeff Terpstra.

Chet Robertson

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Chet Robertson

Chet Robertson was born September 3, 1920 in Choctaw, OK. His family soon moved to Oklahoma City where he excelled in academics as well as athletics. Chet was an outstanding football and baseball player in high school earning the All City football team and because of academics graduated at mid-term from Classen high school. He received a baseball scholarship to Pasadena Jr. College where he played one season. While at Pasadena he had the privilege of playing baseball with the great Jackie Robinson. Chet always said he was one of the nicest men he had ever met.

 

When he became age eligible he left Pasadena to take a football scholarship. He was offered several football scholarships with the best offers coming from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tennessee. Chet had always wanted to play for OU but Tennessee came through with the best deal, a full scholarship. UT was a powerhouse at the time so Robertson was off to play two years for Major Neyland and the Volunteers. As #17 Chet played half back and was part of the Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl teams before being drafted by the Army Air Force during World War II.

 

On December 7, 1943 he married Marjorie Marie Hamilton. A few days later he was shipped off to the South Pacific. During this voyage across the ocean on a cattle ship he was awarded the order of the “Shellback” because they crossed the equator. Chet served three years in the war as a Sergeant. Chet never talked about the “war” part of his life at this time. It was a very difficult call of duty. His only stories during his time in New Guinea and Manila were after the war was decided. The men there had to wait to be shipped back home. To help pass the time and keep morale up Chet organized football and baseball teams. He coached the Army Air Corp team and in one game with a crowd of WACS, nurses, officers and Filipinos numbering in the thousands against the Army Engineers Chet not only coached but made the only touchdown and kicked the extra point to win the game.

 

It was during this period after the war while waiting to go home Bob Hope’s group came to entertain. After the show part of the attending dignitaries were Chicago Bears Owner Lieutenant Commander George Halas and Bud Ward, Amateur Golf champ. Halas asked to visit with Chet Robertson and recruited him and offered him a starting position for the Chicago Bears. Chet said he might be a little old and Halas said “a football player is at his greatest speed and coordination at the age of 27”.  Chet was also considered one of the best baseball catchers in the state and was also offered a starting position with the Tulsa Oilers. However, by the time he was shipped out after the war he was 27. He decided to finish his education and took a football scholarship with Oklahoma City University and received his degree.

 

In 1952 Chet made the decision to go into the horse business with his brother Dale. People go into the horse business every day, but when Robertson made his decision the race horse industry was about to be changed.

 

The Haymaker Farm was established initially breeding and racing only Quarter Horses, but within a few years Thoroughbreds were added to the program. The Robertson’s had an uncanny talent in choosing top quality broodmares, which led to many champions, stakes winners and winners at the track.  Haymaker Farms owned and bred over 120 Register of Merits, 20 stakes winners and five champions with earnings in the millions.  The success of their breeding farm led to Chet wanting to reduce his stock in 1963. This is when he realized there was not a good sale around, Chet and Dale simply started their own.

 

The rest is history, with Haymaker Sales Company quickly growing and gaining in reputation as THE sales company in the United States for Quarter Horses of all ages. People from all over the world would attend the Haymaker Sales to obtain the best Quarter Horses available. Chet’s knowledge of horses, bloodlines, his honest and sincere business sense led the way for the once a year Haymaker Sale growing to several sales a year with the top Quarter Horses. Many sales records for top selling individuals were added each and every year.  Soon a Thoroughbred yearling sale was added in Raton, New Mexico to service the many breeders needing a place in the southwest to market their yearlings.

 

The ranch and the sales company was a family operation from the start. Robertson took great pride in his family and their ability to work together. His wife Marjorie was a major player within the company. Chet always said he couldn’t have done any of it without Marj at his side. Their children Mike and Pat were an integral part of not only his business but his support system as well.  Dale was an integral part of the sales company coming back from his various TV appearances to be the announcer for each and every sale.

 

One key to Chet’s success as President of Haymaker Sales was his belief not every owner and not every horse fit Haymaker Sales. He would agonize over the sales entries every time to make sure he was offering the public the best individuals available at the time. This meant that Chet would turn down consignments if he felt the owner would be needlessly spending consignment fees, traveling expense, commission fee and the expense of getting his horse ready for the sale.  Those phone calls were hard to make but he made them. Chet always recommended a different sale venue to these owners. He believed he would be saving the owner time, trouble and money in the end.  There were many consignors after getting turned down would make a point of culling their herds elsewhere and improve their stock just so they could make it into Haymaker Sales.

 

Chet was always a winner and a success in everything he did, so it was only natural that when he became involved with racing he wanted the state’s industry to be the best it could be.  He knew Oklahoma already had the best horses in the nation, so Robertson believed the horsemen deserved to have pari-mutuel racing for those outstanding horses to compete at home. With his big smile and his leadership abilities, Chet set out to talk the state into passing pari-mutuel racing. Making 77 counties in the campaign he was instrumental in the formation of the Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association with the main purpose of all horsemen working together to pass the pari-mutuel. Chet was adamant in wanting the OHA to be an all-breed organization because he knew it would take all the horsemen in the state to get the issue into the hands of the voters. He was proud of the unique concept of the leaders from four racing breeds coming together into one organization for one purpose. Unfortunately, Chet died before the final successful pari-mutuel campaign, those who worked so hard to get out the word and the vote knew that Robertson was sitting on their shoulder with every petition they had signed and every campaign speech they gave.

 

Chet gave tirelessly of himself to any  purpose and organization that was promoting the racing industry of the state, and served as President of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association, President of the Oklahoma Horsemen’ Association, a director for The American Quarter Horse Association and director of the First National Bank of Yukon.

 

Chet’s likable and outgoing personality made everyone feel like he was their friend, and as far as he was concerned he was. Great writers have always said that a man should be judged a success not necessarily by his deeds, but by his friends. That is how he would have wanted to be judged because even though his horses and his business were important and where he gained great respect and success, Chet was a people man. Because of a genuine interest and love for horses and their people, Robertson became a voice of an industry that can still be heard today echoing throughout the aisles of sales barns, track barns and race tracks.

 

His legacy lives on because Haymaker Sales established Oklahoma City OK as THE place to market horses. After his death Haymaker Sales became Heritage Place, Inc.  The market that Chet built in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is still considered the place to come to buy the best Quarter Horses in the world.

 

Accepting the award for Chet Robertson is his daughter Pat Robertson Wilson