Zan Parr Jack

ZanParrJack

 

By American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame sire Zan Parr Bar and out of Miss Goldie Jack by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Two Eyed Jack, Zan Parr Jack was bred by Jerald Reimann of Dighton, Kansas and purchased as a 2-year-old by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee Carol Rose, who owned his sire.

 

Billy Allen, who trained and showed sire Zan Parr Bar to three AQHA halter championship titles and multiple top-10 finishes in roping, heading and heeling, also started Zan Parr Jack.

 

Allen showed the versatile and talented sorrel stallion to the 1983 AQHA junior working cow horse world championship, a top-10 placing in junior reining and AQHA high-point and reserve high point awards in dally team roping.  Allen also completed the Zan Parr Jack’s Superior Award in Dally Team Roping Heading.

 

Early in 1984, Ed Gaylord purchased Zan Parr Jack and brought him home to the Lazy E Ranch located in Guthrie OK and to AQHA Professional Horsemen John Miller and J. D. Yates for training and competition. Miller and Yates have described Jack as phenomenally talented, gentle and athletic.

 

Yates and “Jack” claimed the AQHA senior heeling world championship in 1984 and repeated the feat in 1985. The stallion also earned top ten placings in senior working cowhorse and tie down roping.

 

In 1987, owner Gaylord rode Zan Parr Jack to the AQHA amateur heeling world championship.

 

In a show career that lasted through 1989 and included multiple high-point awards, AQHA World Championship Show top-10 finishes, AQHA Superior awards in both heading and heeling, and open and amateur Registers of Merit, Zan Parr Jack earned at total of 628 AQHA performance points.

 

As accomplished as he was in the show pen, Zan Parr Jack excelled in the breeding shed as well, consistently siring horses known for their athletic ability, willingness and try.

 

His offspring excelled in open, amateur and youth divisions.

More than a few of them retired from their show careers and went on to produce champions themselves.

 

One such horse was Jack’s phenomenal daughter Bar J Jackie. Foaled in 1986, the talented mare won two AQHA world championships – the 1994 senior heeling and the 1995 senior heading – and the prestigious open all-around high-point title. She went on to produce AQHA Superhorse Popular Resortfigure known as “Pop Tart”.

 

Another superior Zan Parr Jack daughter, Jack E Eleven, was a 1991 mare who earned four AQHA world championships in open and amateur heading and heeling, then retired to a broodmare career, producing AQHA Superhorse With All Probability.

 

Zan Parr Jack’s influence continues on through generations of top Quarter Horses the world over. His record show he sired 347 foals with 115 performers that earned 19,577.5 AQHA points in all divisions combined.

 

His offspring have earned:

 

18 AQHA world championships and 18 reserve world titles

 

10 AQHA High Point Earners

 

Nearly $200,000 at the AQHA World Show and $377,522 in AQHA Incentive Fund earnings.

 

His get have completed in the National Reining Horse Association and the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

 

When the Gaylord family sold the Lazy E Ranch, there was mutual agreement to leave their longtime resident in place for the rest of his life.

 

Butch Wise, the Lazy E manager, felt that the talented stallion’s accomplishments and the Gaylord’s desire to share his genetics contributed to the continued success of the Lazy E Ranch.

 

Zan Parr was a wonderful stallion that excelled in the show ring and was able to pass his athletic traits on to his offspring.  That is a unique combination.

 

The 35 year old stallion who earned multiple AQHA world championships and was a prolific sire was euthanized December 2, 2014 due to infirmities of old age.

 

Accepting on behalf of the Lazy E Ranch and the Gaylord family is Garry Teahon who was closely associated with Zan Parr Jack from when he first arrived at Lazy E Ranch and for the next 30 odd years.

Otoe

Otoe_07

 

Born in 1960, Otoe was bred to be a racehorse. He was, by Sugar Bars out of Juleo by Leo and was bred by Bud Warren of Perry, Oklahoma.  Warren had created a speed dynasty in the late 1940s and early 1950s with Leo and Sugar Bars.

 

Juleo, a 1952 bay mare out of Julie W by Joe Hancock was a Register of Merit racehorse and a full sister to the renowned producer Flit, dam of King’s Pistol, Leo Bar, Flit Bar, Bar Flit and Sugar Leo.

 

When legendary trainer Jerry Wells was a junior in high school, he began working for Dr Jack Donald of Sulphur OK, helping him with his horses.  Donald had been hauling mares up to Bud Warren’s to breed to Leo and Sugar Bars.  Wells went along and saw the striking young Otoe when he was three months old.

 

As the story goes, Jerry recommended Jack buy the colt that day. Jack paid a staggering $20,000 for Otoe and everyone was talking about the doctor in Sulphur who gave so much money for a baby colt.

 

Otoe changed hands for the first and last time in his life at the tender age of five months when they picked up the colt.

 

As a late yearling, Otoe was shown twice at halter with less than favorable results.  It was determined that Otoe’s career needed a drastic change.  So he was put into race training the following spring. It was Wells responsibility to break and ride Otoe and getting him ready for the race track.

 

Under Wilbur Stuchal’s of Augusta, KS tutelage, Otoe went to the post 13 times as a two year old and recorded five firsts, two seconds and three thirds.  He qualified for his race Register of Merit and achieved an AAA rating (later changed to a 95 speed index).

 

In the fall of 1962, Otoe was taken out of race training and turned over to Wells to resume his show ring career.  The results this time around were much more gratifying.

 

Dr. Donald wanted him to become a champion halter horse.  By year’s end, Otoe fulfilled that and had qualified for his AQHA Championship award.  In doing so, he became the breed’s youngest AAA AQHA Champion.

 

He wrapped up his halter career with 23 wins, 15 grands and 3 reserves in 25 shows.  He earned 76 points and a Superior halter award.

 

Otoe was retired to the breeding shed in 1963 and outside mares came rolling in.

 

Otoe’s first foal crop hit the ground in 1964.  The total was an impressive 74 foals and included one AAA AQHA Champion, Leotoe Bars, and five AQHA Champions, Capoteo, Magic Toes, Otoe’s Maxie, Tee Cross and Otoe’s Bonita and also a Superior western pleasure horse and AAA-rated sprinters Goshetta, Otoe’s Boy, Sleepy’s Toe and the Superior halter horse San’s Otoe.

 

Over the next seven years, he sired one additional AAA AQHA Champion, Otoe Jabar, and nine additional AAA runners: Flashy Otoe, Otoe Rose, She’s An Otoe, Metra Gal, Miss Leotoe Bars, Mini Go, Nightshirt, Go Ma Go and Mr Big Stuff.

 

Otoe was predominately a show horse sire.  His get included Yankee’s Otoe, the 1975 senior barrel racing champion, and six AQHA high point award winners: Otoe Queen, 1969 junior calf roping Toebars, 1972 calf roping; Chivas Regal, 1974 and 1975 jumping stallion; Hard to Beat, 1968 halter stallion; and She’s A Shiny, 1970 youth halter mare.

 

Otoe sired 15 AQHA Champions: Beeotoe, Joy By Otoe, Otoe’s Goldenrod, Otoe’s Wonder, Otoetta, Toebars, Hard To Beat, Little Otoetta, Marshall Field, May Otoe, She’s A Shiny, Tio Sugar, Otoe’s Marc, Otoe’s Omen and Shotoe.

 

Six of the sorrel stallion’s get earned Superior awards in both halter and performance.  Four were Superior halter horses and three were Superior performance horses.

 

Several years after Otoe had retired from the show arena, the King Ranch sent a man up to look at him.  They were interested in breeding some of their Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse mares to him.  They began hauling mares up the following spring and they continued doing it for the rest of Otoe’s life.  They brought daughters of horses like Assault (TB) Depth Charge (TB), Hired Hand and Hired Hand’s Cardinal.

 

The Otoe – King Ranch connection resulted in several noteworthy get, including Dr Medicine Man, Man Of Action, Otoe Charge and Moody Woman.

 

In 1970, Otoe suffered an extreme physical setback because he foundered.  Although his health took a positive turn for a short while, in early 1971, at the age of 11, he colicked during the night and tragically died.

 

As a halter horse and a sire, Otoe spanned the gap between the bulldog horses of the 1940s and 1950s and the stretchier more streamlined horse of the 1970s and the 1980s.  Otoe was a big pretty horse, almost perfect in his conformation.  Because of his influence, halter horses were taller and more elegant.

 

Jack Donald, El Paso TX, son of late Dr Jack Donald is unable to be here tonight.

 

Accepting the award for Otoe is Jerold Wells.

Jackie Kyle Krshka

Krshka_Jackie

 

Jackie Kyle Krshka grew up on a 24,000 acre cattle ranch near Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  Her mother was Barbara Johnson Kyle, herself ranch raised and her father, the AQHA Hall of Famer Jack Kyle.  The Kyle family fed and cared for 3,500 cattle.

 

The Kyle’s horses worked as hard as their owners.  The family typical worked on the ranch during the week and exhibited at horse shows on the weekends.

 

In the 1940s and 1950s Jack Kyle showed a host of halter and performance horses for legendary Warren Shoemaker of New Mexico (his wife’s uncle) and Hank Wiescamp of Colorado.  Kyle went on to develop his own storied breeding program with the help of such noted AQHA sires as Silver Skip, Skip A Barb and Skip N Stage.

 

Given her family background, it’s not surprising that Jackie Kyle found herself well mounted at an early age.  One of her early horses was Pay Day, a little grullo horse off the Indian Reservation.  He bucked her off and rubbed her off on the fence, more times than one can count, but he taught her how to ride.

 

By the time Jackie was nine, she’d earned her first serious horse. To nurture that talent, Jack acquired a little palomino Quarter Horse mare he’d been eyeing for years at shows in Colorado and New Mexico.  Billetta was put together well enough to be shown at halter and she also competed in roping and reining.  Jackie’s great uncle, Warren Shoemaker, ultimately bought Billetta and then sold her to Jack specifically for Jackie to show.

 

When she was 10 or 11, Jackie, her father, and Sunny Jim Orr competed in a team tournament, an NRHA type reining in Nebraska.  One of the other teams was Bill Horn, Bob Loomis and Doug Millholland.  The Kyle team won and everyone was talking about the young lady on the palomino horse.  Billetta continued to rack up titles.

 

It would be the birth of a four legged family member that would change the course of the Kyle family history.  In1978, Jackie and her father returned home after dark from a horse show and found their 21-year-old mare Billetta dead, apparently from a heart attack.  Just four weeks earlier, she’d foaled a palomino filly, by Skip N Stage.  After searching the 360 acre pasture, they found a hungry and scared filly with a cut on her leg.  She was raised as an orphan and named her Sweet And Innocent.  As they began to train and show her, the family realized this mare was extremely talented.

 

By 1981, Jackie had married Tom Krshka and relocated to Yukon OK.  The young couple would soon add a son and a daughter.

 

The family set their sights on the AQHA Superhorse.  Although strategy for winning the AQHA Superhorse is to qualify a great horse, then hire all the best people to show it, it was the Kyle family that would tackle this monumental task.  Jackie piloted the mare to placings in junior western riding, junior working cow horse and junior reining, and Jack Kyle scored in heeling.  With Tom Krshka aboard, Sweet And Innocent won the Calf roping World championship, and earned the prestigious title of the 1982 AQHA Skoal/Copenhagen Superhorse. Rounding out the family connection, the trio dedicated their victory to Barbara Kyle, whose death had come earlier that year.

 

Jackie pursued her passion for teaching, and began hauling 15 to 20 horses to AQHA shows, from coast to coast.  As a trainer, she went on to rack up over 40 world championships and coached several clients to all-around amateur titles at the AQHA World Championship Horse Show.  She continues to train and coach today.

 

In the late 1980’s, Jackie sets another new goal for herself  This time, she targeted what would prove to be the toughest nut to crack, training and exhibiting horses in the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.

 

After making the finals of the first four or five futurities she tackled, Jackie was not acquiring the horses to support a strictly reining stable.  Along with continuing her winning ways at AQHA events, she was still determined to stick it out with the Reining.   Soon she was named the 1986 NRHA World Champion Ladies Reiner and the 1986 Reserve World Champion Limited Open Rider.  Jackie vowed she would not put a wrap on the Reining goal, until she could be in the top 5 of the NRHA Open Futurity.

 

Then along came Dunit Rawhide, a 1992 dun stallion by Hollywood Dun It and out of a daughter of Skip N Stage, was bred by Jack Kyle.  By this time Jack had moved from New Mexico to Jackie’s training facility on the outskirts of Yukon OK.

 

The cross of Hollywood Dun It on Kyle bred mares had already proven to be golden one.  Tim McQuay of Tioga, TX, the owner of Hollywood Dun It, had recognized that fact and made regular trips to Yukon in search of young reining prospects.  In the fall of 1994, he showed up at the ranch, asking to see Rawhide.

 

Tim watched him for about 10 minutes, and then asked Jack to price him.  The price was a huge amount of money.  Tim did not blink and advised Jack he would have a check on Monday.  It was a painful position for Jack.  He had been Jackie’s greatest support mechanism for years in her training career. He knew Rawhide was the great horse, which could help Jackie, fulfill that lifelong dreams. However, selling it to Tim would, extinguish that hope.

 

Meanwhile, Tom Krshka had another plan in mind.  Express Ranches owned by Bob Funk was located in Yukon.  Tom approached Bob and asked if his family would like to have a really good reining prospect.  The Funks bought the horse and he stayed in Jackie’s barn.

 

Jackie and Rawhide slid their way to a third place finish, in the 1995 NRHA Futurity, the highest placing to date by a female exhibitor.  In addition, they were the 1995 NRHA Limited Open Futurity Champion. That third place finish against the likes of Tim McQuay, Bill Horn, Bob Loomis and more, satisfied her longtime goal of competing with the elite of the Reining World.

 

Jackie stood poised to continue her assault on the equine industry.  However she concentrated on her family and two children Kyle and Katy.  The decision paid off because both children excelled in the classroom, sports and in the horse show arena.

 

Jackie earned her AQHA judge’s card in 1991 and was named 1999 AQHA Horsewoman of The Year.  She has served as a volunteer on numerous AQHA and OQHA committees such as the AQHA Judges Committee.  She became an AQHA National Director in 2000 and was ultimately elevated to Director At Large. She served as the 2004 OQHA President.

 

Krshka has successfully coached exhibitors and trained some of the most prized horses in the world, and she is the show coordinator for several large Quarter Horse shows in the country.

 

Jackie Kyle Krshka has numerous family and friends here tonight.

 

Accepting the award is Jackie Kyle Krshka.

Lavonna “Shorty” Koger

Koger_Shorty

 

One thing for sure, Lavonna “Shorty” Koger is one of those people that you aren’t likely to forget and almost everyone that’s ever got to know her has a “Shorty” story to share.  A perfect recipient for the 2016 Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit Award, Shorty Koger is a big hearted supporter of all things Quarter Horse and is always willing to help a good cause

 

Not really from a “cowboy family” but always destined to be a cowgirl, she was the youngest of 4 children and that earned her the nickname “Shorty”.  For at least 20 years Shorty has helped her customers show their own style when it comes to the hats they wear.  Cowboy Hats are a timeless symbol of those who eat, breath, and sleep immersed in the world of Quarter Horses.

 

There was never a time in her life once she was old enough to go out of the house by herself that she wasn’t engaged in some kind of cowgirl activity.   From her childhood days, through her rodeo years as a fierce and competitive contestant running barrels, un-decorating steers, and even riding bulls in the all-girl rodeos, you were likely to see her at any horse event in this part of the country!  She even had a stint working with a racehorse trainer, ran a western store for several years, became an out of the truck merchant selling blue jeans and beer to pay her entry fees,  and then ended up in the hat business.

 

As one of today’s leading industry hatters, Shorty started really small buying equipment in 1990 from a guy that was getting out of the hat cleaning business in Oklahoma City after her brother had suggested she look into the trade because of her skill with restoring his beat up old hats.  To work on hats you have to have steam.  The steamer that came with her purchase of the hat business was a beer keg on four legs with a pipe up and a golf ball for a pop off valve for a gas –fired burner that leaked as much gas as it burned.   Shorty at the time was a smoker.  When the Fire Marshall showed up to inspect her operations, he quickly shut her down to keep from blowing up her and all the other businesses in the block.

 

As Shorty’s good fortune improved, she moved her shop to the Stockyards in Oklahoma City, and she also began sponsoring hats for cowboy competitions.  In the early 1990’s, she sponsored all the IPRA champion cowboys, giving a hat to the high point winner in each event every month, then new hats for all the IPRA Champions for another 8 or 9 years.  As time went on, and as times got better, she could be counted on to help out a good cause at a horse show, a cutting, a reining event, or at a rodeo.  She loved all the people and all manner of Quarter Horse events and she had great compassion for the people in the industry.

 

Her first AQHA World Show to sell Shorty’s hats was about 1994 or 1995, and without question a Shorty Hat has become a favorite choice for horsemen from coast to coast, and many foreign countries.

 

In about 2003 she learned of a fundraiser at the AQHA World Show for a very popular lady in the show horse world that was fighting cancer so Shorty donated a hat which was auctioned to raise money.  Very shortly thereafter, Shorty’s own sister Shirley Bowman was diagnosed with Cancer.  Shirley had no insurance and ended up waiting too long for medical attention so that she was old enough for Medicare to help with her treatment costs.   The problems for her sister drove Shorty’s determination to raise money to help people with no insurance receive the treatment they needed.  She started with a jar on the counter at the store, and with the help of friends and fellow horse people they held special events and all manner of other fundraising efforts to raise money for her goal.  One of her biggest challenges during that time was her own battle with cancer, but by God’s grace she was a survivor.  Through all her determined efforts and the help of many close friends, the Rein in Cancer foundation was created in memory of her sister.  Over $1,000,000 later, horse people have raised money which has allowed the Rein in Cancer Foundation to endow the Shirley Bowman Nutrition Center in conjunction with the Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.  The foundation and horse people are still raising money to help other horse people deal with the costs of fighting cancer that are not covered by traditional insurances.

 

For sure, Shorty Koger is a perfect example of the Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit!!

 

Accepting this award is Lavonna “Shorty” Koger.

 

Alice Whistler Holmes

Holmes_Alice

 

Alice Whistler Holmes was born in Dayton, Ohio to Chuck and Hazel Whistler, the younger of two kids.  After spending countless weekends on her aunt Suzie’s farm, Chuck and Hazel decided to purchase a two-year-old Appendix gelding Quarter Horse, for her 13th birthday.  Alice eventually began participating in local 4-H shows in English events including the state level.  She credits Bob and Charlie Menker as her mentors, which introduced her to the world of Quarter Horses.

 

To defray the costs of horse showing, Alice taught herself to braid manes and tails of show horses and earned money doing this, as well as preparing others horses and filling in where needed at shows.  Her famous braiding and “tail skills” that started early in her career have served her and countless horses over the years.  Alice, along with Renee Dudley assisted in authoring and lobbying for the AQHA rule change regarding the use of artificial tail attachments, which is still in effect today.

 

In 1970, Alice attended THE Ohio State University, studying Animal Science with a minor in Ag Education.  Combining her passions for horses and 4-H programs, she studied to become and extension agent.

 

In 1974 she graduated from THE OSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and found time to qualified a pretty sorrel gelding named; Sunlit Dude for the inaugural AQHA World Championship Horse Show held in Louisville, Kentucky placing 6th in amateur western pleasure.

 

Later that same year Alice married Brian Holmes and they started a small horse business while he completed his schooling and eventually accepted a job as an Instructor at Findlay College in 1977.

 

The Holmes Family, along with first-born son, Matt moved to Oklahoma in 1980.  Initially they worked at Rolling Oaks Ranch in Edmond, OK until they branched off and started their own business.

 

At this same time, Alice began her 36-year involvement with the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association’s youth, amateurs and open divisions.  Several young people she guided remain in the horse business today to include OQHA President, Todd Colburn, Jeff Tebow, Allison Lindsey-Kidney and Kelly Watts-Rampey

 

When the Holmes family, including their two sons Matt and Clay moved to Purcell in 1987, the a flood of youth students followed, to name a few; Megan and McKenzie Merrill, Lindsey and Leslie Naush, Lizzie Cromwell and Courtney Battison.  While Alice’s passion was the youth, they also had several successful amateur clients.  Holmes Performance Horses was a family affair since their sons Clay and Matt and Alice’s Dad, Chuck exhibited and excelled with Quarter Horses.

 

While her many clients won countless accolades and titles there are some notable horses who have shaped her path.  To name a few Seven S Command, How D Amos and OQH Hall of Fame mare CC Surprise.

 

At the beginning of 1997 Alice went to work for Interstate Equine Services, Inc- owned by the late G David McCarroll DVM.  Due to changes in her personal life, Alice felt the need to “settle “down- and get a “real” job, one that would allow her to continue her passion for horses, but provide a steady income.  She continues today at Interstate Equine Hospital working for Dr. Josh Blyden.

 

Alice has proved to be a valuable asset as a volunteer.  She credits her dear friend and mentor, Joe Young, for guiding her while serving on the OQHA board in the late 90’s.  Over the past two and half decades, she has progressed and continued to serve in various capacities to include the 2001 OQHA Executive Committee and 2005 OQHA President.  She has served as an AQHA National Director representing OQHA since 2003.  As an AQHA National Director, she has worked on the AQHA Research, Amateur, and Show and Contest (English) committees.  She is an AQHA Q Contact.  She has spent several days in Washington DC lobbying Senators and Representatives concerning important issues affecting the equine industry.  She also participates on the AQHA Region 8 steering committee and serves on the OQHA Amateur Board of Directors.

 

Alice has remained a “small time breeder” for over 20 years raising a few horses per year that have gone on to win at the highest levels of competition across the country in multiple English events.

 

Lastly, Alice is now channeling her love of the youth towards her four grandkids and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of another one due in early April.

 

Alice is fortunate to have many family and friends with her tonight.

 

Accepting is Alice Whistler Holmes

Heritage Place

Heritage Place - Wide

 

He may be smaller in stature, but George Robert “G.R.” Carter Jr is a BIG DEAL in his chosen profession!  At 47 years old, he is retiring at the top in his field, a legend in his own time. GR is a professional American Quarter Horse jockey.

 

If we analyze his past performance as we would a good racehorse, he’d have to be the high weight in the race.  In 2008, he became the all-time leading money earning jockey in American Quarter Horse racing history.  In 2009, Governor Brad Henry declared May 31, 2009 as GR Carter Day in Oklahoma. With winnings of over $70 million, that’s not the only record he has surpassed, he has ridden more mounts than any other rider in the history of AQHA racing, nearly 24,000 horses.  In 2014 he also became the all-time leader in Quarter Horse wins when he won his 3,632 race beating the former record set by Bubba Brossette, and by the end of 2015 that number has grown to 3806 wins.  GR was recognized as the American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Jockey 10 times, including six years consecutively.  In fact, Carter holds the record for the most wins in three different breeds, American Quarter Horses, American Paint Horses, and Appaloosas.  He’s likely to be one of the few people you may ever meet that has his own Wikipedia page and his own bobble-head.

 

G.R is a Native American of Osage heritage who grew up in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.   Known for his highly competitive nature, as a teen he was a State Champion Gymnast, and during his senior year at Pawhuska High School, Carter won the Class A State Wrestling Championship. It was his drive to compete in rodeo events that led him as a 14 year old kid to start galloping a few racehorses for a local trainer to earn entry fee money.  By the time he was a senior, he was riding races at Eureka Downs and Blue Ribbon Downs almost every weekend.

 

After graduating high school, GR moved to Sallisaw, Oklahoma to become a full time rider at Blue Ribbon Downs. In the early 1990’s he left Oklahoma and moved across the country to become a regular rider at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.  After several very successful years in California, GR moved back to Oklahoma and his impressive resume of riding accomplishments continued to grow.

 

Known for his famous back flip dismount after winning a big race, Oklahoman’s have had many opportunities to witness his athletic ability.  With 18 leading rider titles, his tenure at Remington Park is unsurpassed in the record books. He has won the Heritage Place Futurity(G1) five times as well as four wins in the Leo Stakes(G1) and three victories in the prestigious Remington Park Invitational Championship(G1) just to name a few. GR also earned leading rider titles at Blue Ribbon, Fair Meadows, and Will Rogers Downs multiple times. He won the All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs, Quarter Horse racing’s equivalent to the Kentucky Derby twice, piloting Falling In Loveagain for Jack Brooks in 1998 and Stolis Winner for Heath Taylor in 2008.

 

Giving back is something Carter takes to heart, with fans and charitable events, and also with his tireless efforts for the Jockeys’ Guild where he has served as vice-chairman of the board.  GR is passionate about the work that is done behind the scenes to ensure the health and welfare of professional jockeys. Carter is walking away sound and healthy, but he reminisces about many of his fellow riders that were not as fortunate when he talks about how the work of the Jockey’s Guild is so important.

 

Carter is always a man with a plan and he implements the plans with an unmatched work ethic.  After a holiday vacation in Ruidoso over Christmas, he and Shaena returned to Oklahoma and GR is already focused on his newest venture.  In 2012 he and Shaena invested in a pipeline service company, Arrowhead Pipeline Services.  Natural gas lines need to be inspected every 10 years and if there are any anomalies then Arrowhead is one of the companies that perform those repairs.  “I plan on just getting out on the jobs and seeing how they do it,” Carter said. “I want to learn the on-site stuff and get to the point where I can oversee a crew.”  As always, there is the Carter work ethic.

 

“Anything you do in life is about dedicating your life to it and hard work,” he said.  “It’s hard not to get emotional – riding is all I’ve done for 30 years but I can’t do it forever. In a recent interview GR was quoted, “It’s going to be hard next summer when the Rainbow and the All American are run.  If Mike (Joiner) called about riding First Valiant Sign or Clint (Crawford) called about Jess Good Candy, I’d have to think about it.”

 

Has he performed his last “big race backflip?”

 

Accepting this award is G R Carter Jr.

G.R. Carter, Jr.

Carter_G R

 

He may be smaller in stature, but George Robert “G.R.” Carter Jr is a BIG DEAL in his chosen profession!  At 47 years old, he is retiring at the top in his field, a legend in his own time. GR is a professional American Quarter Horse jockey.

 

If we analyze his past performance as we would a good racehorse, he’d have to be the high weight in the race.  In 2008, he became the all-time leading money earning jockey in American Quarter Horse racing history.  In 2009, Governor Brad Henry declared May 31, 2009 as GR Carter Day in Oklahoma. With winnings of over $70 million, that’s not the only record he has surpassed, he has ridden more mounts than any other rider in the history of AQHA racing, nearly 24,000 horses.  In 2014 he also became the all-time leader in Quarter Horse wins when he won his 3,632 race beating the former record set by Bubba Brossette, and by the end of 2015 that number has grown to 3806 wins.  GR was recognized as the American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Jockey 10 times, including six years consecutively.  In fact, Carter holds the record for the most wins in three different breeds, American Quarter Horses, American Paint Horses, and Appaloosas.  He’s likely to be one of the few people you may ever meet that has his own Wikipedia page and his own bobble-head.

 

G.R is a Native American of Osage heritage who grew up in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.   Known for his highly competitive nature, as a teen he was a State Champion Gymnast, and during his senior year at Pawhuska High School, Carter won the Class A State Wrestling Championship. It was his drive to compete in rodeo events that led him as a 14 year old kid to start galloping a few racehorses for a local trainer to earn entry fee money.  By the time he was a senior, he was riding races at Eureka Downs and Blue Ribbon Downs almost every weekend.

 

After graduating high school, GR moved to Sallisaw, Oklahoma to become a full time rider at Blue Ribbon Downs. In the early 1990’s he left Oklahoma and moved across the country to become a regular rider at Los Alamitos Race Course in Southern California.  After several very successful years in California, GR moved back to Oklahoma and his impressive resume of riding accomplishments continued to grow.

 

Known for his famous back flip dismount after winning a big race, Oklahoman’s have had many opportunities to witness his athletic ability.  With 18 leading rider titles, his tenure at Remington Park is unsurpassed in the record books. He has won the Heritage Place Futurity(G1) five times as well as four wins in the Leo Stakes(G1) and three victories in the prestigious Remington Park Invitational Championship(G1) just to name a few. GR also earned leading rider titles at Blue Ribbon, Fair Meadows, and Will Rogers Downs multiple times. He won the All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs, Quarter Horse racing’s equivalent to the Kentucky Derby twice, piloting Falling In Loveagain for Jack Brooks in 1998 and Stolis Winner for Heath Taylor in 2008.

 

Giving back is something Carter takes to heart, with fans and charitable events, and also with his tireless efforts for the Jockeys’ Guild where he has served as vice-chairman of the board.  GR is passionate about the work that is done behind the scenes to ensure the health and welfare of professional jockeys. Carter is walking away sound and healthy, but he reminisces about many of his fellow riders that were not as fortunate when he talks about how the work of the Jockey’s Guild is so important.

 

Carter is always a man with a plan and he implements the plans with an unmatched work ethic.  After a holiday vacation in Ruidoso over Christmas, he and Shaena returned to Oklahoma and GR is already focused on his newest venture.  In 2012 he and Shaena invested in a pipeline service company, Arrowhead Pipeline Services.  Natural gas lines need to be inspected every 10 years and if there are any anomalies then Arrowhead is one of the companies that perform those repairs.  “I plan on just getting out on the jobs and seeing how they do it,” Carter said. “I want to learn the on-site stuff and get to the point where I can oversee a crew.”  As always, there is the Carter work ethic.

 

“Anything you do in life is about dedicating your life to it and hard work,” he said.  “It’s hard not to get emotional – riding is all I’ve done for 30 years but I can’t do it forever. In a recent interview GR was quoted, “It’s going to be hard next summer when the Rainbow and the All American are run.  If Mike (Joiner) called about riding First Valiant Sign or Clint (Crawford) called about Jess Good Candy, I’d have to think about it.”

 

Has he performed his last “big race backflip?”

 

Accepting this award is G R Carter Jr.

Big Step

Big_Step_

 

Even though he didn’t have a record to stand on, Big Step sired outstanding offspring who could halter and perform with the best in the country.

 

The 1956 sorrel stallion was bred by Blain Lewis of Patagonia AZ.  He was a well-known and respected ex rodeo cowboy, rancher and horse breeder who believed that horses were meant to be used.

 

Big Step’s sire was Parker’s Trouble a 1949 chestnut stallion by Ed Echols and out of Little Nellie Bars.  Parker’s Trouble, AAA rated racehorse was the sire of 36 Register of Merit racehorses and 9 AQHA Champions.  Also known as a top broodmare sire, he was the maternal grandsire of 190 ROM racehorses and 17 AQHA Champions.  Included among his top second generation descendants is Boston Mac.

 

Big Step’s racing career got off to a decidedly slow start.  In his only two starts as a two year old, he failed to light the board.  AQHA records show no further accomplishments as either a racehorse or show performer.

 

Prior to the 1962 breeding season, the then six year old stallion was acquired by Don Wilcox of Tulsa OK.  This partnership would endure for 20 years and it would be a relationship that would see Big Step’s progress from a virtual unknown to one of the breed’s most accomplished sires.

 

Wilcox was born in Arkansas City KS, in 1917.  He joined the Mounted Troop of America, in 1932, a Boy Scout troop that performed in rodeos and at horse shows.  He signed his first professional trick riding contract that same year.  Wilcox, his wife Virginia and daughter Donna Jean went on to become one of the most popular and accomplished trick riders and trick ropers in rodeo history.

 

Wilcox retired from rodeo in 1960 and immediately hung out his shingle as a professional with a training and breeding program.

 

In 1963 Big Step’s superstars, Trouble Cat, Nifty Step and Trouble Step were born.

 

Trouble Cat, a sorrel mare out of Figure 8 Patty, earned a Superior at halter, and Nifty Step, a sorrel gelding out of Lady Nifty 53 was an AQHA Champion.

 

Trouble Step, a sorrel mare out of Patsy Jeanne, was the 1965 High Point Halter Horse as well as the High Point Junior Halter Horse.  In addition, she was a AQHA Champion a Superior halter horse and the earner of 419 halter and 32 performance points.

 

Trouble Step’s show career spanned just three show years, from April 1964 through September of 1967.  Shown at halter 186 times, she earned 108 grands, 32 reserves, 174 firsts and 8 seconds.

 

Over the course of the next two decades, Big Step sired a total of 18 AQHA Champions: Sassy Step, Trouble Step and Nifty Step, Leo Bar Step, Mo Trouble, Arrow Step, Style Step, Trouble Time, Bee Chock Step, Stepsister Jones, Wimpy Bar Step, Miss Cone Pine, Miss Agen Step, Miss Damita Step, Steppin Style, Sheza Beverly Step, Stepahead and Heza Royal Step.

 

Known as a sire of both conformation and performance ability, Big Step sired the earners of 10 Superiors at halter and 20 Superiors in performance.

 

Big Step’s performance champions were a diverse group that encompassed the earners of 20 Superiors in 4 events.

 

In addition to being one of the top open show horse sires of his era, Big Step was equally adept as a youth show horse sire.  His offspring earned 10 youth AQHA Championships, 3 Superiors at halter and 33 Superiors in performance.

 

By the fall of 1982, both Don Wilcox and Big Step were in the autumn of their years. The two had been full-fledged partners for more than 18 years.  Wilcox was understandably sentimental where his aged stallion was concerned and was receptive to allowing him to live out his last days in a comfortable retirement setting.

 

As a result, the former rodeo trick riding great agreed to give his 26 year old ex racehorse to Sally B Prickett, DVM of Cumming, Iowa.

 

Because she had been friends with the Wilcox family for years, and a fan of the Big Step’s line as well, it only seemed natural that her farm should be the well-known stallion’s last home.

 

At age 26, he wasn’t as spry as he once was.  Prickett had perfected a technique by which she could collect a breeding stallion on the ground.  She wanted to provide Big Step with the best of care they knew how to give.  Dr Prickett had hoped that they might be able to raise a few foals by him as well, but that wasn’t in the cards.  He passed away of natural causes in the early winter of 1982, a few months after he came to Iowa.

 

Don Wilcox passed away in 1984, leaving his wife Virginia to disperse the last foal crop.

 

The Big Step daughters also did their part by producing the earners of 17 AQHA Championships, 5 world championships, 10 Superiors at halter, 63 Superiors in performance, 191 ROMs and 14,130 points in all divisions combined.

 

Accepting for Big Step is Gary Carpenter from NRHA