The annual American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reunion took place on September 15-16 at the organization’s headquarters in Amarillo, Texas. The committee chose three horses to be given the honour this year.
Harley D Zip (above left) earned a record $237,176 USD, more than 6,000 AQHA points and won multiple AQHA world championships and year-end high-point titles. He won the year-end all-around senior horse title four times. Harley is also the only horse in history to have won the same class in all divisions (junior, senior, amateur, Select and youth) at the AQHYA, Select, Amateur and Open world shows.
High Brow Cat (centre) was a 1988 chestnut stallion whose progeny have earned over $90.8 million USD. In 2021, 12 of the top 25 cutting horse sires were sons or grandsons of High Brow Cat. Cat is also the No. 2 all-time broodmare sire of horses by performance money earned, with progeny earnings in cutting alone of nearly $63 million USD.
And last but not least is AQHA Champion Okie Leo (right), a 1956 sorrel stallion who according to the AQHA release sired 531 registered American Quarter Horses that went on to earn more than 4,500 AQHA halter and performance points, two AQHA Superhorse titles, 64 performance Registers of Merit, four AQHA Champion titles and nine AQHA world championships. Six of Okie Leo’s progeny also made 39 race starts.
Okie Leo is considered one of the great “using horse” sires. He sired horses with incredible minds and conformation that solidified the versatility and using ability of the American Quarter Horse. Breeders looked to Okie Leo’s genetics to develop programs that would further the ranch horse to be ‘cowy’, have good feet to work in outside conditions and a trainable mind that made the horse a partner with their rider. Okie Leo’s bloodlines can be seen in some of the great ranch horse stallions and broodmares of the West today, continuing to prove this all-around ability that is a trademark of the Quarter Horse breed.