The Q-Racing Journal, August 12, 2011 – Champion Leading Spirit earned his AQHA Supreme Race Horse award in 2008, although due to a clerical error, he was only recently awarded his trophy. The honor is given by AQHA to a horse that during its racing career earns $500,000 or more and wins at least 10 races, including two or more open Grade 1 stakes races.
Leading Spirit is a 2003 gelding by Special Leader out of the Special Task mare Sandras Task.
Bred by Dr. Barry Thompson of West, Texas, he is co-owned by Thompson and Dan and Jolene Urschel.
Leading Spirit won 10 of 19 starts, finished second three times and third four times, with earnings of $811,413 in a career that spanned 2005-2008.
The 2005 champion 2-year-old gelding won five stakes, including the Grade 1 West Texas, Ruidoso and Rainbow futurities. He also won the 2007 First Down Dash Handicap (G3) and 2008 Bank of America California Championship Challenge (G2).
Leading Spirit also finished second in the 2007 Go Man Go Handicap (G1) and 2008 Independence Day Handicap (G3). He was third in the 2007 California Championship Challenge (G2) and Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Stakes, and was a finalist in the 2007 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1).
The Supreme Race Horse award is recorded by hand, and Leading Spirit’s award was overlooked. AQHA apologizes to Dr. Thompson, the Urschels and Leading Spirit’s connections for the oversight.
American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104