Category Archives: Racing

Noconi Looks to Move Up The Rankings

The American Quarter Horse Journal, December 22, 2010 – Pollsters made no changes to this week’s national polls for 2-year-olds or the older horses, but that figures to change this coming week. Sunday’s Championship at Sunland Park (G1) features the current No. 8-ranked older horse in the land, Noconi, against a field that includes all-time leading AQHA money-earner Stolis Winner and the highly touted Rylees Boy.

The Championship at Sunland contenders figure to move up the national rankings with top performances, but the season’s No. 1 ranking remains securely with Apollitical Jess, winner of the Champion of Champions (G1) and this week’s unanimous choice at the top of the poll.

As for the 2-year-olds, the consistent futurity finalist American Runaway, hero of the Ruidoso Futurity (G1), remains on top of the rankings with just one poll remaining in 2010.

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First Down Dash Is Going into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame

Racing champion and all-time leading racehorse sire First Down Dash is joining the next class of inductees into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Each Hall of Fame class is selected by the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Selection Committee at a July meeting and, following approval by the AQHA Executive Committee, is honored at the following convention. At the 2011 AQHA Convention on March 4-7 in Grapevine, Texas, the following people and horses will be inducted: Mr San Peppy, Skipper W and Streakin Six, as well as Douglas and Nancy Dear, Joe Kirk Fulton and Frank Howell.

“With the untimely passing of First Down Dash in late November, the committees decided to induct him into the Hall of Fame at the 2011 convention,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “This is only the fourth time that the committee has added a horse to a class of inductees between (the committee’s) meetings.”

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Spit Curl Diva Honored as Supreme Race Horse

The American Quarter Horse Journal, December 9, 2010 – With her victory in the November 19 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1), Spit Curl Diva became the 24th racing American Quarter Horse since 1983 to earn the distinction of an American Quarter Horse Association Supreme Race Horse.

The honor is given by AQHA to a horse which during its racing career earns $500,000 or more and wins at least 10 races, including two or more open Grade 1 stakes races.

Owned by the Lepic-Morgan Partnership of Iowa City, Iowa, Spit Curl Diva has won 16 of 29 starts, including nine stakes, and earned $695,938. She won the Refrigerator Handicap (G1) on October 2, then earned her second Grade 1 victory in the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship.

Spit Curl Diva is a nine-time stakes winner, and her other stakes wins include the Speedhorse Gold & Silver Cup Futurity (RG1), Blue Ribbon Futurity (G2), Bob Moore Memorial Stakes (G2), Oklahoma Derby (G3), Decketta Handicap (G3), Keokuk Stakes (G3) and Merial Arapahoe Distaff Challenge.

Spit Curl Diva is by Spit Curl Jess out of the Some Dasher mare Some Kinda Diva. She was bred in Oklahoma by Little Deer Creek Quarter Horses of Thomas, Oklahoma.

Prior to 1983, there were 71 Supreme Race Horses that were retroactively given the award.

There have been two other Supreme Race Horses named in 2010, including world champion Freaky and champion Stylish Jess BR.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications: The American Quarter Horse Journal and America’s Horse.

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Freaky Chases Second World Title in Champion of Champions

The American Quarter Horse Journal, December 9, 2010 – Armando Aguirre’s Freaky, the unanimous No. 1-ranked American Quarter Horse in the AQHA poll, races to enhance his prospects for a second-straight world championship when he heads the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

The Adan Farias-trained Freaky (TR Dasher-Chickasecret by Raise A Secret) won the 2009 Champion of Champions and was rewarded as the 2009 world champion, champion aged horse and champion aged gelding. He would be the prime contender to retain each of those titles with a win in the 440-yard Champion of Champions.

If Freaky is honored as the 2010 world champion, he would be the first back-to-back world champion since SLM Big Daddy earned the 1997 and 1998 world titles.

The 2010 champions will be announced in mid-January.

Continue reading Freaky Chases Second World Title in Champion of Champions

AQHA Studies Clenbuterol Abuse, Recommends Action

The American Quarter Horse Journal, December 3, 2010 – Veterinary medical professionals and horsemen gathered at the American Quarter Horse Association’s annual racing conference on November 18 in New Orleans to consider the use – and misuse – of drugs and medications in racehorses. Topics included laboratory testing and procedures, out-of-competition and pre-race examinations, therapeutic and illegal medications, joint injections, acceptable threshold levels and withdrawal time, zero-tolerance policies, public education and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

Once the panelists and attendees started talking, the discussion focused primarily – indeed, almost exclusively – on clenbuterol.

Approved for veterinary use in horses with allergic respiratory disease and for medical use in humans with asthma, clenbuterol acts as a bronchodilator. The problem, however, is how the drug is being misused – both in horses and humans: While it is not an anabolic steroid, clenbuterol has some of the same effects, increasing muscle mass and enhancing performance.

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First Down Dash Dies at Age 26

The American Quarter Horse Journal – American Quarter Horse racing’s most prolific stallion, First Down Dash, died on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, at Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, California. He was 26.

“He lay down and went to sleep peacefully. He was missing Scoop and his sunflower seeds,” said Bonnie Vessels, referring to her late husband, Frank “Scoop” Vessels.

Dr. Ed Allred, the sport’s all-time leading breeder, released the following statement: “First Down Dash is unquestionably the greatest stallion of all time. No horse has had the influence of the great First Down Dash. He was an amazing horse. He was a sire of sires. What an incredible and great career… he was in one word ‘amazing.’”

The stallion was laid to rest at Vessels Stallion Farm on November 26. Bonnie Vessels said that First Down Dash was quietly eating hay in his stall when observed by ranch manager Kevin Dickson at 1 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. Three hours later, the night man observed First Down Dash taking his last breath.

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After the Finish Line Thoroughbred Racehorse Rescue Funding Non-Profit

“The greatest victory for a Thoroughbred is not winning a race, but winning the race to live long past their days on the racetrack.”

You may have watched today’s Breeders’ Cup races. This select group of horses represents the fastest Thoroughbreds not only in the United States, but in the world. After the Finish Line congratulates these champions who provide all of us with a thrill of a lifetime.

Let’s not forget about the thousands of other racehorses who race with the will to win but do not have successful racing careers. There are other opportunities we can provide for them. After the Finish Line is dedicated to helping these ex-racehorses transition and excel in a second career.

Read about our dedication to the Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in After the Finish Line’s November newsletter, Please forward this message to your friends who are interested in helping the Thoroughbreds.

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After the Finish Line and JOCK Documentary Calendar Fundraiser

After the Finish Line is pleased to announce the soon to be released JOCK limited edition 2011 collector’s calendars. JOCK,, is a feature length documentary about the first generation of female jockeys. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s these women fought for the right to ride professionally.

JOCK will make a donation to After the Finish Line for every calendar sold when you add AfterTheFinishLine in the Source Code at check out.

Not only will you get a great calendar, but you will be helping the rescued Thoroughbred horses that can no longer race or breed. Visit and join After the Finish Line’s Facebook FAN page to learn more:

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American Shetland Ponies and Minis Wow the Crowd at the Secretariat Festival in Kentucky

Chuck McCallister gave a harness demonstration with his award-winning pony Seamair All That Glitters during the Secretariat Festival in Paris, Kentucky. (Photo by JRPR)

Paris, KY (October 7, 2010) – While the recent Secretariat Festival in Paris, Kentucky was all about the famous Triple Crown winner called Big Red, some of Secretariat’s smaller equine cousins put on a show during the festival that brought the fans to their feet. Members of the American Shetland Pony Club and American Miniature Horse Registry (ASPC/AMHR) wowed the crowd with a driving exhibition, costume contest, jumping and halter demonstrations.

Chuck McCallister, of Tuigpaarden Farms in Ocala, Florida and Shelbyville, Kentucky, gave a harness demonstration with his award-winning pony Seamair All That Glitters, a double registered American Show Pony and American Hackney Pony. “Glitter is part of the American Show Pony Registry that was created by the American Shetland Pony Club in 1995,” said Zona Schneider, Director of Operations with the ASPC/AMHR, who was on hand for the Secretariat Festival. “The American Show Pony Registry includes Hackneys, Shetlands and Shetland/Hackney crosses that measure 48” and under at the wither. American Show Ponies are sought after as impressive athletes and are a crowd favorite when they drive into the show ring.”

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A Celebration of Walt Disney Pictures’ ‘Secretariat,’ Presented by the International Equestrian Festival and Horze

The party you don’t want to miss!

Sunday, October 3
1:30 p.m. – Triple Crown winning jockeys Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet and Steve Cauthen will share with festival goers reflections on their celebrated careers.

4-5 See Academy Award nominated actress Diane Lane!

** “A Celebration of Walt Disney Pictures’ ‘Secretariat,’ presented by the International Equestrian Festival and Horze” **
Sunday, October 3
Lexington Center, Ground Floor
Two lucky winners will receive two tickets each to the “Secretariat” special screening and reception at 6 p.m.
Stop by the International Equestrian Festival’s Hospitality Atrium. (Lexington Center, Ground Floor) between 1 p.m. 9 p.m. to enter to win.
Entries will be accepted in person until 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 3.
No purchase necessary to enter to win.
Hospitality Atrium does not require Festival admission ticket.

Festivities open to the general public include:

  • Pre-Red Carpet Walk of Fame by “Secretariat” film stars
  • Celebration party with appearance by the film’s stars
  • Movie clips, footage of Secretariat’s legendary races and chance to win “Secretariat” merchandise

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