The 2017 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductees were honored at the Hall of Fame Banquet March 19 at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio.
“Induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is the highest honor possible in our Association, and we welcome these deserving individuals into the Hall of Fame,” said Craig Huffhines, executive vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association.
The horses inducted into the Hall of Fame are the stallions Strawfly Special and Zips Chocolate Chip; the gelding Majestic Scotch; and the mares Casey’s Ladylove and Dashing Phoebe.
The horsemen are AQHA Past President Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey; AQHA executive committee member, the late Dick Monahan of Walla Walla, Washington; Bobby D. Cox of Fort Worth, Texas; the late Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma; and trainer and horsewoman Sandra Vaughn of Hernando, Florida.
The 1961 mare Casey’s Ladylove was the foundation of a barrel racing dynasty. James and Frances Loiseau of Flandreau, South Dakota, bought the mare as a 2-year-old for $720, looking for a horse their children could ride. Later, they started breeding her, selling the colts and keeping the fillies for their broodmare band that led to such barrel racing and rodeo champions as French Flash Hawk, known to barrel racers as “Bozo,” and Frenchmans Guy, a leading sire of barrel-racing horses.
Dashing Phoebe was a fast runner and the mother of fast runners. The 1983 sorrel mare by Dash For Cash won or placed in 15 of 20 career starts, earning $609,553 on the racetrack. She was a two-time AQHA racing champion filly, earning that honor in 1985 and 1986. She earned her AQHA Supreme Racehorse title in 1987. In 2008, she was named an AQHA Dam of Distinction after producing 15 winners, five stakes winners and the earners of nearly $2.4 million. She was bred by San Jose Cattle Co. of Rockport, Texas. She was euthanized in 2013 and buried on owner Kirk Goodfellow’s Dreams Come True Ranch near Nacogdoches, Texas.
Majestic Scotch was born to lope in a show ring. The 1994 sorrel gelding won 10 world championships in western riding and western pleasure and seven reserve world championships in those classes plus showmanship. Majestic Scotch was bred by Donald and Jean Bangasser of Ackley, Iowa, and was owned by Sharnai Thompson of Pilot Point, Texas. He was shown in classes from halter to hunt seat equitation to trail. He earned a youth AQHA Supreme Champion award and 13 Superiors. He retired from competition in 2012. He was euthanized in 2013, the same year he was inducted into the National Snaffle Bit Association Hall of Fame.
Racing stallion Strawfly Special sired two winners of the All American Futurity, Streakin Flyer and Ausual Suspect. The 1987 stallion by Special Effort was bred by Dan and Jolene Urschel of Canadian, Texas, and was owned by Double Bar S Ranch of Moreno Valley, California. Strawfly Special’s offspring earned more than $25 million on the racetrack, and his gelded son, Tailor Fit, was racing world champion in 1999 and 2001. Strawfly Special died in 2004.
Zips Chocolate Chip
Zips Chocolate Chip was a leading sire of award-winning western pleasure horses. The 1985 bay stallion was by Zippo Pine Bar and out of the Custus Jaguar mare Fancy Blue Chip. After a short career in the show ring, earning $18,000 in western pleasure futurities, Zips Chocolate Chip moved to the breeding barn. He was a sire of AQHA and National Snaffle Bit Association champions. He was a model for a Breyer horse. After his breeding career was over, he retired to owner-breeder Ann Myers’ farm. He was euthanized in 2015 due to complications of old age.
The late Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma, was the owner and trainer of Mr Master Bug, a Supreme racehorse and winner of the All American Futurity, and FL Lady Bug, an American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee. The 50-year cumulative breeder and his late wife, Lela, were fixtures in Oklahoma Quarter Horse racing for more than 50 years. Marvin bred the earners of more than $3.9 million on the track and two world champion horses who earned seven world championships.
Peter J. Cofrancesco III
Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey, was the first president of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association to become president of AQHA. Cofrancesco grew up showing horses with his family in many aspects of AQHA competition, later specializing in halter. He was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2008 and served as president in 2011-12, focusing on youth involvement.
Bobby D. Cox
An owner and 30-year breeder of American Quarter Horse racehorses, Bobby D. Cox of Fort Worth, Texas, bought his first racehorse in 1976. His homebred mare, All About Ease, won the Ruidoso Futurity in 2004, the same year his homebred stallion, Brimmerton, won the Rainbow Derby and the All American Derby. In 2007, Cox’s homebred Dont Let Down won the All American Derby. In all, horses Cox bred have earned $20 million on the track. Horses Cox has owned have earned $16 million on the racetrack.
Racehorse owner and breeder Dick Monahan of Walla Walla, Washington, bought his first race-bred yearlings in 1969. He and his wife, Brenda, raised and raced American Quarter Horses for more than 30 years. He was elected as an AQHA director in 1985. At the time of his death in 2009, Monahan was serving on the AQHA Executive Committee.
Judge, breeder and AQHA Professional Horsewoman Sandra Vaughn of Hernando, Florida, became a professional trainer at age 19. She has trained horses to multiple champion titles and has ridden horses to seven world championships and 11 reserve world championships. In 2003, she was part of the team that helped Movin Artfully become the Farnam Superhorse. In 1995, the first year the award was given, Vaughn was named the Professional Horsewoman of the Year. She served as an AQHA director from 2006 to 2013.
About the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame
The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum beautifully showcases the hundreds of horses and people who have earned the distinction of becoming part of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. To be a part of the Hall of Fame, horses and people must have been outstanding over a period of years in a variety of categories. Inductees are those who have brought exceptional visibility and/or contribution to the American Quarter Horse. Hall of Fame inductees are chosen each year by a selection committee and honored at the annual AQHA Convention.
For more information on the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, visit www.aqha.com/museum.