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2006 Inductees announced for Racehorse Hall of Fame

April 19, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ruidoso Downs, New Mex. (April 19) – Quarter horse racing history spanning the last century is represented through the 2006 inductees to the Racehorse Hall of Fame at Ruidoso Downs.

The human inductees are the Vessels family, legendary owner/breeder Ott Adams, R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard, three-time All American Futurity winning trainer Newt Keck, leading trainer Don Farris, and stakes-winning jockeys Charlie Smith and Robert Adair.

The horses in this year’s class are the historic sire Three Bars (TB), champion and blue-hen producer Chicado V, 1982 world champion Sgt Pepper Feature and 1977 champion three-year-old My Easy Credit.

Currently, the Racehorse Hall of Fame is moving from the Hubbard Museum of the American West to an extensively renovated room at Ruidoso Downs. Induction ceremonies will be held for the inductees in the new facility during this summer’s 60th anniversary racing season at Ruidoso Downs.

The Vessels family—Frank Sr. and his wife Grace, Frank Jr. and his wife Millie, and now Frank III “Scoop” and his wife Bonnie—have all been important contributors to Quarter Horse racing. The family founded and developed Los Alamitos Race Course, and their breeding operation has included leading sires Clabber, Go Man Go, Tiny Charger, Beduino (TB) and the all-time leading sire First Down Dash. Scoop is a past president of the American Quarter Horse Association and oversees Vessels Stallion Farm in northern San Diego County.

Adams was a small man who built a breeding dynasty in Alice, Texas during the first half of the 20th century. He stood the foundation sire Little Joe and bred the influential horses Joe Moore, Zantanon and Stella Moore.

The Hubbards are the majority shareholders in Ruidoso Downs and Zia Park, and have campaigned major stakes winners over the past quarter century. Mr. Hubbard owned 1981 champion aged mare Denim N Diamonds and Mrs. Hubbard owned 2005 champion distance horse Prankster CF.

Trainers Keck and Farris each won the sport’s most important stakes races. Keck won three of the first five runnings of the All American Futurity with Galobar, Pokey Bar and Goetta. Farris trained champions No Butt, Denim N Diamonds, Make Mine Cash, Dashing Phoebe, I’m Gorgeous, Prissy Fein and Sixy Chick.

Smith and Adair each built well-deserved reputations as winning riders on champions in major stakes. Smith was the regular rider on 1963 world champion Jet Deck. Adair piloted the two-time world champion Kaweah Bar and the great 870-yard mare Viking Anne.
The Thoroughbred Three Bars revolutionized Quarter Horse breeding when he was promoted to Quarter Horse mares. He was the leading sire of racehorses in the 1950-60s. His offspring also excelled as leading sires and producers of performance and show horses. Today it is difficult to find a Quarter Horse who is a champion in racing or performance events who does not have Three Bars in their pedigree.

Chicado V, owned and bred by Frank Vessels Sr., was the 1952 co-champion two-year-old filly who went on to be a sensational producer. Her offspring included champions War Chic and Table Tennis, and the leading sires Three Chicks, Triple Chick and The Ole Man.

Sgt Pepper Feature was crowd favorite when he raced to the 1982 world champion title and won the 1982 Champion Of Champions. His fan base grew after his retirement from racing when he became the Quarter Horse representative at the Kentucky Horse Park and was seen by millions of Hall of Champions visitors who immediately became “Pepper” fans.

My Easy Credit was named the 1977 champion three-year-old after dominating the derby division at Ruidoso Downs in 1977 by sweeping the Kansas, Rainbow and All American derbies. He was the only horse to win the three major derbies at the New Mexico track until 2005 when world champion DM Shicago won the Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American derbies.