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Group forms organization to honor trusty steeds


On this day in 1940, livestock leaders met in Fort Worth to form the American Quarter Horse Association. Among those in attendance were rancher and quarter horse breeder Anne Burnett Hall and King Ranch president Robert J. Kleberg. The series of meetings led to a charter, by-laws, and election of officers of an organization to “collect, record and preserve the pedigrees of Quarter Horses in America….” The origin of the American quarter horse dates to colonial times when the speedy horses earned fame for their performance in quarter-mile races—hence the name. The quarter horse in Texas is forever linked with the history of the open range and the cowboy. After the Civil War cattlemen needed swift yet sturdy mounts to drive longhorns to northern railheads in Kansas and elsewhere. Quarter horses were mated with mustang mares to produce a strong, speedy equine with great endurance. No formal registry of the animals existed until the American Quarter Horse Association undertook its publication. Soon after the formation of the group, the King Ranch-bred Wimpy, grand champion stallion at the 1941 Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, earned the designation of P-1 in the AQHA Stud Book.

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