If you are interested in the history of Quarter Horses, then you should know the story behind Doc Bar, the most famous Quarter Horse in American History. According to an article from Horse Channel, Doc Bar began life in 1956 to ranch owner, Tom Finley. The hope was that the chestnut foal would be groomed to be star racer. However, that dream was short-lived when Doc Bar earned less than $100 on the racetrack.
Many would assume that the tale of Doc Bar would end there, but quite the contrary. While Doc Bar was not a racer, he ended up being an amazing halter horse, cutting horse and sire. While he was not the typical Quarter Horse, he transformed the entire breed.
According to Western Horseman the appearance of the horse shed light on his ability. The article indicated, “He was deep through the heart, clean in the throatlatch, had little fox ears, and a beautiful head that he probably inherited from his dam’s sire, Texas Dandy.” While the horse didn’t have the speed for the racetrack, he moved swift enough to manage cattle. His mere 15 hands allowed ropers to easily capture a calf without injuring themselves. This shed light on how slight alterations in the breed could be beneficial in both showing and working the animal.
Doc Bar went on to win 12 first-place and one second-place halter horse showing competitions. About.com indicates that during Doc Bar’s brief showing career he won 10 grand and reserve championships. Doc Bar was eventually sold in 1963 to Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Jensen of Double J Ranch in Paicines, California for $30,000. That was an enormous sum of money during this time!
It was the strength, power, and ability of the horse that led to the decision of using Doc Bar as a sire and since then, many breeders strive to incorporate the Doc Bar lineage into their breeding program. However, an article from B-Bar-C Quarter Horses indicates that when halter horse competition began focusing on taller horses, Doc Bar’s career as a halter horse sire was in jeopardy. That’s when the owners decided to cross Doc Bar with two Poco Tivio Mares. The result was an excellent breed of cow horses.
According to B-Bar-C Quarter Horses, Doc Bar sired 485 foals that amassed 2,492 halter points and 4,569.5 performance points, and AQHA Champions This remarkable horse died in 1992 at the age of 36. However, the following year he was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1993.
Doc Bar is proof that sometimes failure in a certain breed could simply mean that it is meant to do bigger and better things. Share this amazing piece of horse history with your friends.