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The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum recently held a reception for a new exhibit:

The Bold and Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse

The exhibit features pictures and personal objects of 12 women who have contributed to the history and progression of the American Quarter Horse. Two of the women honored spoke to the crowd, and two others were represented by family members.


When asked why she wanted to work at AQHA and then stayed for 40 years, Betty Nix simply said, “The people and the horses.” Her dedication and concern for helping association members earned her the name “Mother Nix”. Betty agreed that the major issues and problems usually ended up on her desk. The moment that comes to mind from her years at AQHA as being most memorable, “Meeting Dale Robertson. He was cute.” [Robertson was an actor of television and western films.] Even though she retired in 1993, Betty told us she still gets calls from people asking how she’s doing, which just proves what she’d known all along. “Great people own quarter horses,” she said.

Harriett Peckham’s four daughters talked about their mother’s dedication and devotion to her brood mares. She ran Buena Suerte Ranch in Roswell on her own after a divorce and with four girls to raise, and grew it to include one of the greatest collections of Quarter Horse studs in the world.

Located in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA is the world's largest equine breeding registry and membership organization.

Located in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA is the world’s largest equine breeding registry and membership organization.

Dee Dee Dear Raines talked to the group about her mother, Nancy Dear, who was instrumental in getting AQHA started in Montana. Nancy, and her husband Doug, were dedicated to breeding working ranch horses and hosted 50 sales on the Birdtail Ranch.

Ginger Hyland became the Association’s first woman president, an honor she credits to her father. Through his involvement with the Horseman’s Quarter Horse Racing Association, he volunteered her to go to Europe on behalf of the research committee. Her journey with AQHA had begun, and she never looked back. She soon learned how much time, dedication and hard work is required behind the scenes to run an association like AQHA.  She never imagined she’d have the honor to become a member of the Executive Committee, and that her hard work would lead to being elected as President in 1997. Ginger said, “Dad always told me that the decisions are made by those that show up.” She is credited for developing the Association’s Ride program, which has resulted in more than 5,580 trail rides around the world to raise money for charities.

The American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed in the United States today. Known for being versatile, it continues to be a top performer in racing, horse shows, reining, working ranches, rodeos, and western riding events.

Our Registered Quarter Horse, "Dualy", is a hard-working ranch horse who loves having his picture taken.

Here is one of our Registered Quarter Horses, Dooley, when he photobombed my sky view picture. He has a calm demeanor and can do attitude making him perfect for a working ranch, valuable traits gained from his lineage which includes Hall of Fame cutting horse Smart Little Lena.

The Bold and Beautiful is a fantastic exhibit about intelligent and classy women who fearlessly followed their love for horses and made it their life’s passion. As one of Harriett Peckham’s daughters said, “Mom always told us that horse people are the best people in the world.”

Through the efforts of Museum Curator, Crystal Phares, you can see this exhibit and learn more about these visionary women through July 30th. To read more online about their fascinating lives and their contribution to the Quarter Horse world, here’s a link:

If you love horses and find yourself traveling through Amarillo along I-40 this summer, plan a visit to the AQHA Hall of Fame & Museum.

     – Natalie Bright

n bright bio.2Natalie Bright is an author, blogger and speaker. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She is a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.  Natalie and her husband own the Sanford Ranch, a cow/calf operation located in the Texas Panhandle. She is currently writing a series of books for children set in the Wild West and a series of picture books about rescue animals. 

Natalie is the author of the Rescue Animal Series of picture books. Click the link and read it now Amazon Kindle.