One Horse Who Was Unsuited For Racing Ended Up Making History

He wasn't what they hoped for, but something much greater.


Ever heard of halter horses? They are horses who are only shown and are judged on their conformation and suitability as breeding stock. One famous horse was named Doc Bar, who ended up as one of the most famous halter horses in American history. Born in 1956, Doc Bar was originally bread a quarter horse, which are meant to sprint in short races for sport. His ranch owner was a man named Tom Finley, who had high hopes for Doc Bar to become a racing star. However, Doc Bar’s racing career was short-lived as he made less than $100 on the race track.

Doc Bar soon proved himself to be an excellent cutting horse and managed cattle on the ranch. Not long after, Finley decided to start showing Doc Bar in horse shows as a halter horse. Due to Doc Bar’s excellent physical conformation, he won first place 12 times and once in second place in horse showing competitions. He also won 10 grand and reserve championships, becoming a reputable show horse.

Eventually Doc Bar caught the attention of a couple, Dr. Jensen and his wife, who wanted to buy Doc Bar from Finley. Doc Bar was soon sold for $30,000 and was used as a sire in breeding. Doc Bar foaled a total of 485 foals, who amassed 2,942 halter points and 4,569.5 performance points. His foals also became American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) champions, revolutionizing the cutting horse industry.

Doc Bar passed away on 20th July 1992 at the age of 36 and was buried on the Jensen/Ward Doc Bar Ranch in Paicines, California. A year after his death, Doc Bar was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. Even Today, Doc Bar’s name is still legendary. In 2007, his name was mentioned by Western Horseman magazine and came in second place in their list of top ten ranch horse bloodlines.

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