Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007“She was a runner, but she was just as quiet as she could be,” said Newt Keck, who conditioned Goetta. “A kid could take care of her.”
Born in January 1961, and raised on Ed Honnen’s Quincy Farms near Denver, Goetta was by Go Man Go and out of Etta Leo, by Leo. The brown filly was sold as a yearling in the Pomona, California, December sale. The blaze-faced filly sold for $18,000 and the high bidder was Newt Keck, who bought the filly for Hugh Huntley. The trainer hauled Goetta to Huntley’s ranch at Madera, California, where Keck had already broken and trained two All American Futurity winners.
As a 2-year-old, Goetta ran her first race on the last day of the Los Alamitos spring meet. The filly won and Keck took her to Ruidoso, New Mexico, where she won three races in a row against Allowance Company, then made her bid for the big prize, the All American Futurity.
Goetta ran in the All American Futurity trials and qualified with the fastest time. A deluge the morning of the All American rendered the Ruidoso surface a sea of mud. The track was better that afternoon, but still far from perfect.
After an unsettling start, Goetta ran down the competition and won by three lengths. The filly continued racing and winning. Through three seasons of campaigning, Goetta won 22 of 31 starts. Half of her victories were in stakes races, and her freshman earnings of $189,000 were a single-season record for all Quarter Horses. Goetta was also the first mare to earn $100,000 in a single year.
The world champion in 1964, she carried her speed right to the finish, setting a track record on her very last trip to post. She retired with earnings a dime short of $233,921, the richest Quarter Horse in history.
The mare was sold to Sonny Henderson and Harriett Peckham in 1972, and then to Tom L. Burnett Estate in 1974. She produced seven foals, six of which were race winners and two were stakes winners.
Goetta died in 1978, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.