Special Leader Dies

World champion Special Leader died August 29.

By Andrea Caudill
Q-Racing Journal
August 30, 2012

Special Leader

Special Leader

World champion Special Leader, 25, was euthanized August 29 due to declining health. The stallion was bred and owned by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas.

Special Leader raced 18 times in his three-year career. The bay stallion won seven races, was second four times and third twice while earning $292,605.

One of his biggest victories came in the 1991 Champion of Champions (G1), when he defeated a field that included two-time world champion Refrigerator, champions Isaws Sugar Bear, Takin On The Cash, Jazzing Hi, Apprehend, Tee Roy Reb and See Me Gone and top runners Reckless Dash and Frisco Flare. Special Leader also won the 1991 All American Gold Cup (G1) with a smashing 2 1/4-length victory, earning a career-high 103 speed index.

He was second in the 1990 Remington Park Derby (G2), 1991 Jet Deck Handicap (G2) and 1991 Champion Prep Stakes – Div 2 and third in the 1991 Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1). He also contested the 1991 QHBC Championship Classic (G1), 1991 World’s Championship Classic (G1), 1990 All American Derby (G1) and 1991 Mr Jet Moore Stakes (G3).

In 1991, he was honored as the sport's world champion, as well as the champion aged horse and champion aged stallion.

A son of Special Effort out of the Dash For Cash mare Miss Eye Opener, Special Leader has sired 18 crops to race. His progeny have won more than $12.9 million, with 494 winners, including 62 stakes winners, from 744 starters, including champion Leading Spirit.

“He gave me some of the biggest thrills I ever had at the track,” said farm manager Jerry Martin. “He was one of the fastest horse I’ve ever seen run. … He was just a great horse.”