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Inside Look

Editor Larri Jo Starkey takes a look at the art in our AQHA house in this month's Journal Inside Look.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal
April 18, 2013

April 2013 American Quarter Horse Journal cover

Hard To Get Playboy, the 2012 AQHA all-around high-point horse, graces the cover of the April 2013 edition of the Journal. Read the Journal's digital high-point supplement for free.

One of the perks of working for AQHA is being surrounded by some great western art.

Every day, I pass a bronze of Wimpy, donated by the King Ranch, on my way to the front door of the office.

Through the years, AQHA has been loaned and given some fabulous pieces of art. Our walls are festooned with them, and it has been remarkably easy to become accustomed to standing in front of world-class pieces as I wait for the elevator.

Naturally, I’ve developed a favorite, and every time I see the Orren Mixer painting of Kid Meyers, I smile, like I’m seeing an old friend.

Kid Meyers was a 1963 stallion by Three Bars (TB) and out of Miss Meyers by Leo. All three of those horses have been inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, and Kid Meyers was worthy to follow in their footsteps, becoming the first AQHA Supreme Champion, an accomplishment that takes years and is still so difficult that AQHA has awarded fewer than 75 Supreme Champion titles.

Kid Meyers’ breeder and owner, the late A.B. Green of Purcell, Oklahoma, raced the sorrel stallion to six wins and $11,155 in earnings before sending him to the show pen to earn grand championships in halter plus points in tie-down roping and western pleasure.

What a great horse! And I get to walk past his portrait every day.

Through July 27, you can see it, too. Visitors to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum can say hello to my painted friend as the exhibit “Orren Mixer: Artist of the American Quarter Horse” hangs in the Scharbauer Gallery and the Kenneth Banks Theater.

Kid Meyers is just one of the Mixer paintings in the exhibit presented by the Dogwood Foundation.

Orren, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, is probably best known for creating the painting of the ideal American Quarter Horse, but he painted a broad spectrum of Quarter Horses, many on commission.

While AQHA owns many paintings by Mixer, who died in 2008, many more are in private collections, and I have never seen them.

The Mixer exhibit includes many rarely displayed pieces, like paintings of Prissy Gold Digger and Teques Ben 13, which have been loaned for the occasion.

I hope you’ll make time on your travels to stop by and see this exhibit. Many of these paintings might never hang in public view again.

While I’ll never outgrow my love for the Kid Meyers painting, I have a new favorite – the one of two racing broodmares in a bucolic pasture. Both mares are in the Hall of Fame. One, Barbara L, was inducted in 2009. The other, Miss Meyers – the dam of Kid Meyers – was inducted in 2009.

Silky Socks
We’re always happy to hear from our readers. Often, an article takes on a whole new meaning for them. That happened in December when I wrote about how rules are made for AQHA. I included a photo of the first amateur world champion in hunter under saddle, Jan Thompson and her horse Silky Socks.

In January, I received a fat package in the mail from Colleen Miller of DeWitt, Michigan.

Colleen hand-wrote a long letter on a yellow legal pad about Silky Socks and stuffed the envelope with some old magazine clippings of “Silky” jumping and winning. Colleen, who rehabbed Silky from some difficult behaviors, was thrilled to see the picture of the gelding in the Journal. I called her to let her know I received her package, and we started chatting. About an hour later, I hung up and started writing.

I hope you’ll turn to Page 66 to read more about Silky Socks, a challenging horse who wasn’t really a model citizen. Thanks to Colleen, Jan, and Jan’s daughter, Lindy, though, he was a champion who by retirement had learned to take life just a little easier.

Year-End Winners
This month, the Journal recognizes the horses and exhibitors who had a terrific 2012. The year-end high-point award winners quietly pursued excellence for an entire year, and we want to acknowledge their accomplishments and determination.

Please flip to Page 72 to start reading about these hard-working individuals. As a bonus, we’re including a little bit about the first high-point winners. There were only six open high-point award winners recognized 60 years ago. AQHA didn’t begin recognizing youth high-point exhibitors until 1966 or amateur high-point exhibitors until after the Association established the amateur division the late 1970s.

The 2012 AQHA all-around winners, as well as the year-end high-point champions, are featured in the April issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal. To celebrate the winners, the digital edition of the Journal is free this month. Read the April digital Journal now.