Horse Breeding

Orren Mixer’s “Legends 2″

April 26, 2013

This painting features greats from Quarter Horse-breeding history: Easy Jet, King’s Pistol, Oklahoma Star Jr and Driftwood.

Orren Mixer art.

The painting “Legends 2″ normally hangs on the third floor of the American Quarter Horse Association headquarters in Amarillo. Orren Mixer art.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum is the perfect getaway as a vacation destination. The museum is a hidden gem of Western art in the Texas Panhandle. The moment you approach, you are greeted by the beautiful, larger-than-life bronze statues of history-making American Quarter Horses Rugged Lark, Refrigerator and others. Visitors can spend time outside at the newly renovated Wall of Honor Plaza, honoring and memorializing the horses and people who’ve paved the way for the American Quarter Horse.

Once inside you can find the Orren Mixer collection of art and artifacts that tell the story of the man who created the portrait of the iconic American Quarter Horse. This collection will be available to tour until July 27. You can read Orren’s personal history, watch interviews and even purchase a Mixer print.

You will also be able to view one of his most famous paintings, “Legends 2.”

Are you interested in learning more about American Quarter Horse bloodlines? Peter McCue was a stallion that 5.1 million of today’s 5.3 million registered Quarter Horses trace their heritage to. In AQHA’s FREE report, The Gospel According to Peter, you can learn everything there is to know about this influential sire.

Much like his original “Legends” painting of foundation sires King, Wimpy and Leo, Orren Mixer created a painting for the second “Legends” book, published by Western Horseman.

The painting, which normally graces the third

floor of AQHA headquarters, features Quarter Horse greats Easy Jet, King’s Pistol, Oklahoma Star Jr and Driftwood.

Easy Jet

This stallion is prominently featured in the painting, shown fully stretched out doing what he did best – running. Easy Jet was foaled January 12, 1967, on a ranch Walter Merrick was leasing at Quanah, Texas. Although Walter liked what he saw

in Easy Jet, he said the colt couldn’t compare to his older full brother, Jet Smooth, in terms of prettiness. However, there was something special there.

“It was like an energy,” Walter said in the “Legends 2” book. “He was never still. He was always doing something – even if it was just keeping the other colts in his pasture in line. The only time he seemed to stop and rest was when he’d raise his head and just stand there, staring over a hill.”

That energy transferred to the track. By the time he retired in 1970, he had 27 firsts, seven seconds and two thirds out of 38 official starts, and more than $445,000 in earnings. Even more impressive was his record as a sire. Out of 24 foal crops, he had 2,490 registered foals. Of those, 1,968 were race starters who earned more than $25.5 million.

Easy Jet died in 1992 and is buried on the Merrick ranch in Sayre, Oklahoma. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1993.

In AQHA’s FREE The Gospel According to Peter report, you can read about the history of Peter McCue, from his humble beginnings to his race career. Learn how the great American Quarter Horses of the past paved the way for today’s versatile steeds.

King’s Pistol

King’s Pistol was the 1957 National Cutting Horse Association world champion. By King P-234, King’s Pistol was out of the Leo daughter Flit, who set a track record in Enid, Oklahoma, while carrying the bay colt.

Although owner Jim Calhoun of Cresson, Texas, had planned

to make King’s Pistol a ranch gelding, Jim’s father, H. Calhoun, a founding member of NCHA, told his son he should keep the horse a stallion.

It was good advice. King’s Pistol sired 16 foal crops; many of his offspring excelled in the show ring, cutting pen, rodeo arena and on the ranch.

Oklahoma Star Jr

This Quarter Horse legend was foaled in 1934 and was by the legendary Oklahoma Star P-6 and out of the Little Earl Jr daughter Babe Dawson, one of John Dawson’s most famous producers.

Although Oklahoma Star Jr was broke to ride, he was never extensively trained due to a hock injury he received as a youngster. As a sire, Oklahoma Star Jr produced 22 foal crops. But one of his most famous offspring, Baby Doll Combs, doesn’t even appear on his official AQHA get-of-sire performance record. That’s because she was a legend in the world of pro rodeo as one of the greatest bulldogging horses of all time.

Other famous offspring included V’s Sandy, Star Jr’s Sue and Howard Pitzer’s Pat Star Jr.

Driftwood

Driftwood earned the nickname “Speedy” during his match-racing days. Foaled in 1932 in Silverton, Texas, the dark bay stallion was by Miller Boy and out of The Comer Mare by Barlow.

The fleet bay colt became a winner at match races, winning from 220 yards to three-eighths of a mile. Legend has it the horse even beat the famous racehorse Clabber when the two were owned by Buck Nichols.

With the AQHA FREE report, The Gospel According to Peter, see made Peter McCue such an instrumental stallion in the early 1900s.  Read about Old Cold Deck, Steel Dust and Shiloh and uncover the stories of generations of great breeding.

At age 9, Speedy was sold to Asbury Schell of Tempe, Arizona, and became a full-time roping horse. His match-race experience made him a bullet out of the box. At one rodeo in Payson, Arizona, the stallion earned money in tie-down roping, team tying, steer roping and steer wrestling – and then won a stock saddle race down the length of the rodeo arena for good measure.

Driftwood’s get made names for themselves – and for Driftwood – as fast, calm-natured, athletic horses with pretty heads that could handle themselves in rodeo arenas. Included among them were such horses as Poker Chip Peake and Henny Penny Peake, the Pacific Coast hackamore champion in 1953 and 1954.

In 2006, Driftwood’s achievements as a performer and sire were recognized when he was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Watch an interview with Orren Mixer on becoming an artist.