Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1992
Rocket Bar was the type of horse upon which accolades are hung. He had clockers taking second glances at La Mesa Park, Albuquerque and Centennial in 1953. Sports writers began calling him the “Wonder Horse.”
The Thoroughbred chestnut stallion was foaled near Tucson, Arizona, in 1951, and was by Three Bars (TB) and out of Golden Rocket. As a weanling, the chestnut colt was sold to Dr. Harold Donovan of Raton, New Mexico, for $5,000.
As a 2-year-old, Rocket Bar (TB) won his maiden race at La Mesa Park by 45 lengths. In his second race two weeks later, Rocket Bar stumbled in the mud, recovered and won the race with no other horse in the picture. The win earned him the nickname “the Wonder Horse of the Rocky Mountains.”
Rocket Bar continued racing into his 6-year-old year. During his career, the stallion had set new track records and won numerous stakes races.
Retired in 1958, Rocket Bar stood at Donovan’s ranch in Arizona before being sold to George Kaufman of Modesto, California.
In 1966, Kaufman sold the stallion to Billy and Harriett Peckham and Sonny and Sarah Henderson for $360,000. It was not long before Leo Winters, Bert Hall and others bought shares of Rocket Bar. It was one of the first multiple ownerships in the Quarter Horse industry.
The stallion sired multiple stakes winners, racing champions and Registers of Merit. A few of his foals include Rocket Wrangler, Mr Tinky Bar, Nug Rock and La Ree Bar.
Rocket Bar, 19, died in 1970. An autopsy revealed the stallion had an exceptionally large windpipe and lung capacity, and that his heart was 2 ½ times larger than normal.
Rocket Bar was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1992.