Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996
Hugh Huntley, a Washington-born farm boy, first started winning match races with Quarter Horses around 1950.
His 45-year-old hands had dabbled in wheat farming and raising cattle, but once he ran his palms over the powerful legs of a racehorse, there was no turning back. Huntley was hooked.
In 1959, Huntley bred a colt named Pokey Bar, who would eventually go into race training with Newt Keck, who trained his horses.
Before Pokey Bar was even weaned, however, another Huntley homebred, Galobar, was quickly sprinting into Quarter Horse history books. Galobar, by Three Bars (TB) out of Josephine R by Raffles (TB), was a full sister to Josie’s Bar, the 1954 World Champion Racehorse. Galobar was nominated for the inaugural running of Quarter Horse racing’s richest race, the 1959 All American Futurity, which she won by a half-length, collecting $62,843.
A reporter caught Huntley in the winner’s circle, where Huntley said, “I guess this is a thrill that just comes once in a lifetime.”
Only it came three times in Huntley’s lifetime, making him the only owner to campaign three All American winners.
In 1961, Pokey Bar was Huntley’s All American candidate – a horse that broadcasters and reporters dubbed “Huntley’s Flying Machine.” Pokey Bar crossed the finish line first, a length and a half ahead of the two favorites. Pokey Bar was champion 2-year-old colt in 1961, and was champion 3-year-old colt the following year. He ran 20 times in his career, with 12 victories and $162,632 to his name.
In 1963, Huntley and Keck sent Goetta to the All American. A daughter of three-time World Champion Go Man Go out of Etta Leo by Leo, Goetta won Huntley’s third All American trophy. Goetta went on to win 22 of 31 starts, and earned the title of world champion in 1964 and was the champion aged racing mare in 1965.
Huntley served as an AQHA Director and was on the racing and finance committees. He was named an AQHA Honorary Vice President in 1971. He attended every AQHA convention from 1946 until 1970.
Huntley died in 1987. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996.