Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000
Thanks to visionaries like C. O. “Mac” McKerley of Zachary, Louisiana, AQHA has the Youth World Championship Show and programs like AQHYA.
McKerley was asked to develop a youth association based on the Louisiana youth horse program. Eight years later in 1970, the American Junior Quarter Horse Association, predecessor to AQHYA, emerged to serve the needs of a growing youth constituency.
He helped run the first two Youth World Shows in Amarillo, and continued to assist in managing the show when it moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1974.
McKerley established the 4-H horse program in Calcasieu Parish as an associate county agent, and the state 4-H horse program as Louisiana and the nation’s first equine extension specialist.
He was also involved in judging. He held an AQHA judge’s card for 16 years, and assisted with the first judges workshops held by the Association at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and in Fort Worth, Texas.
McKerley served as chairman of the nomination and credentials committee and spent several years helping dictate the direction of the American Quarter Horse Heritage Center & Museum and the American Quarter Horse Foundation as a member of both the Hall of Fame and Foundation committees. He also served on the stud book and registration committee.
In 1996, McKerley received a 30-year consecutive breeder award. He owned the stallion Splash Splash (TB), who sired Fast Ruler and Joe Taco, the track record holder for 440 yards at Delta Downs for almost 10 years. Truck A Buck, a 1985 bay gelding by Billy Ringo (TB), was a multiple amateur, youth and open high-point champion in jumping, who won the 1999 amateur jumping world championship.
In 1983, McKerley was made an AQHA Honorary Vice President for his dedicated service to the Association. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000 and died in 2012.