He has always been recognized by his contemporaries as one of the foremost breeders of Quarter Horses, and his list of accomplishments was equally as long as that of his greatest Quarter Horse, Two Eyed Jack.
Howard Pitzer bred 77 AQHA Champions. His closest competitor for that ranking was Hank Wiescamp, who bred 58. Pitzer launched the careers of 2,600 foals. He bred 13 world champions, six year-end high-point winners, 11 all-around winners and 200 Registers of Merit earners. And that is only in the open division. Foals bred by Pitzer have earned 28,225 points in all divisions of AQHA competition.
In 1956, Pitzer bought his first stallion and started breeding his own horses. The stallion, Pat Star Jr, a son of Oklahoma Star Jr, sired 20 AQHA Champions out of 348 foals.
Pitzer kept Pat Star Jr until the stallion died of a twisted intestine at age 14 in 1967. By then, the breeder already had a replacement stallion in mind, a sorrel son of Two D Two named Two Eyed Jack. Pitzer owned Two Eyed Jack in partnership for several years before finally buying him outright in 1966. Together, Pitzer and Two Eyed Jack became icons in the Quarter Horse industry.
Pitzer never had trouble selling anything that had Two Eyed Jack in its pedigree, and continued to breed horses that descended from daughters and sons of the great all-around sire.
Pitzer’s attitude about the breeding business earned him the respect and admiration of everyone who did business with him.
Pitzer was an AQHA Director from 1980 to 1984. In 1985, he was named an AQHA Honorary Vice President. He served on the AQHA show and contest committee from 1977 to 1992. Pitzer was a past president of the Nebraska Quarter Horse Association.
Pitzer was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996. He died in 1998.
Biography updated as of December 1998.