Lightning Bar’s name proved prophetic in more ways than one, for just like a bolt of lightning, the chestnut colt would flash across the Quarter Horse short track, then through the breeding shed, and then be gone.
Bred by Art Pollard, Lightning Bar was foaled in 1951, by Three Bars (TB) and out of a Doc Horn mare named Della P. Lightning Bar only raced in 1953, as a 2-year-old. He battled pneumonia, distemper, cut coronet bands, and an injured knee, but still managed to win his time trails in the Southwestern, Ruidoso and Pomona futurities. At Pomona, he equaled the track record when he covered 330 yards in 17.2 seconds. In 10 career starts, he had four firsts, three seconds and one third place. His total track earnings were $1,491, and he earned a AAA rating, 26 points, and a racing Register of Merit.
After retiring him from racing, Pollard began showing Lighting Bar. The stallion stood 15.2 hands and weighed 1,250 pounds. He earned one grand championship and one reserve championship, 18 halter points, and his AQHA Championship. Pollard was convinced the horse was sire material.
In 1954, he set the stallion’s stud fee at $250, and attracted only nine outside mares. That same year, several top ex-race mares like Miss Bank and Miss Panama came to Pollard’s Lightning A Ranch. With these mares, Lightning Bar quickly began proving that he could sire offspring that could excel both on the track, and in the show arena. The second year, 11 outside mares went to Lightning Bar, but 102 mares were booked the third year, when his stud fee was $500.
Fantasy and Hula Baby were his first AAA runners. Pana Bar, a 1956 stallion out of Miss Panama, was the Co-Champion Quarter Running Two-Year-Old Colt in 1958. Another Lightning Bar son hit the ground in 1956, and made quite an impact on the cutting horse world. His name was Doc Bar.
By 1960, Art Pollard and Lightning Bar were names that were known through the Quarter Horse world. Pollard put the Lightning A Ranch up for sale and started building Sonoita Stallion Manor. He turned the mares into pasture at the not-yet-complete Sonoita Stallion Manor and put his stallions and young horses at the fairgrounds, where he had entered Lightning Bar in the local show. One month later, in June 1960, Lightning Bar died from a virus. He was 9 years old.
Lightning Bar was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.
Biography updated as of March 2008.