His fame did not come from raising champion Quarter Horses. It was through his paint strokes that Orren Mixer became recognized throughout the world.
Born in 1920, in Oklahoma, Mixer was a relatively unknown artist until 1941 when Robert Denhardt commissioned him to interpret the conformation standards of horses shown in various snapshots for the newly formed AQHA.
Then, at the 1968 AQHA convention, the public information committee resolved to commission a portrait of the “ideal” Quarter Horse for promotional purposes. In June of 1968, Mixer presented his painting to the committee for inspection.
Warren Shoemaker said there was only one thing wrong with the painting: The horse was not carrying Shoemaker’s brand. The painting now hangs near the president’s room at AQHA’s headquarters.
Over the years, Mixer painted Go Man Go, Three Bars (TB), King, Leo, Peter McCue and Wimpy. The list does not begin to touch the number of paintings he did of champions or a beloved member of the family. He also painted B. F. Phillips, Jr., Carol Rose, Matlock Rose, Bob Crosby, Walter Merrick and Shoat Webster.
Mixer bred and raised eight registered American Quarter Horses. These horses went on to either race or perform in the show ring.
Mixer was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1993, and died in 2008.
Biography updated as of December 2008.