Sandy Arledge

Sandy Arledge

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2022.

2022 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee Sandy Arledge

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Growing up as a horse-crazy girl in the Piney Woods of East Texas, Sandra Kaye Horton couldn’t wait for school to end each day so she could get on whatever horses a local stock trader had for sale. By the time she was 12, she was demonstrating sale horses at auctions and being paid to ride for others.

“All I wanted to do when I grew up was breed and raise good horses,” she says. While studying law at the University of San Diego in the mid-1970s, she kept the name Arledge from a marriage that didn’t last and went into business as Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses Inc., standing the 1966 Buzz Bar stallion Bar Mesa, a race winner at Los Alamitos and Bay Meadows.

“I’ve always loved good-minded, well-conformed racehorses for breeding animals,” she says. “If they were successful at the track and were sound, you knew they were athletes.”

Sandy passed the California bar in 1976, but she had the horse bug bad.

“I bred 40-some mares that year,” she recalls. “I kept giving lessons and breeding horses, promising myself that I’d look for a job.”

Instead, she partnered with Ron Simpson, the father of one of her students, on building a boarding and training facility at Del Mar, California. By the early ’80s, Sandy abandoned the idea of practicing law and kicked the horse operation into high gear. Sandy owned or stood the stallions Jiggy Bar, a son of Three Bars (TB) who sired 241 foals that earned more than 2,500 performance points; world champion sires Triple’s Image, Ima Smokin Zipper and Tex O’Lena; and numerous others. Over the past 40 years, Sandy has bred 274 registered foals, 61 of which have earned nearly 2,000 points in AQHA performance events, and others that earned money or points in the National Reining Horse, National Reined Cow Horse, National Snaffle Bit, Palomino Horse Breeders and International Buckskin Horse associations. She also bred many more in partnerships.

“I had the privilege of exposing thousands of students to the bucolic equine lifestyle,” Sandy says. “They learned to ride, whether or not they owned a horse. They were taught to respect the horse. The rule on the farm was ‘Horses first, people second.’”

Sandy took her love of horses to new levels, becoming president of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association in 1993-94, an AQHA director in 1997 and AQHA director emeritus in 2011. She went into the PCQHA Hall of Fame in 2015. The 2010 Professional’s Choice AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year, Sandy has served AQHA on the membership, shows, Professional Horsemen, judges, stud book and registration, and Hall of Fame selection committees. Sandy also served on the nominations and credentials committee and as the committee’s chairwoman in 2010. She was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2011.

In 2016, Sandy took the reins as AQHA president, the third woman to hold the post. Working for what is best for the horse is what Sandy has been doing all her life.

“I ride for the breed,” she says. “As the largest equine breed association in the world, we must take a leadership role in protecting our horse.”

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2022.


Biography updated as of August 2022.