Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2006Joe Turner was a busy man. His time was consumed by work, family, horses and philanthropy.
Turner and his good friend, Ernie Quakenbush, partnered and bought Lady Patsey Lee in 1958, Turner’s first American Quarter Horse. Two years later, the mare foaled, and Turner showed the resulting gelding to many grand champion trophies.
The Texan loved working with the foals and yearlings, and he loved to show them in halter classes. Turner’s three daughters, Cynthia Ann, Cathy Jo and Sally, worked alongside their dad every day after school, grooming and working horses.
Once Turner realized the importance of local horse shows, he began planning and holding a yearly youth horse show at his employer’s ranch, the Windy Hill Stock Farm in Lewisville, Texas. One of his most successful horse show projects was the National Youth Horse Congress in Dallas.
In 1985, Turner became a member of the AQHA Board of Directors, and served on several committees. These committees included marketing and public information, Hall of Fame and the Foundation committee, which he chaired. Turner was a founding member, director and past president of the Texas Quarter Horse Association.
A racing enthusiast, Turner’s horses earned more than $691,000 at the track. A few of these horses included Mary Mito, winner of the 1979 Triple Crown Futurity at Columbus, Texas; Mary Jo Mito, winner of the 1983 Sunland Park Fall Derby; Tres Pass, a finalist in the 1983 All American Derby; and Miss Eye Paint, runner-up in the 1998 American Airlines Mexico Challenge at Retama Park.
In the philanthropy area, Turner co-founded the Retina Foundation of the Southwest. The foundation is an independent, nonprofit eye research institute based in Dallas.
Turner died in 2001, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2006.