The American Quarter Horse JournalAugust 14, 2013
"I owe her so much. She was just a really, really nice mare," AQHA Professional Horseman Jackie Krshka says of the late Sweet And Innocent. (Darrell Dodds photo)
For a week in 1982, Jackie Krshka was a reluctant rock star.
It was the year of Oklahoma’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 75 years of statehood for the former territory. Every newspaper in the state was in a frenzy looking for new and better ways to tout all things Oklahoma. A Diamond Jubilee Show in November glittered with stars from Patti Page to Bart Conner.
That same week, petite, blonde Jackie, who lived in Yukon, Oklahoma, began competition at the 1982 AQHA World Championship Show, aiming at the Superhorse title with her palomino homebred mare, Sweet And Innocent.
It was a story the newspaper reporters couldn’t resist. Jackie had no idea her great ride would inspire the kind of publicity that would kick her into the highest echelons of the American Quarter Horse industry.
Decades later, admirers of the American Quarter Horse’s versatility still revel in what “Sweet” accomplished that week. Shown that year by Jackie, as well as her soon-to-be-husband at the time, Tom Krshka, and Jackie’s father, American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Jack Kyle, Sweet racked up remarkable top-10 finishes in junior reining, working cow horse, western riding and heeling, plus a junior tie-down roping world championship.
“In our hearts, we were looking down the road to the Superhorse,” Jackie told the Journal, remembering how the week began. “We had a goal for it to be a family project. That time was really when our industry had begun to transition into hiring professionals.”
All through the week, Sweet And Innocent battled in a tough Superhorse race with Whims Niner Baby, who specialized in English events, and Reprise Bar, who competed in similar events to Sweet. And it was a race much-publicized by the Oklahoma City media. As a result, the coliseum at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds was packed with spectators. Actually, it was more than packed.
“It was packed-packed-packed,” Jackie recalls. “Once the city figured out they had a local person they could cheer for, I was the one they were cheering for. It was un-flipping-believable. With Sweet And Innocent, I could walk in the pen, and they would start screaming.”
“Great Rides: Sweet And Innocent,” featured in the August edition of The American Quarter Horse Journal, relives Sweet And Innocent’s whirlwind ride to legendary status. Turn to Page 104 in the August Journal to find out how Sweet And Innocent overcame an almost sidelining injury to take the 1982 Superhorse crown … and the heart of the crowd.
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