Shue Fly: Racing's Darling

Shue Fly's achievements on the track garnered her many fans.

Throughout most of the 1940s, Shue Fly was the biggest fish in a small but steadily growing pond -- the body known as the American Quarter Racing Association. The Tucson, Arizona-based group was the forerunner of today's AQHA racing arm. One of a trio of horses to win three world championships, it's unfortunate that one of her most-remembered races is one of the very few she ever lost. The was in 1947, when she was beaten by the King Ranch's record-holding 4-year-old Woven Web at Del Rio, Texas. Bred by Lloyd Miller of Chama, New Mexico, Shue Fly was by Cowboy and was out of the Booger Red mare Lady Luck. Foaled in 1937, Shue Fly spent most of her career as a match racer, first for Bob Burris of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and then for the Hepler brothers, who ranched in southern New Mexico.

Today's racing American Quarter Horses have the blood of many greats flowing through their veins. One of those greats is Three Bars (TB). To learn more about this influential sire, read our Three Bars (TB) Bloodline report.

Shue Fly was first bred in 1948, producing a number of foals that died at birth or a few months later, including one that drowned in a water trough. However, four of her foals survived, including three that won races: the mares Little Fly and La Mosquita, and the stallion Roy Charge, a son of Depth Charge (TB). But Shue fly is best remembered for what she did on the track. "I suspect Shue Fly was as fast a racehorse as I ever saw," declared Bob Denhardt, AQHA's first executive secretary and a charter member of the board of AQRA. "Generally, she just loped along with the pack until she saw the finish line and then shifted into high. This was the reason so many thought she should run longer distances. Apparently, she saw no reason to run fast until the end. This characteristic made true believers out of many who thought they could beat her next time. Shue Fly was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in March 2005.

Shue Fly wasn't the only racehorse with influential progeny. Read our Three Bars (TB) Bloodline report to see what Three Bars (TB) and his progeny accomplished on the track.

Shue Fly Facts

  • Shue Fly was named AQHA Champion Racing American Quarter Horse in 1941, 1942 and 1943.
  • In October 1946, Shue Fly set a new track record and a new world record in a stakes race at The Downs at Albuquerque. She went 440 yards in :22.300 seconds.
  • In 1941, 1942 and 1943, Shue Fly earned the title of AQHA Racing Champion Mare.

The history of racing American Quarter Horses is fascinating. You can learn more about it from the people who live the excitement every day. "The Story of American Quarter Horse Racing" DVD is packed full of stories from jockeys, trainers and owners, all sharing their love of Quarter Horse racing.

Sometimes, you just can't make it to every race. That's one of the many reasons we developed Q-Racing Video; you can watch live streaming video from many of your favorite tracks that feature American Quarter Horse racing, or even watch archived race footage. Check it out today!