Marvin Barnes

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017

Without Marvin Barnes, the American Quarter Horse, and the whole sport and industry of racing the fastest horses on earth, would not be what it is today.

Without the line of horses he established on the ranch that he and wife Lela built at Ada, Oklahoma, the all-time richest Quarter Horse would not be Ochoa, world champion Stolis Winner would never have won the All American Futurity (G1), One Famous Eagle would never have trounced rivals on the track before becoming a record-breaking freshman sire, world champion Blues Girl Too would not be the highest-earning distaffer, champion Heartswideopen would be closed.

 The Barnes bred their first Quarter Horse in 1960 and bred at least one Quarter Horse almost every year from 1966 through 2010. In more than half a century of breeding horses, they totaled 250 named Quarter Horses. Of those, 186 went to post, earning more than $4.7 million, and 127 returning as winners. Top Bug, Top Ladybug and Mr Master Bug were champions, 15 others were stakes winners.

Lady Bug’s Moon himself was the product of a Hall of Fame mare, as were the vast majority of the Barnes-breds, descendants of the couple’s first Hall of Fame horse: FL Lady Bug, a sorrel mare by Sergeant foaled in 1945 out of Yeager’s Lady JA.

Bred to Top Deck (TB), FL Lady Bug became the dam of Top Ladybug, who won the 1966 Rainbow Futurity and was third in champion Go Dick Go’s All American; to Mr Bar None, she produced Barne’s Ladybug, who in 1967 was third in world champion Laico Bird’s All American; and to Top Moon, who brought her Lady Bug’s Moon, who won the 1968 Kansas Futurity and was second in Three Oh’s All American.

Mr Master Bug and Miss Squaw Hand came along in 1980 and ran one-two in the ’82 All American, making Marvin Barnes the only breeder-owner to ever have homebreds finish first and second in the same running of Quarter Horse racing’s marquee event.

The breeding program established by Marvin Barnes transformed the entire American Quarter Horse racing industry. Barnes was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017.