Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2016
A passion for horses, unfailing honesty and a dry sense of humor distinguished breeder Paul Curtner.
From an early age, the son of a grocer enjoyed riding and trading horses. He was in the oil business, but showed the stallion Town Crier to 50 grand championships, among other honors.
At an E. Paul Waggoner horse sale, Paul wanted to buy a Blackburn mare. When the first mare came in, she had a foal on her side; and he was about 5 months old. Paul bid and got her.
Paul wanted the mare, Pretty Rosalie, but wasn’t impressed with her long-haired colt with the scours; but Pine Johnson told Paul that he should hang onto the colt to see what happened.
Needing a registered name, Paul went with Poco Pine to pay tribute to both the colt’s sire, Poco Bueno, and to Pine Johnson.
Paul went on to earn 46 grand championships and seven reserve grand championships in AQHA competition with Poco Pine, who also earned points in cutting and western pleasure before Paul retired the stallion to the breeding barn.
Poco Pine’s foals earned more than 7,000 points in the performance arena in all three divisions and more than 3,000 points at halter in the 1960s and early 1970s.
As Poco Pine entered his late teens, Paul began grooming the horse’s successor, his homebred stallion Zippo Pat Bars, to cross on Poco Pine daughters.
With his three stallions – Town Crier, Poco Pine and Zippo Pat Bars – Paul bred the earners of 2,438.5 halter points and 10,311.5 performance points. Among the top 20 of breeders of open performance point-earners, his horses earned 150 Registers of Merit, and 29 became Champions, putting him in the top 10 of all-time breeders of AQHA Champions.
Paul loved having a pasture full of fat, healthy broodmares and was always eager to learn the newest techniques, from artificial insemination to a better way to groom a horse’s tail.
He died October 4, 2003, at age 87, still talking about the next foal crop.