The Bold and Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse

The Bold and the Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse” was a previous exhibit that featured twelve women who made a tremendous impact on the American Quarter Horse – as an association and a breed.  Some were breeders, some were owners and competitors, and others were chroniclers and artists who recorded not only history but life at the time.  All were leaders and visionaries, and each left their mark on the American Quarter Horse.  Their efforts opened the doors to others and made it possible for the lifestyle to exist in the industry.

The women included in the exhibit were by no means the only trailblazers.  There are many unsung heroes whose dreams and sacrifices created the American Quarter Horse of today. Sharon Ralls Lemon, an American author, said:

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.”

Her quote defines the focus of “The Bold and the Beautiful: Trailblazing Women of the American Quarter Horse” exhibit.  These visionary women embody the elements of grace, beauty, spirit and fire.

Click here to purchase this exhibit's companion book.


    Nancy Dear

    To most little girls having a horse is only a dream, but to Nancy Dear it was a way of life.  A Montana native, Nancy grew up on the back of a horse and would be forever comfortable there.


    Carol Harris

    Carol Harris was born in New Jersey in 1923, and by 1930, all of her childhood interests were focused on horses and dogs.  She dedicated her life to breeding, training, showing and loving them.


    Ginger Hyland

    Virginia E. “Ginger” Hyland made AQHA history when, in 1997, she became the American Quarter Horse Association’s first woman president.

  • Mildred Janowitz

    Mildred Janowitz may have been small in stature, but she was a giant in spirit, with a steely determination to do what she felt was right for the American Quarter Horse.

  • Suzanne Jones

    A woman who wore many hats, Suzanne Jones was involved in nearly every aspect of the horse industry – from breeding to showing to riding in international competition and more.

  • Anne Marion

    For a ranch and family that has been around since the open-range days in Texas, Anne Marion and the 6666 Ranches are still in the forefront of the industry.

  • Helen Michaelis

    If not for Helen Michaelis’ strict adherence to bloodline standards as the second secretary of the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse breed might have evolved to nothing more than the equine industry’s best loved mutt.

  • Betty Nix

    Betty Nix defied the odds, and June 30, 1992 marked the end of 40 devoted years of her service as AQHA’s Administrative Assistant.

  • Harriett Peckham

    A woman with an eye for horses, Harriett Peckham devoted her life to improving the American Quarter Horse.  She operated one of the finest operations in the Quarter Horse industry.

  • Carol Rose

    All Carol Rose wanted to do in the American Quarter Horse business was make a difference.  Based on the foals she’s raised and the stallions she’s provided the industry, she has definitely accomplished that feat.

  • Mrs. Fisher E. Simmons

    Mrs. Fisher E. Simmons, better known as “Miss Polly,” played a major role in the founding of Delta Downs.  She devoted so much of her energy to racing at Delta Downs that a room and a race – the “Miss Polly Handicap” – was named in her honor.

  • Anne Burnett Tandy

    Miss Anne was the nickname of Anne Burnett Tandy, a Texas heiress, rancher and philanthropist who made a name for herself in what was then primarily a man’s world.  They say the American Quarter Horse Association was born in Miss Anne’s living room in 1940.