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AMARILLO, Texas — Sandy Arledge, who has influenced a generation of horsepeople for decades and brought leadership to regional and national associations alike, is one of nine 2021 inductees into the prestigious American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame. Arledge heads a quartet of people, while five horses also will enter the AQHA Hall.

Sandy Arledge (AQHA photo)

An AQHA past president, Arledge’s long history with horses ranges from her service as an AQHA director since 1997 director emeritus since 2011, to owning and operating Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses. The Encinitas resident’s commitment to the American Quarter Horse has been evident across her career. She has served on the membership, shows and professional horsemen, judges, stud book and registration, and Hall of Fame selection committees. Arledge also served on the nominations and credentials committee and served as the committee’s chairwoman in 2010. She has bred and trained numerous AQHA world champions and reserve world champions, in addition to being named the 2010 AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year. She was inducted into the Pacific Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2015. Arledge was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2011 and served as the Association’s president in 2016.

Joining Arledge on the 2021 inductee list will be the late John Andreini, another Californian who became involved in the horse industry in 1965 when he was invited to a trail ride. In his own name, Andreini raced the earners of more than $2.1 million, plus more in partnership, including champion Jumping Tac Flash ($147,065). He bred the earners of more than $6.9 million, including, among others, top runners like Volcom ($430,433) and Deefirst ($319,029) and AQHA Dam of Distinction Jusjumpin. Andreini was the founder, chairman and CEO of Andreini & Co., an insurance brokerage he established in 1951 in California. He served the racing industry in many capacities, including as a leader in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and a partner in entities such as the Los Alamitos Equine Sale and Ruidoso Downs. After his death in 2018, a special racing recognition award, the John Andreini Special Recognition Award, was renamed in his honor.

Other people inducted in this class will be James Carter, who spent the 1940s on a ranch in Shaville, Ore., and bred Moon Deck to his band of Barred and Midnight Jr mares to create horses that could run faster and further, including Top Moon. He eventually left the cattle business to focus on raising fast horses and moved to Clovis, where he was a leading trainer on California tracks while running only horses he bred and raised. Many of Carter’s horses are still found in racing pedigrees today, including 2008 champion racing 3-year-old Heartswideopen who traces through her dam, Dashing Phoebe, to Top Moon.of Oregon.

Trainer and judge Walter Hughes of Maryland also will be inducted into the AQHA Hall. Hughes and wife Nancy saw themselves as ambassadors for AQHA and for the American Quarter Horse breed. Walter served as an AQHA director from 1971 until 1995, serving on the youth, membership, Hall of Fame and judges committees. He also served as chairman of the AQHA Judges Committee.

The horses being inducted nto the AQHA Hall will be Topsail Whiz, one of the all-time great reining horses who was the first stallion in the sport of reining to break the $12 million mark; Easter King, a cutting horse who is most prominent today in the pedgrees of reining horses – especially through his grandson, the great Hollywood Dun It; Big Step, best known in Western performance horse circles as the maternal great-grandsire of $12-million sire Wimpys Little Step; Sun Frost, a 1979 palomino stallion by Doc’s Jack Frost out of the Driftwood Ike mare Prissy Cline; Impressive, a stallion whose name synonymous with halter horses and who was bred by Perry Cotton of Pleasanton; and Corona Cartel, a 1994 bay stallion whose , at the time of his death in 2019, had 1,862 foals registered from 21 crops, and progeny earnings of more than $62.8 million.

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