Mr. H. Z.’s pedigree combined the best Thoroughbred bloodlines form Europe, Australia and the United States. With successful Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse siblings, he had strong ties to both breeds. Mr. H. Z. was a stakes winner and track record setter. His get were successful on the track as well. Most notably, one of his daughters produced Precious Speck, a ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee. Although he does not have many direct decedents, Mr. H. Z.’s accomplishments and his family’s achievements are worth recognizing.
Mr. H. Z. was foaled on April 1st, 1962 in Arizona. He was bred by Joe R. Bassett. He was by Star Realm II, a black-type stakes winner from Australia. Star Realm II was imported to the United States where he stood to Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse mares. Mr. H. Z.’s dam, Bar Velvet, also produced offspring of both breeds. Bar Velvet was by the immortal stallion Three Bars. Although she was a Thoroughbred, Bar Velvet placed in stakes races against Quarter Horses and even earned an AQHA Register of Merit.
Bar Velvet was an excellent producer. Her Thoroughbred offspring were Spotted Velvet, Hutchie Cutchie, Velvet Bars, Velvet Gal, Sir Velvet, Velvet Kirsty and Valiant Velvet. Velvet Bars, a full-brother to Mr. H. Z., won the Arizona Breeders’ Futurity. Spotted Velvet produced Spotted Wayne, a stakes winner who later sired Ms Wayne Page, a WNFR mount of barrel racer Rachael Myllymaki. Bar Velvet was also the dam of Quarter Horse racehorses Velvet Girl, Velvet Glove, Mesquite Bean and Burnt Velvet. Out of all her foals, both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse, Mr. H. Z. was the fastest.
Mr. H. Z. was a lankier type. Even so, he had a lovely neck and a strong back. His shoulders and hips were nicely balanced which likely aided his speed. As a two-year-old, Mr. H. Z. won three of four starts. He set a new track record at Rillito for 4 furlongs in the Turquoise Futurity, a race which he won by 10 lengths. He did not win a race at age three. At age four, he won one race at Ruidoso and posted the fastest time of the entire race meet for 5 ½ furlongs. In total, he made 11 starts, won 4 races, and earned $4,447 on the track, the equivalent of about $40,000 today.
Although his race record was average at best, Mr. H. Z.’s speed generated interest from breeders. He stood stud at JJ Farms in Perry, Oklahoma. His most successful son was Mr. Star Chipper, a Thoroughbred colt out of Pretty Chipper, by Royal Note. Mr. Star Chipper won 10 of 38 starts, including the John Hathaway Memorial at Coeur D’alene in Idaho. In 1980, Mr. Star Chipper set a new track record at Billings for 5 furlongs in 0:57.40. Other successful Thoroughbred starters by Mr. H. Z. included Electric Lady, Star Porter, Ho Chi’s Star, Star Arrow and Malay Bay. Most of his Thoroughbred starters raced against Quarter Horse company as well. His most successful Quarter Horse starters included Realm Rogue and Rocket Realm.
Mr. H. Z.’s daughters produced some ROM earners on the track. Precious Rhythm, a Quarter Horse mare by Mr. H. Z. and out of Ben Jo Manor, by Mystic Manor, produced Precious Speck, the most famous performer out of a Mr. H. Z. mare. Precious Speck, who was affectionately known as “Walt,” was owned and ridden by Travis Tryan. Walt was voted the AQHA/PRCA Team Roping Heading Horse of the Year four times. He competed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo eleven times with three different cowboys. Travis described Walt as the greatest horse that ever lived. He was the first team roping horse to be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
In total, Mr. H. Z. sired 100 registered Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse foals from 22 foal crops. Those foals included 54 starts, 25 winners, 8 ROM earners, 2 stakes finalists and 1 stakes winner. While many performance horses can trace their lineage back to his dam and many more to his dam sire, Mr. H. Z. has very few direct descendants. Nevertheless, his contributions to the western industry are significant and worth remembering.
Sources: Equineline, Equibase, The Quarter Horse Journal, PRCA ProRodeo