In a formal ceremony at the Fort Worth Hilton in October, as part of the 2012 American Paint Horse Association's (APHA) annual convention, Jo-An (Soso) Barnett of Delta and her American Paint Horse Sabru Indio, a 1962 sorrel overo stallion, were inducted into the American Paint Horse Association's Hall of Fame. Sired by Jo Jo and out of Unknown, Sabru Indio was bred by Robin Greg of Deming, N.M.
The stallion was APHA registration No. 1,200.
The Hall of Fame was created this year in honor of APHA's 50th anniversary to celebrate the horses and people who laid its foundation for success. Fifty members — 25 people and 25 horses — were selected as the Hall of Fame's first class, consisting of only those very first pioneer humans and horses who either contributed directly to the founding of the association or made significant contributions to its early growth.
Barnett was raised with show horses in Fresno, Calif. Mentored as a teenager by a number of legendary horsemen, she was an accomplished show-ring exhibitor by the time she became interested in Paint Horses in 1964. Late that year, she purchased future national champion Cimmaron Badger and four overo mares from Rebecca Tyler. This quintet formed the nucleus of a program that would eventually include such influential stallions as Skip Hi, Hy Diamond Boy, Sabru Indio and Painted Shoshone.
A ground-floor supporter of both the APSHA and the California Paint Horse Association, Barnett's early-day contributions to the industry as a breeder, exhibitor and promoter were both monumental and long-lasting.
Sold as a yearling to W.M. Irving Jr. of Irving, Texas, "Sabru" earned dual honors as the 1965 National Champion 3-Year-Old Stallion and the National Champion Western Pleasure Horse. The stallion's first foal crop hit the ground in 1968. Its most accomplished performer was Bueno Indio, an 11-time national titleholder.
In the mid-1970s, Sabru Indio changed hands twice: first to fellow inductee Jo-an (Soso) Rosser of Marysville, Calif., and then to Roger Henley of Davis, Calif. As a West Coast sire, Sabru was represented by a host of top performers. In the spring of 1987, the 25-year-old stallion broke a front leg and was euthanized.
The 50 inductees were chosen from a large field of candidates by a five-member Hall of Fame selection committee. Serving on the selection committee were: former APHA president Dr. John Hertner, chairman; former APHA executive secretary Ed Roberts; former APHA staff member Wanda Williams; former APHA president Diane Paris; and former Paint Horse Journal features editor Frank Holmes.
"This is an amazing start to what will become a first-class Hall of Fame," APHA executive director Billy Smith said. "I can't think of a more challenging job than picking the inaugural class to the APHA Hall of Fame. The committee worked tirelessly."
About the American Paint Horse Association
The American Paint Horse Association is the world's second largest equine breed association. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its global mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members' experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves over 55,000 active youth and adult members around the world. For more information about the American Paint Horse Association, visit apha.com or connect with Paint Horse fans globally at facebook.com/americanpainthorse or on Twitter @APHANews and @WorldShow.