American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Class of 2024

This year’s Hall of Fame class includes three horses and three men.

Induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is the highest honor be- stowed by the American Quarter Horse Foundation. This year, we will induct three horses and three men into the Class of 2024: Frenchmans Guy, Blue Valentine, Shining Spark, Dr. Jim Heird, J.D. Yates and Paul Jones.

Frenchmans Guy
Foaled in 1987, Frenchmans Guy quickly made his mark in the American Quarter Horse world. While his performance record predates any modern-day record- keeping system, his progeny and grand progeny have been at the top of the charts for the past three decades. By Sun Frost and out of Frenchmans Lady by Laughing Boy, Frenchmans Guy sired 1,969 American Quarter Horse foals that have earned more than $13 million and 2,528 AQHA points, mostly in barrel racing. His top- three leading progeny are Morning Traffic ($482,697 LTE), Teasin Dat Guy ($426,052 LTE) and Bring It On Guys ($323,718 LTE).

Blue Valentine
In the 1950s and ’60s, it would have been hard to predict the effect that Blue Valentine, a hardy blue roan Joe Hancock-bred ranch stallion, would have on the American Quarter Horse industry. But hindsight being what it is, we know that even though Blue Valentine only sired 210 registered American Quarter Horses, his influence is still seen in the breed nearly 70 years later. “Blue” passed on his speed, good bone, gentle disposition, longevity and cow savvy. Few horses have made such an impact that their reputation outlives them by more than a few generations.



Shining Spark
His progeny earned more than 39,000 AQHA points, 40 AQHA world championships and more than $10 million, mostly
in National Reined Cow Horse and National Reining Horse Association competition. Shining Spark had the spark that ignited a bloodline that set new standards in value. By Genuine Doc and out of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Diamonds Sparkle, Shining Spark was NRCHA’s all-time leading sire from 2003 to 2020, and that association’s first $3 million sire. Of his 1,411 American Quarter Horse foals, Shining Spark’s top- three foals by earnings are Shining N Sassy ($259,262 LTE), Shine By The Bay ($178,699 LTE) and A Shiner Named Sioux ($161,891 LTE). This is his third equine industry hall of fame induction.

Dr. Jim Heird
Dr. Jim Heird grew up in East Tennessee, the son of a tobacco farmer, who, up into the 1960s, still plowed his fields with mules. But it was horses, not mules, that inspired Jim. He was 13 when he saw his first American Quarter Horse. That love of horses charted the course of Jim’s career in academia, but also in the American Quarter Horse industry. He was an AQHA director for Colorado in 2009 and became a director for Texas in 2011. He has served on the judges, international and show committees, show council and AQHA Animal Welfare Commission; and was the chairman of the judges committee, 1989-1991; show committee, 2008-2010; international committee, 2013-2015; show council, 2008-2011; and commissioner of the Animal Welfare Commission, 2011-2015. He was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2015 and served as AQHA president in 2018.

J.D. Yates
J. D. Yates holds the distinction as the youngest man in history to qualify for the prestigious National Finals Rodeo at the age of 15. He has won more than $1.6 million in professional rodeo, qualified for the NFR 21 times, the National Finals Steer Roping 11 times, has 47 AQHA world championships under his belt and has had a hand in the making of several AQHA Superhorses. One has to wonder what J. D.’s favorite win has been. “The next one,” he says every single time he’s asked. Roping is a sport that was shared with J. D. by his dad, Dick, and now J. D. is sharing it with his son, Trey, who has qualified for the NFR three times. Success is in this family’s genes.

Paul Jones
Paul Jones, the only racing trainer to win 14-straight AQHA champion racing trainer titles, has 4,436 wins and 460 stakes wins, and his horses have won more than $89 million. His career highlights include winning the All American Futurity three times (Teller Cartel, No Secrets Here and Runnning Brook Gal), the Champion of Champions six times (Whosleavingwho, The Down Side, Cash For Kas, Wave Carver, Good Reason SA and Rylees Boy) and the Los Al Two Million two times (A Reagal Choice and Good Reason SA). “Paul has dominated many racing categories, but his main goal is to accomplish what is best for his owners and his horses,” says his wife, Marin Jones. “He knows his horses intimately, without even looking at their name tags.”

Make plans to join us to celebrate the Class of 2024 at the 2024 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Induction & Reunion Celebration September 6-7 in Amarillo, Texas.