1951 Sorrel AQHA Stallion
Three Bars xx X Frontera Sugar By Rey
Inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1994
Sugar Bars was not a horse that blazed a trail of glory on the racetrack or in a show ring. As a matter of fact, the stallion, foaled in 1951, was less than stellar - except as a sire of truly great American Quarter Horses.
The horse himself descended from an impressive sire, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Three Bars (TB), inducted in 1989. Three Bars was not considered anything to write home about at the time of his son's birth, and two years later, Sugar Bars was one of his first get to make it to the track. Owner and breeder George Wood of El Paso, Texas, leased him to AQHA Past President and Hall of Fame member Ken Fratis for race training.
Sugar Bars earned only $480 in his first race at Los Alamitos. He won just two more outs before he injured himself by breaking away from a pony horse and running through a wire fence during a morning workout. The horse's recovery and return to the track were disappointing to Wood, and he was sold to California's Roy Hittson. His new owner kept him on the track, but it was obvious he was never going to make a running name for himself. However, he did vindicate himself to some degree in his last race just after Christmas in 1954. Sugar Bars clocked a AAA time that equaled a time posted by the acclaimed Moon Deck for the year.
Even though Sugar Bars was not gaining much attention for his athletic accomplishments, he was noticed by Bud Warren, a 1989 Hall of Fame member and the 15th President of AQHA.
Warren thought the two-year-old stallion was "pure quality from head to tail." He was looking for a Three Bars stud, but none of the other prospects he had seen suited his criteria. In 1955, he got a call informing him Hittson needed to raise some quick cash and was willing to part with the stud for $2,500. That marked the end of Sugar Bars' racing career, and he shortly was on his way to a new home in Oklahoma.
Warren tested the horse in the show ring, but with a lackluster finish, he took Sugar Bars back to the breeding barn, where his true fame waited. Crossed on the breeder's Leo mares, Sugar Bars began churning out stakes winners. Twelve of his AAA get would gain AQHA Championships, and he sired a total of 36 AQHA Champions during his career as a stud.
Warren sold Sugar Bars to Sid Huntley and Dean Parker of Madera, California, in 1968. It was a tough decision for him, but most of his broodmares were now Sugar Bars-Leo crosses, and he needed an outcross.
When Sugar Bars died in 1972, he had 867 registered get. He was listed as the leading sire of AAA-AQHA Champions and the leading broodmare sire of Register of Merit producers.
Taken from the March 1994 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal