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Travel Bargain destination in Texas

Horse Lovers Mecca In Amarillo

Quarter Horse Museum and Hoall of Fame AmarilloFor a brief moment as you drive along Interstate 40 across the Texas Panhandle in Amarillo, it seems that wild horses are racing along with you. It is an illusion, and the horse aren’t wild mustangs but, an illustration on the wall of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. Outside the front door you’ll discover beautiful bronze statues of famous horse. Inside you’ll have a chance to experience a piece of the west and a place for horse lovers of all ages to learn more about the breed which has carried cowboys across the range, wrangled rodeos and raced into legend.

Grand Hall Quarter Horse Museum photoThe quarter horse is the most popular breed in America, gaining its name from its speed in the quarter mile. Some quarter horses have been clocked at up to 55 miles an hour. Defined by its short distance sprinting ability, a short refined head, wide chest and powerful, round hindquarters, the quarter horse defined the American west, well suited to the speedy maneuvers of the working cow horse, built for reining and cutting. The Quarter Horse is the favorite of rodeo and equestrian events from barrel racing and calf roping to western riding and dressage. The Quarter Horse gets its American appendage because it originated in Colonial America, traced back to a horse named Janus born in England, transported to the Virginia colony in 1756. Other horses from the 18th century with names like Shiloh and Old Billy were mixes of English thoroughbreds and the Spanish breeds brought to the American continent by the explorers and conquistadors.

American Quarter Horse Story photoThe American Quarter Horse Association was first formed in 1940 dedicated to the preservation, advancement and record-keeping of the breed. The idea of a hall of fame began with the first human inductee in 1982 and the first horse in 1989. An exhibition space was first built in 1991 as the American Quarter Horse Heritage Center, renovated and renamed with additional exhibits in 2007. Step in to the Grand Hall and the towering high stone parquet walls like a canyon or perhaps more a temple, an equine Valhalla, with the bronze inlay of the proud Quarter Horse at the end seems hushed and solemn as a house of worship. A wall lined with horseman, the Grand Hall showcases the legends of American Quarter Horse history, featuring the people who have paved the way for the breed, and the horses that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Look to the floor and follow the ancestral bloodlines of the breed to its earliest progenators.

Mr Ed and the Horse Doctor photoEntering the museum beyond the hall, the “Stables” educational gallery offers a varity of interactive exhibits about all things horses. Educational for kids and adults. Look “inside” the inner workings of a horse with the x-ray exhibit, discover the inside of a replica working stable, explore the difference between the English riding style and Western to decide, cowboy or derby, by sitting astride a choice of saddle. Check out the horse Docf and the talking horse. Follow the historical timeline of the quarter horse hall of fame, through interactive exhibits of all things horses. Glass cases house artifacts, clothing, saddles and tack, as well as photos and interesting pieces of history of the hall’s more famous inductees. Check out the real Chuck Wagon in a place of honor. The Champions Gallery, an intimate theater, features a multimedia presentation of the American Quarter Horse World Championship Show and Horse Racing action that made for champions. The Kenneth Banks Theater and Club Room displays artwork of the broad variety of American Quarter Horses with many paintings by well-known western artist Orren Mixer.

Visiting the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum

Belt Buckle Souvenirs photoThe Hall of Fame and Museum is located on I40 in Amarillo at Quarter Horse Drive (exit 72a). Open hours are Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for Seniors (age 55 and up), $2 for Youth (6-18) and Chindren under 5 and association members free. The Quarter Horse Outfitters gift shop offers a wide variety of horse and western themed souvenirs and clothing. © Bargain Travel West

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