The Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame will once again honor horses and people that have enriched the tradition of horse racing in Texas on November 16 at Retama Park. The 13th annual Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame Gala will be held before and during the races starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, November 16. The gala includes valet parking, cocktails, a gourmet buffet dinner, induction of the honorees, silent auction and live Thoroughbred races.
All proceeds from the gala, which is open to the public, will benefit the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the horse racing industry and those individuals who have influenced and contributed to its growth and development. Proceeds from the 2012 gala benefitted the Texas A&M Foundation Equine Initiative and the Retama Park Racetrack Chaplaincy.
Serving as the emcee and auctioneer for the evening will be National Hall of Fame trainer and American horse racing legend Jack Van Berg, who became the first trainer to win 5,000 races when he saddled Art’s Chandelle to victory at Arlington Park on July 15, 1987. Van Berg was the leading trainer at Ak-Sar-Ben Racetrack in Omaha, Nebraska for 19 straight years. In 1976, he set a record for the most wins in a year with 496 and was also the nation’s leading trainer by earnings. He is best known for training Alysheba who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Super Derby in 1987, and the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the gala at $125 per person, please contact Sharolyn Grammer at (210) 651-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Generous sponsorship packages are available.
The 2013 inductees include Arthur A. Seeligson, Jr. (deceased), Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Tami Purcell Burklund and horses Hadif, Kontiki and Dashingly. The Joann Weber Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Jeff Coady of Coady Photography.
Arthur A. Seeligson, Jr. (deceased)
A San Antonio native, Arthur A. Seeligson, Jr. was an oilman, rancher and Thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder. Seeligson was involved in Thoroughbred horse racing for more than 40 years. He had stakes race winners both in the United States and Europe. He most notably bred and raced Avatar, winner of the 1975 Belmont Stakes and Santa Anita Derby, and second in the Kentucky Derby. He also raced Unconscious. For a time, Seeligson was a co-owner of Hialeah Park Race Track in Hialeah, Florida. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Dr. Glenn Blodgett
Blodgett is an award-winning veterinarian and long-time breeder of American Quarter horses. He began representing Texas as an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) director in 1991. In 2011, he was elevated to director-at-large, and in 2012 was elected to its Executive Committee—a five-person committee responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the board of directors. Blodgett has been a member of the AQHA Stud Book and Registration Committee since 1991. He served as chairman of the Stud Book Committee and served on the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 1995 to 2009. Blodgett received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Oklahoma State University and his degree in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University; he has since been recognized as an outstanding alumnus by both universities. In 1982, Blodgett became the resident veterinarian and manager of the horse division at the 6666 Ranch, Guthrie, Texas. During his tenure at the 6666, the ranch has become the AQHA All-Time Leading Breeder of Performance Horses and Race Money-Earners and Winners; in 1993 it won the AQHA Best Remuda Award. The ranch’s foundation stallions included Joe Hancock, Hollywood Gold, Grey Badger II and Cee Bars. Blodgett also was the recipient of the 2011 AQHA Racing Council Special Recognition Award.
Tami Purcell Burklund
During her stellar career as a Quarter Horse jockey, Burklund has ridden more than 9,475 horses and won on 2,143 of them. She has a total of 87 stakes wins, including the prestigious All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs—the richest Quarter Horse race for 2-year-olds in North America; she remains the only woman rider to win that race. She won the Mildred N. Vessels Award for Special Achievement in American Quarter Horse Racing. Burklund is a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Qualifier and recipient of the WNFR Rising Star Award. She’s twice won Reno, NV; won Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming; and is a Copenhagen/Skoal Series and Dodge Truck winner. Burkland is now touring the nation teaching U.S. barrel racers.
Prominent southwest sire Hadif was bred and foaled at Alice Chandler’s Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington. The bay son of Clever Trick and Ciao (the daughter of Silent Screen), Hadif was purchased by Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Co. for $200,000 at the 1987 Keeneland September yearling sale. Hadif began his racing career in England, where he won three races at two, including the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes. Back in the United States and running for Tommy Skiffington at age four and five, he won the Nearctic Stakes Handicap (Can-I) and the Phoenix Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Keeneland. He retired with a record of eight wins from 34 lifetime starts, earning $400,670. In 1991 Hadif was purchased by Dorothy Scharbauer and was sent to Dorothy and her husband Clarence’s Oklahoma Stud Ranch, near Purcell, to begin his stud career. After one season he was moved to the Scharbauers’ newly established Valor Farm. From his first crop of only 18 foals, he sired three stakes winners, including Texas champion 2-year-old Hadif One. Hadif was Texas’ leading first crop sire for 1995; during his career he sired 22 stakes winners and 30 other black-type horses and had earners of more than $12,500,000. In addition to Hadif One, Hadif sired three other Texas champions: Louetta and Final Trick (champion 2-year-old fillies) and champion older mare Fleeta Dif. His leading money earner was Sataniste ($404,494; 22 wins from 77 outs). Hadif was known for siring extremely fast and precocious runners. He was perennially among the leading sires in Texas. He is No. 10 on the list of the top 50 Texas sires by lifetime progeny earnings and the only one of the 10 that did not start his career in Kentucky or Florida.
Named U.S. National Champion Racehorse and a member of the Arabian Horse Trust Hall of Fame, Kontiki was a racing legend and the most significant sire in the foundation racing pedigrees in America. He established an unmatched dynasty in foundation American racing bloodlines before tragically dying at age 10 of colic. Beaten only once, Kontiki was such an exceptional racehorse that he was honored by the Thoroughbred Jockey Club as the 59th entry in the prestigious list of “100 All Time Greatest Racehorses of the World-Regardless of Breed,” along with Man O-War, Native Dancer, Kelso, Secretariat and John Henry. Kontiki sired just 23 registered purebred, yet all but two of them foaled in 1972 and 1973. Sixteen of these were daughters, 14 of which produced race winners, meaning a remarkable percentage of 87% of his daughters produced race winners. Even more remarkable: 10 of his daughters produced stakes winners.
The 1979 mare Dashingly won $1.754 million on the track during her Quarter Horse racing career, making her one of the richest mares in AQHA history and one of the few racing millionaires who earned that much money without winning the All American Futurity. During her race career, the sorrel mare was owned first by then-15-year-old Windi Phillips and later by J.E. Jumonville Jr. The mare was trained by American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Bubba Cascio. At the time of her death, she was owned by J. Baxter Brinkmann of Dallas. She was the 1981 AQHA racing champion 2-year-old filly. In 1982, she became a Superior racehorse, and in 1983 – her best year of racing – she was an AQHA Supreme racehorse (an award recognizing American Quarter horses that earn $500,000 or more, win two or more open Grade 1 stakes and at least 10 races); the AQHA Racing Champion and world champion racing American Quarter Horse. In 2014 she will enter the 2014 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.
The Joann Weber Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to Jeff Coady of Coady Photography. Celebrating 50 years in the horse racing industry, Coady Photography is the leading provider of winner’s circle photography in North America, serving as the track photographers for the following racing tracks: Arapahoe Park, Colonial Downs, Delta Downs, The Downs at Albuquerque, Hialeah Park, Indiana Downs, Keeneland, Oaklawn Park, Prairie Meadows, Presque Isle Downs, Retama Park, Rillito Park, Sam Houston Park, SunRay Park, Sunland Park, Turf Paradise, Will Rogers Downs, Yavapai Downs and Zia Park.