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American Road Horse and Pony Association Hall of Fame Inducts George Galbreath





     
                                  George Galbreath's grandsons Jim Tom and Brad Galbreath
                                      with KY State Fair Board member, William B. Tolle


GEORGE GALBREATH – "MR. ROAD HORSE MAN"


 
George Galbreath trained and showed road horses for over 30 years, starting at the age of 12 with a horse named Demon Todd, who was bought from Edwin Sims, an employer of George in later years.  Demon Todd was third and fourth his two times shown, but was the beginning of a long, successful career of showing road horses and ponies for George.

           

Early in his career, George was the only known trainer in the nation who trained road horses and ponies exclusively, with over 25 top road horses through the years.  One of his first major winners was Marine Abbey, whom he showed six times in one week at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, winning the Open Wagon and Stake, the Under Saddle and Speed classes, as well as the Open Bike, and third in the Bike Stake.

           

George was then sent two mares by the Armstrong Brothers of Shelbyville, Kentucky – Bay Patty and Val Volli – who won virtually every major competition they entered. 

           

One of his most memorable wins occurred with a powerful horse named Times Square, with whom he won the Kentucky County Fair Championship.

           

In 1968, George left his home in Maysville, KY, to train for Edwin Sims.  This was the only outside training position taken in his entire career, and it lasted for just a year.  However, during that time, the stable recorded over 80 blue ribbons, including the champions Defender, Pollyanna (one of his all-time favorites) and the road pony Edition’s Headliner.

           

Some of the best road ponies to ever hit the show ring were started, shown or sold under the Galbreath colors.  They include Hell’s A Poppin, two-time World’s Champion Stallion/Gelding Pony, Ticker Tape, Raven Banner, Mr. Clean, Jubilee’s Jet Flight, Belle Of The Ball, The Auctioneer, Tornado, Highway Patrol, and Tickle Me Pink.

 

George Galbreath touched the winning careers of many great road horses – Century Boy, Brown Bomber, Nan Eyre, Campaigner, Captain Easy, Beau Jester, Bomb’s Echo, Make Sail, Silver Express, My Sensation, Tiger Blaze, Darn Right, Stars And Stripes, Hello Dolly, and Sunday Saint, just to name a few.

 

George, or should we say “Mr. Road Horse Man,” was backed by his most loyal fan, his wife Joyce.

           

These are a few excerpts from an article that was written approximately a year and a half before George died of a heart attack from complications of diabetes, which he had most of his adult life.  Eight months later, in January 1981, his most loyal fan, his wife Joyce, died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage.  Most people did not realize that he went totally blind almost two years before he died; whether it was out of pride or privacy, he did not want sympathy or charity.  Although he never achieved his goal to be the trainer or owner of the World’s Champion Road Horse or Pony, his legacy lives on with his two grandsons.  Although neither has chosen to show horses, both have exhibited lambs and hogs and have won virtually every livestock award offered at various shows.

 

George and Joyce never lived to see their grandsons, but one can rest assured that their love of animals and competition has been implanted into these two young men.  Although George has been dead for almost 25 years, his memory lives on with the people he touched. 

 

The article mentioned above was written over 20 years ago by George and Joyce’s only child and greatest fan, Tom Galbreath, who only knew too well the things they tried to accomplish. 

 

(Editor's note: The above remarks were read on Thursday night at the World's Championship Horse Show for the induction of the late George Galbreath into the American Road Horse and Pony Association Hall of Fame.)

 

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