Go Man Go
Year Inducted: 2010
Go Man Go has often been called the “Man o’War of Quarter Horses.” The colorful colt burst onto the scene in California in 1955. For his first race, he dumped his rider and ran around the track before outriders caught him. When his jockey remounted the legend began. Go Man Go won that race and all his races but one that season, culminating with a triumph over previously undefeated Bob’s Folly. His speed was unprecedented, although his erratic running style sometimes cost him. Broken and trained by African American Eldridge Strauss and ridden in his races by brothers William, Richard or Robert, Go Man Go drew huge crowds wherever he raced. He remains the only horse in AQHA history to be voted World Champion in three consecutive years.
Although bred in Texas by J.B. Ferguson, Go Man Go spent a major portion of his life owned by Oklahomans. A.B. Green, of Purcell, paid Ferguson a record price of $42,000 for the horse at the height of his racing career. Later, Oklahomans E.L. Gosselin, Joe L. Gary and his son Joe I. Gary all owned part of the horse. Because of disputes over partnerships and breeding rights, Go Man Go’s ownership was contested in a series of lawsuits which lasted for years.
From his first crop, Go Man Go was a tremendous success as a stallion. He was the star attraction at the lavish Briarwood Farm in Purcell, Oklahoma, and mare owners from coast to coast brought their best mares to him. Go Man Go sired numerous World Champions and his daughters were particularly great broodmares.
In the 1970s, legendary horsewoman Harriett Peckham gained ownership of Go Man Go and moved him to her famous Buena Suerte Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. In 1981, the 28-year-old stallion led the post parade of the All American Futurity at the track he once ruled, Ruidoso Downs. Led by Dr. Leonard Blach (co-owner of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird), Go Man Go arched his neck and pranced majestically at the head of the procession, acting for all the world as if he could win yet another race. It was his final public appearance. He died a few months later and he is buried beneath a beautiful marble monument at Buena Suerte which bears a simple message:
Go Man Go