Hugh Bennett -- this photo was taken when he was about 75 years old at the old Penrose Stadium Arena behind the Broadmore Hotel. He entered most heading and heeling AQHA events as long as he could get on a horse. He had a huge, pleasant smile and everyone liked him. He was an AQHA President in 1964, an AQHA judge and a major landowner in El Paso County, east of Colorado Springs -- probably about 15,000 acres just beyond the current city limits. Although he thought he was in the cattle and horse business, he was really in the land business. (Horses force people to buy land -- land becomes so valuable it pays for their horse habit.)
Hugh sold me my first horse. She was a bay filly by Barney Whiskers by old Barney Owens. Hugh had no kids so he was soft toward kids like me. It was about 1956 and my Bennett filly cost $300. Her dam was Josie Joe by Joe Barrett. I registered and named her after myself, like most children -- "Darol Jo." She turned out pretty high strung and no pleasure to ride. In fact I was ashamed of her conduct often. With that lesson learned -- I decided to name all registered stock after their parents. It was their parents fault as to whatever good or bad they might become. Never another "Darol" anything of record.
Hugh showed horses like a first grader leading a dog. He just smiled at a judge and the horse walked along behind. He was so well thought of he generally won the few shows he entered. Miss Whiskers won Champion at Fort Worth and Denver. She was the best of his herd. He cut a deal with Wiescamp to breed her to Skippers King and raised Skip Whiskers in 1959, who Hugh showed to Grand Champion at Denver, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Fort Worth. Somehow Wiescamp cut a deal and bought her from Hugh. He wanted all the good ones.
Once Hugh was judging a show and a lady was having control problems -- disrupting the whole show. Hugh politely ask for the shank, snapped the horse around a little, said a few words to him, then gave him a kick in the stomach that almost raised the horse off the ground. As the horse stood there like a ruptured duck, Hugh handed the shank back and said, "He will be okay now."
Hugh had several registered brands and one was Lazy Y J. Hugh was very likeable. His wife Josie was a spit-fire, just the opposite. Most felt Josie kept the books and made most of the high level decisions and Hugh pretty much did the labor. Many think the Y J stands for a term he often used, "Yesss -- Josie."
Hugh was old school. He never looked at a horse handled by a lady, except with his Stetson removed. Polite all the way.
Author: Darol Dickinson