Rocket Bar TB - was a son of Three Bars TB out of Golden Rocket TB. He was born in 1951. He was raced 36 times winning 16 including the Phoenix Gold Cup twice and earned an AQHA ROM. Rocket Bar sired AQHA Supreme Champion Fire Rocket, runners He Rocket, Sugar Rocket, Rocket Wrangler, Osage Rocket, Mr. Tinky Bar and Top Rockette.
Every year during the sixties and early seventies I spent 4 or 5 weeks in California. I would start in the south end of the state in April when the horses had new slick hair and zig zag up the state finalizing the appointed photo shoots in Lake county or Redmond. For the first few years I had heard talk of Rocket Bar but the owners had never contacted me about photos. Rocket Bar bred a lot of great mares and there was talk. He was assumed to be Three Bar's heir of speed. The photos being used of him showed his knees buckling forward so bad even an amateur horse person would notice something wasn't right. The Kaufmans always ran side view traditional TB photos. I considered him near impossible to get something impressive from the photos I had seen.
The day I arrived at George Kaufmans on Crows Landing Rd, in Modesto, CA, I was pleasantly surprised that he was a big striking TB with the Three Bars look, but slightly larger/taller. When a horse had buck knees I normally considered the angle not showing the buckle would be from directly behind the bow or in front. So we posed him just like a show horse and amazingly he was so striking he worked at every direction. I found his knees moved with a tremble and occasionally they were less bucked than other times. I had to work and get shots when he was placing weight in such a way to improve the silhouette.
This rear was my favorite. Very few Thoroughbreds have ever taken a rear shot like this. The AQHA used my side view for the AQHA Hall of Fame photo. If I can find it I will show you the front and the head portrait.
Author: Darol Dickinson