Eternal Sun

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Eternal Sun
Eternal Sun and Harold Howard Postcard.jpg
Eternal Sun with his owner, Harold Howard
Breed Quarter Horse
Discipline Racing
Sire Eternal War
Grandsire Silver King
Dam Sierra Glitter
Maternal grandsire Diamond Villiant
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1958
Country United States
Color Sorrel
Breeder John L. Taylor
  • B.F. Phllips, Jr.
  • Harold Howard
12–2–1–1, AAA speed rating
Major wins
Los Alamitos Championship (twice)
Other awards
AQHA Racing Register of Merit
AQHA Champion
Michigan Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame
Last updated on: September 9, 2017.

Eternal Sun (1958–1984) was an American Quarter Horse foaled in 1958. He was a Quarter Horse race horse and an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) show horse who competed in cutting and halter classes. He earned numerous AQHA awards throughout his career, including an AQHA Championship. He was also a sire of 908 foals, many of whom are themselves AQHA award earners and race horses. He was inducted into the Michigan Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1989, later followed by his daughter, Eternal Linda. He died at the age of 26 in 1984 on Harold Howard's farm.


Eternal Sun was a 1958 sorrel stallion sired by Eternal War and out of Sierra Glitter by Silver King.[1] He was registered as an American Quarter Horse.[1] He had a white star on his forehead and a white sock on both hind legs.[2] John L. Taylor of Chino, California, bred Eternal Sun.[1]

Eternal Sun was an AQHA Champion and a Racing Register of Merit earner (speed index 95). The horse earned 41 Halter points as well as points in cutting with AQHA. In 1960, he was awarded the AQHA Racing Register of Merit. In 1964, Eternal Sun was an Open AQHA Champion. Eternal Sun was an AQHA Champion 13 times, an AQHA Grand Champion 7 times, and a Reserve Grand Champion 4 times.[3][1]


Racing career

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee B.F. Phillips, Jr., of Frisco, Texas, originally operated a cattle ranch, but decided in the late 1940s to liquidate his cattle business. Instead, he started a horse operation. A cutting show interested him so much that he started breeding and showing cow horses. In the early 1960s, he also started a stallion operation. In particular, he stood three stallions of his own, of which Eternal Sun was one.[4]

Phillips' Expectation Stud Farm consisted of several stallions. When Eternal Sun became old enough, he was prepared for a go at the track. In 1961, Eternal Sun joined the Phillips Ranch race string. As a 2- and 3-year-old, he was advertised lightly and earned a AAA rating.[5]

Phillips ran Eternal Sun in Quarter Horse horse racing for two years. Quarter Horse racing is different from Thoroughbred racing, in that distances are shorter. One sportswriter equated Quarter Horse racing to Olympic sprinting and Thoroughbred racing to Olympic distance running.[6] Eternal Sun's racing record is 12 starts in two years. He won two of his 12 races, placed second in one, and third in another. He earned a total of $1,676 in purse money. In 1960, Eternal Sun raced three times at the Los Alamitos Race Course, not placing in any of those races. In 1961, Eternal Sun raced at the Bay Meadows Racetrack (now defunct) and the Los Alamitos Race Course. At Bay Meadows he placed second in one of the maiden races. At Los Alamitos, he placed third in one of the allowance races, and he placed first two times in two other races.[7]

Eternal Sun's racing career was not exactly breaking any records no matter what perspective you viewed it from. However, as a conformation horse, he was already showing early evidence of the endowment his breeder had been sure he would possess.[5]

Show career and breeding

Phillips' interests changed again and he became interested in race horses.[4] In October of 1966, Phillips had a production sale where he sold his breeding stallions.[8] It was a three day affair, a gala like the John Taylor sale where he bought Eternal Sun. On October 18, the second day of the sale, Harold Howard of Remus, Michigan, bought Eternal Sun for $26,000, along with four mares.[9][10] Howard was a bona fide newcomer in the horse business.[9]

Harold Howard owned a strawberry farm in Remus, Michigan and plowed his land with draft horses. Always on the lookout for an "an eye-catching horse that could do it all", in 1966 he came across an ad in Quarter Horse Journal for a production sale at Phillips' ranch in Texas that included a photo of Eternal Sun standing with his broodmare band. Howard drove to Texas and was the top bidder for the stallion. However, he was short of cash, and promised Phillips that he was good for the total. Phillips ripped off a corner of his sale catalog and Howard wrote an IOU.[8] They formalized the deal with a handshake. Eternal Sun was 8 years old at the time.[8]

Eternal Sun was a new style of Quarter Horse when he came to Michigan, useful for breeding. "Horses were a lot shorter and stockier," Howard's daughter Mary Kay said. "Eternal Sun had an elegant head and neck and an irresistible charisma. I’ll never forget his eyes: His foals always had his eyes."[8] Before Eternal Sun arrived in Michigan, he had already been highly commended.[8]

In 1967, the American Quarter Horse Association invited the Howards to show Eternal Sun at Stallion Row at the inaugural All American Quarter Horse Congress. Howard and his six children bred the stallion and his offspring, and also showed the horses. Howard channeled his experience from driving plow horses into show driving, and he learned to pleasure drive as well as halter drive. Demand for Eternal Sun's progeny was so high that they sometimes were sold almost as soon as they finished training. Howard's son, Dar, started the colts under saddle, and he spent five years working with one of them, Eternal Pete.[8] Eternal Pete was a 1970 sorrel stallion out of Palleoana.[11] He became an AQHA Champion and earned a Superior in halter.[11] Once Eternal Pete got his AQHA Championship, he and Dar competed in state reining competitions, which they won for two consecutive years.[8]

Eternal Sun was a leading sire in six AQHA categories. According to Dar, Howard said that "there weren't many horses that paid their own way. 'Eternal' built his barn and helped buy the farm we have now".[8]


AQHA registered Eternal Sun in their stud book as number 0151802. Eternal Sun sired 908 Quarter Horse foals in his lifetime.[1]

Out of those 908 foals came 343 performers and 59 race starters.[8] Out of the 343 performers, one earned a world championship, two earned high-point awards, 34 earned AQHA Championships, 17 earned Superior halter awards, 20 earned Superior performance awards, 108 earned performance Registers of Merit, and 9,210 points were earned across all divisions. Though not well-known for his speed, the stallion still sired eight Register of Merit race horses, including Itt's. speed index 85. Unexpectedly, Eternal Sun's maternal grandsire record was somewhat moderate. So far, 466 of his grand-get have earned two reserve world championships, one high-point award, six AQHA Championships, six Superior halter awards, 42 Superior halter awards, 121 performance Registers of Merit and 8,763 points in all divisions together. On Eternal Sun's racing side, 93 of his maternal grand-get were starters, earning 43 Registers of Merit and $213,121. Head of the pack is Eternal Cherokee, speed index 101.[12]

His progeny earned 3,598 halter points, 5,612 performance points, 104 performance Register of Merit (ROM) designations, and 34 AQHA championships. He also sired over 100 futurity winners. Eternal Sun is still reputed to be one of the top broodmare sires.[13][1]

Eternal Sun's first set of foals that were Michigan-based were born in 1968. Out of that crop, there were three AQHA Champions and one Superior.[14]

Also, in 1968, Eternal Sun was the fourth leading producer of Halter Champions. After a few years of breeding, the farm had grown to over 200 horses. Breeders came from the United States and Canada seeking his genetics. Most of the horses who were born on the farm, trained there, and were sold had Eternal Sun's bloodline, which is what gave the colts their highly desired characteristics and dispositions. Other successful progeny include Quiet Enjoyment, Story Man, Fistfull, and A Star in Time.[10]

In 1969, Eternal Sun sired 41 foals. Even more top show horses came from this crop. The top show horse from this batch was Eternal One, a sorrel mare out of Silent One by Dividend. [15] Many others from this year were winning show horses. Others include Eternal Sun Flame, an AQHA Champion and Superior awardee. and Big Shot Sun.The 1970s, however, was the decade of the largest growth and accomplishments for this family and their horse. Big halter classes and bigger pleasure classes dominated. His daughter, Eternal Linda, a 1970 sorrel mare, out of Chuck's Fiddle, ushered in the new decade and became its leading champion.[11]

By the 1980s, the size of Eternal Sun's foal crops had begun to decrease. Eternal Sun was now in his 20s, but still sired champions. Two of special note were Raid on Inflation and Eternal Shield. In 1985? 1984? Eternal Sun produced his final crop of foals, his 24th. There was a total of seven foals that year. None of the seven were performers. However, the records show that Eternal Sun has a sire record that few horses can match.[16]

Noted AQHA Hall of Fame breeder and owner Carol Harris of BoBett Farm in Riddick, Florida, recalled seeing Matlock Rose show Eternal Sun once. Harris is most well-known for her AQHA Hall of Fame horse, Rugged Lark. Eternal Sun's demeanor and physical traits impressed Harris so much, she brought her champion mare, Judy Dell, to him. Eternal Dell, their colt, made Harris a winner. Eternal Dell changed the style of the next generation, with his sire's physical traits. She relates that “His (Howard's) wonderful stallion was a very big part of my success.” She later brought another of her top-notch horses to him, Majestic Dell, (by Eternal Dell and out of AQHA Hall of Fame Quarter Horse Quo Vadis by Little Lloyd), whom Harris regarded almost as highly as Rugged Lark.[8] Eternal Dell was a 1965 sorrel stallion who earned 35 halter points and was a top sire for Harris. Majestic Dell was a 1973 black stallion who earned 49 halter points and was a multiple world and reserve world champion sire.[17]

Eternal Sun's legacy presents more through his sons.[18]

Death and legacy

Eternal Sun lived on the Howard farm for almost 20 years.[8] Eternal Sun died at the age of 26 in 1984[17] and was buried on the farm next to a statue of him constructed in his honor.[8][10] His headstone, erected by Howard, reads, "Here lies the horse that changed my life".[8] Eternal Sun was inducted into the Michigan Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 1989.[19] Harold Howard passed away on August 8, 2008.[17]


Pedigree of Eternal Sun

Eternal War
bay 1944


Eternal Bull


Bull Dog


Rose Eternal


Red Haze


Man O War


Golden Haze


Sierra Glitter

sorrel 1950

Quarter Horse

Silver King P-183

bay 1937 Quarter Horse

Old Sorrel P-209

Quarter Horse

Clegg Mare No 3
Diamond Villiant

sorrel 1934 Quarter Horse

Cap 2
Valiant Mare

Source: [3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Get of Sire Detail - Eternal Sun" (PDF). American Quarter Horse Association. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ Photography, Dalco. "Cowboy with the horse "Eternal Sun"". Digital Library. Retrieved February 12, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Holmes 2009, p. 93.
  4. ^ a b "B.F. Phillips, Jr." AQHA Hall of Fame. American Quarter Horse Association. 
  5. ^ a b Holmes 2009, p. 94.
  6. ^ Drape 2007.
  7. ^ "Eternal Sun". Equibase | Profiles. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Eternal Sun". American Quarter Horse Association. Retrieved September 10, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Holmes 2009, p. 96.
  10. ^ a b c "The Story of the Statue". Howard Farms. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Holmes 2009, p. 98.
  12. ^ Holmes 2009, p. 100-101.
  13. ^ "Eternal Sun". Regal Paints. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 
  14. ^ Holmes 2009, p. 97.
  15. ^ Holmes 2009, p. 97-98.
  16. ^ Holmes 2009, p. 100.
  17. ^ a b c Holmes 2009, p. 103.
  18. ^ Holmes 2009, p. 101-102.
  19. ^ "Past Hall of Fame Horses" (PDF). Michigan Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame. Retrieved February 12, 2018. 


  • Close, Frank Holmes; edited by Pat; Smith, Fran Devereux; Streeter, Dan (2009). Legends Volume 8: Outstanding Quarter Horse Stallions and Mares. Colorado Springs, CO: Western Horseman magazine. pp. 92–103. ISBN 978-0-911647-86-0. 
  • Drape, Joe (2007). The Race for the Triple Crown: Horses, High Stakes and Eternal Hope. Grove/Atlantic, Inc. ISBN 9780802196453. Retrieved February 13, 2018. 

External links

  • Cowboy with the horse "Eternal Sun" at University of North Texas
  • Kentucky Bred, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Inc.
  • Eternal Sun - Regal Paints

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