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Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Rillito Race Track

American Quarter Horse Historical Marker

 
 
Rillito Race Track Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
1. Rillito Race Track Marker
Inscription.  This famous track on the banks of the Rillito River was the birthplace of many racing innovations still in use today. The Southern Arizona Horse Breeders Association, the organization that pioneered Quarter Horse Racing in Tucson, had been hosting races at the Hacienda Moltacqua track since 1941. When Moltacqua was sold in 1943, J. Rukin Jelks volunteered the use of the training track on his ranch.

Under the direction of Melville Haskell, an American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inductee, and Van Smelker, who later became head of the AQHA Performance Department, SAHBA experimented with grading races, weighted handicaps, futurities, derbies and stake races, and photo-electric timers. World famous sprinters such as Shue Fly, Joe Reed II, Piggin String, Hard Twist, Queenie, and Miss Panama all ran at Rillito.

American Quarter Horses are competing in races around the world and are in demand for showing, ranch work, rodeo, recreational riding and many other activities. AQHA is the world's largest equine breed registry, with its international headquarters located in Amarillo, Texas.
 
Erected
Rillito Race Track Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
2. Rillito Race Track Marker
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1996 by American Quarter Horse Heritage Center & Museum, Amarillo, Texas. (Marker Number AQHHMP #8.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Animals. In addition, it is included in the American Quarter Horse Markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1941.
 
Location. 32° 17.356′ N, 110° 57.286′ W. Marker is in Tucson, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker is on the south side of race track at the east end of the grandstand. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4502 North First Avenue, Tucson AZ 85718, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Philip's in the Hills (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Settlers of Binghampton, Arizona (approx. 2.8 miles away); Tucson (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Tucson Plant Materials Center (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Tucson Tragedy (approx. 3.4 miles away); Cannon-Douglass Residence (approx. 3.7 miles away); George E. P. Smith Residence (approx. 3.7 miles away); Who Lived Here? (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tucson.
 
Rillito Race Track Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
3. Rillito Race Track Marker
Starting gate at Rillito Race Track image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
4. Starting gate at Rillito Race Track
Grandstand at Rillito Race Track image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
5. Grandstand at Rillito Race Track
Budweiser Clydesdales go on parade at Rillito Race Track image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, February 13, 2011
6. Budweiser Clydesdales go on parade at Rillito Race Track
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 15, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,152 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on May 13, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 15, 2011, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Nov. 26, 2022