Zane Grey, by Sterling Merry Boy out of Lady Anne, was a beautiful dapple grey colt born on Dean Esther’s farm in 1964. He was sold to Dale Ester as a yearling. Dale said that he fox trotted the first time that he rode him; he had a big over stride and a headshake that moved his hands 4 inches. Dale thought he was phenomenal but knew not everyone would agree. So, before the Celebration, he would have his farrier mule foot Zane behind in order to shorten his overreach as much as possible. He won the Three Year old championship in 1967 and became a world grand champion in 1968.
It was during Zane Grey’s time when they got away from capping their tracks like the older type horse. This is when the rule, which required the horse to cap his track by stepping in his front tracks with his back feet, was changed. Because of this, it is often said that Zane Grey changed the breed more than any other individual fox trotter.
In his short lifetime, Zane Grey was considered by many to be the greatest stallion in the history of the breed. He sired a line of championship horses, including Missouri Traveler E, who consistently passed on the big lick stride and hind leg over reach.
Zane Grey died in 1973, two months short of his ninth birthday. Because of his contributions to the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed and upon the recommendation of the MFTHBA Board of Directors, we would like to welcome Zane Grey into the MFTHBA Hall of Fame.
Editor’s Note: Zane Grey was inducted into the MFTHBA Hall of Fame in 2013. The above was read by MFTHBA Joyce Graening during the induction ceremony held during the 2013 World Show and Celebration