A horse named "Unforgettable" and a man named Henry Rypka were inducted today into the Steele County Free Fair Equine Hall of Fame.  On our KDHL AM Minnesota program we visited with Pat McCarthy, Superintendent of the Equine Hall of Fame.

McCarthy has seen a few horses in his days.  He used to raise and sell Arabians, Quarter Horses and other breeds.  "Unforgettable" is a Pony of the Americas Gelding owned by Kanin and Brynn Hable of Owatonna and has been a supreme show horse earning over 25 Grand and Reserve Champion Awards. The 24 year old Unforgettable qualified for the State 4-H show 8 years.  Finished in Top 10, twenty times at State 4-H show in numerous events.  Top 20 finishes at the WSCA State show.

It seems "Unforgettable" was appropriately named.

Pony of the Americas is a breed of horse that is becoming more popular according to the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science.  They say the breed got it's start in 1954 in Iowa.  "One of the foundation stallions of the breed was Black Hand #1.  In 1954, his owner, Leslie Boomhower of Mason City, Iowa began a registry of the distinguished pony's off-spring.  Black Hand was sired by a Shetland out of an Appaloosa mare.  In 1970, fifteen years after it's founding, the POA registry carried over 12,000 registered horses."

McCarthy pointed out the horse has earned over 4,000 points in judged and timed events.  Brynn Hable has ridden the horse over the past 10 years and the 19 year old Owatonna woman will show him at the 2019 Steele County Free Fair and then retire him from competition.

Henry Rypka has been very active in the 4-H Horse Project development and other 4-H activities.  He has been a 4-H Herdsmanship judge, Owatonna Saddle Club show volunteer and Dodge County FFA vice-president.  He also did fundraising and constructed the horse arena announcing stand.  Buzz Anderson assisted with the construction.

Rypka also organized the financial support for the SCFF horse ring lights.

Henry Rypka SCFF Equine Hall of Fame Inductee. Photo of photo provided by SCFF