ECB Spa owner among AQHA: American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Inductees / by Allen Gutowski

James E. Helzer of Arlington, Texas, is a 20-year breeder of American Quarter Horses who served as AQHA president in 2009-10. The racing breeder and his wife, Marilyn, bought their first racehorse in 1962.

While working in the defense industry, Helzer trained racehorses on the side and eventually became a roofing contractor who built a business that grew to encompass nine states and 33 locations. In 1990, he bought Refrigerator, who won that year’s All American Futurity, became a two-time world champion in racing, retired as the then all-time leading money earner with $2,126,309 and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000. In 1993, Helzer turned his business expertise to breeding American Quarter Horses and established stallion stations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. After his term as AQHA president, he continued his service on AQHA committees. 

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