Steel Dust, Fabulous Quarter Horse
19th century Texas frontier champion who became foundation sire for the most popular quarter horse strain of the 20th century. A Virginia type horse foaled by a Kentucky thoroughbred mare, Steel Dust was brought in 1844 as a colt to the Texas Republic by settlers Middleton Perry and Jones Greene. On Ten Mile Creek (near Lancaster, SE of Dallas) at the farm track of Thomas McKee Ellis, father-in-law of his owners, Steel Dust outran all challengers. He was about 16 hands high and so quick that his jockey coated his back with molasses in order to stay on. Steel Dust won a spectacular race in McKinney against local favorite Monmouth in 1855; soon afterward defeated Brown Dick, from Hopkins County. Later in 1855, going against Shiloh, a horse from Tennessee, Steel Dust was hurt at the starting gate. He soon went blind, never raced again, but survived at stud for years. The famed King Ranch in south Texas began to use breeding lines from Steel Dust and Shiloh in 1916, winning many honors at the State Fair of Texas. From this ranch has come stock for circuses, rodeos, and polo teams. The American Quarter Horse Association was formed in 1940. Quarter horses are now as much in demand for racing as for farm and ranch work.
ML King Dr. & Coliseum Dr. Dallas, Texas
Year Erected: 1971
Marker Type: 27 in x 42 in