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The Legendary Harley D Zip Passes at 26

Once-in-a-lifetime horses that change AQHA history do not come along very often. The legendary Harley D Zip was one of those horses. The 1995 bay gelding by Maximum Zip and out of Miss Faithfully ended his show career with 16 AQHA World Championships, 8 AQHA Reserve World Championships, 9 NSBA World Championships, 19 AQHA Superiors, and 20 High Point Titles. He also has multiple Congress Championships and Congress Amateur Versatility Championships to his credit. He was bred by Kristy Tingle of Georgetown, Delaware.

Trainer Jason Martin credits Harley for making him the trainer and person he is today. “I can’t believe the outpouring of support and love for Harley. I feel so blessed to have been part of his career and life. Today is sad because it’s hard to read through all the posts and memories. It’s like seeing your highest moments in the rearview mirror.”

“Harley helped raise my daughters,” Kerry Papendick told us after his passing. “He taught them the art of winning, along with the grace to lose. And I only dreamed of myself being in the arena someday to show at an AQHA show. Harley made that dream come true too. So, be sure to give our good friend Harriet (Yakatan) the ride of her dreams up there in Heaven. Till we meet again.”

“When it comes to our four-legged best friends, we always want to believe that they will live forever,” Ali Papendick shared with us. “It’s hard to believe that the time has come to put Harley to rest. As a 95 model, he truly was one of a kind.”

Ali continued, “As a little sister, I may or may not have complained about getting my sister’s ‘hammy-downs’…and, I’m embarrassed to admit that there was a time I fought the fact after my sister went to college. Fast forward over the next six years, Harley and I shared memories of multiple AQHA World and Congress Championships, all-around awards, being ‘bucked’ off, dreadful showmanship lessons, hitting almost every log in the trail, and many middle-of-the-night, frustrating practices. But in all seriousness, if you ever got to meet Harley, he was just as sweet inside and outside of the show pen.”

“Harley was one of a kind. He had so much style and eye appeal in the show pen and a ton of personality outside the show pen,” Charlie Cole says. “He was gritty, sturdy, and very smart. He gave so much to us all. I’m at peace knowing the Papendick’s were the perfect owners for him and provided him a perfect retirement.”

And his accolades continue…Harley was an eight-time High Point Sr. Western Riding horse and holds the second-most points in AQHA History (6,000). In addition, he is a 3-time All-Around High Point Horse, 4-Time All-Around High Point Horse, All-Time Leading AQHA Incentive Fund Money earner, the only horse in AQHA history to win an AQHA World Championship in every division, and was also turned into a Breyer horse after his retirement.

In 2013, the family decided that it was time to retire Harley. “For the past eight years, my mom has kept him happy, healthy, a little fluffy at times, and full of peppermints. Although it’s still hard to believe that he’s gone, I know his memories will live on forever.”

Harley was buried next to A Special Invitation (Buddy) on the Papendick’s ranch in South Dakota.

GoHorseShow would like to express our condolences on the passing of this beloved horse. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.

View a slideshow of Harley D Zip through the years.