Appaloosa Territory

Appaloosa History:
Tico Tornado 22692

My thanks to Judy Howell Lazar for contacting me 'out of the blue' and sharing her photos, history and memories of this great horse.


Tico Tornado

Tico Tornado

Tico Tornado, the all around champion. Photo composite by Judy Lazar.

He was born with a vivid╩exclamation mark, prominently displayed near his right flank, and he lived up to it!

Yearling photo of Tico
used in the 1963 Stroube Sale Catalog.

The Howell family bought Tico as a╩yearling in 1963. Daughter Sue and her mom were "wow"-ed by the Stroube's sale booklet of all the beautiful Appaloosas, and young Tico Tornado was the featured horse of the entire 100+ horse auction.╩ "We drove down from Chatsworth, Illinois to Texas, driving through the night, to get to the sale on time. We arrived about an hour before it began.╩ My dad had his eye set on buying Tico Tornado. He was so friendly, besides being a great looking horse.╩ Well, we bought him for an unexpectedly high price of $4,100 and then had to buy a horse trailer to bring him home in!╩ Lucky for us, one was being auctioned off, later in the sale."

Sue Howell racing Tico Tornado.

╩Sue Howell, a teenager at the time, taught him to ride and race,╩receiving a world champion racing trophy in 1964.╩ Judy was the youngest member of╩the family, so Sue put her on Tico's back when he was around 1-1/2 years old. Judy weighed about 70-80 pounds and was just the right size to use after Sue got him used to╩the burlap bags and our life-sized stuffed doll.╩

Tico was the friendliest horse and easy to work with.╩ His personality was easy-going and relaxed, making it possible for the kids to show him in a pleasure or trail class; he would come out of a race, someone would switch saddles, give him a few minutes to catch his breath and cool down, and then off we'd go to another class.╩

The "sleepy little donkey" winning...

Mrs. Howell likes to tell the story of the 1964 Appaloosa World Championship Show's horse races, when someone near her in the grandstands asked what that "sleepy little donkey" was doing out on the race track.╩ He was talking of our horse, Tico Tornado.╩ Well, Tico went on to win the race.╩ Sue (age 17) was riding him that day, with the stirrups on her racing saddle let all the way down, as far as they could go. What fun!

Tico Tornado was a most versatile horse.╩He often won at halter, western pleasure,╩trail, barrels, stake race, rope race, calf roping, reining, youth rider events, as well as racing on the track.╩ You name the event, and he was ready for it. He vied for all round performance horse,╩trading╩the title back and forth╩with╩another╩great Illinois horse, Tem Pop. Tem Pop and Tico Tornado╩were stable mates, competitors, horse trailer mates, and general buddies for many years.╩Tem Pop was owned by Rolla Colclasure from Cooperstown, Illinois.

Tem Pop in the Rope Race ridden by Lloyd Donley (horse closest to the camera).╩
Tico Tornado and Roger Johnson╩are near the far end of the crowd.╩
Tem Pop was definitely the horse to beat in the rope race!!╩ He knew his stuff!

Notice how patiently Tem Pop waits while the other riders and horses scurry for their ropes.

About the Howell family

The Howell Stables in 1955.
The Howell kids╩learned the Stake Race pattern by weaving in and out of the six fruit trees, planted in the foreground of the picture.
╩Tico and their other horses sure liked to sneak an apple, right off the tree!╩
Plus, the kids could reach higher up the tree, especially when they were riding some of the taller horses!

Mrs. Howell got the family into the horse business. She wanted to bring the family together with something fun and exciting and keep the kids from running around uptown. ╩ John Howell enjoyed watching all of them ride. He was busy with his trucking business and didn't get much time to ride himself, but came to nearly every horse show.╩


from the 1967 Appaloosa News

The daughters: Sue graduated in '65. She was the one who started Tico's training, including racing. (photos above)

Ginny riding Tico in the 1967 Appaloosa Queen contest.

Ginny graduated in '67. When Sue got married and left for Germany, Ginny was next in line to get to ride Tico.╩ None of the rest of the kids raced on the track, unless you count one time when they all entered a race so it wouldn't get cancelled.╩ That was the race where Ginny got kicked by another horse in the ankle -- ouch!╩

Judy waiting to carry away the trophy that
Tico just won at the 1967 5 Club regional race.

Judy graduated in '72. She showed Tico Tornado in the youth horsemanship classes╩split and there was a╩13 and under category.╩

The son: Steve graduated in '70.╩ Steve showed Tico Tornado's half-brother, Tico's Taboo. His favorite events were stakes and barrel races. He also liked the trail classes.╩╩ ╩ ╩ ╩

Sue Howell holding Tico's Taboo (top).
Steve Howell riding Tico's Taboo (bottom).

The kids grew up in Chatsworth, Illinois on an╩18-acre farm. Most of their╩horses roamed fairly free in various sections of the farm.╩ Sue called the farm the "C-D-Double H Ranch" (Cats, Dogs, Horses and Howells).╩ Later, the name changed╩simply╩to Howell Stables.

╩ Mrs. Howell advertised in the Western Horseman magazine, and a few╩city kids came down╩and each spent a week on our farm, getting to ride all day long, every day, and generally getting dirty playing with all the╩animals.╩ Ginny and Judy gave horseback riding lessons to a few dozen of the town kids 1967-69.╩ Ginny was Illinois Appaloosa Association Queen in 1967 and Judy had that same honor in 1970.╩ Both Ginny and Judy had the honor of╩representing the Illinois╩club at Nationals. Neither of them placed, but they had fun. When she was named IAA queen, Ginny got four fancy new outfits, including matching boots and hats.╩When Judy became queen a few years later, ╩she got to wear her hand-me-downs. They were a bit too long in the leg but worked out just fine.

╩ Steve didn't get to ride Tico Tornado in any classes that Judy can remember, since he was busy with Taboo and some other horses the Howell's owned.╩ The Howell's had several show horses, but none as successful as Tico.╩ ╩

Showing Tico Tornado

Riding Tico Tornado in a western pleasure class was so smooth-paced, it felt like a rocking chair, especially his gentle lope.╩

Judy riding Tico at the lope. He looks smooth as silk in this photo.

His jogging was fairly smooth╩ (nobody lost a hat or spilled their drink), and he could extend his gait a full trot and canter, for English pleasure classes, which Ginny showed with him.╩

Racing was a different matter. He had a quick start, which was sure handy in an event like the Rope Race, which trainer Roger Johnson won with him at the '67 World Playoffs in Scottsdale or the Camus Prairie Stump Race, again with Roger showing him,╩that same show.╩

Tico winning at the 5 Club Regional show in 1966.

Rope race at the 1965 World Show in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Tico is fourth from the right, Tem Pop is on the far left.

Lloyd and Tico rounding a barrel.

Lloyd Donley (ApHC Hall of Fame trainer) trained and showed Tico Tornado for two years: 1965 and 1966. Of Tico, Lloyd says: "This horse has got a great deal of natural ability. He's also got something else going for him - something without which I don't believe he would have debeloped into the champion he is. I call it bottom." The pair really accomplished much in the show pen.

Lee Cockrell accepting the Calf Roping title at the National show in 1966.

Lee Cockrell was the man who rode Tico to his calf roping victories. Lee is known as a trainer of top roping horses. His biggest tribute to Tico was: "With just a little more work, I wouldn't be ashamed to take this horse to any RCA rodeo in the country." Mighty big feat for an Appaloosa in Quarter Horse territory!!

As Frank Holmes (author) said in his 1967 article, "So there you have him. He's a halter horse,

Tico Tornado, the halter horse. 1966


This picture was taken at the Five-Club Regional Appaloosa Show in Van Wert, Ohio in 1965. [It shows off his 'exclamation point' spot.]

a race horse,


a cutting, roping and reining horse,

Tico, the roping horse. Winning with Lee Cockrell. 1966

Tico, the reining horse. Lloyd Donley on board.

a pleasure and trail horse,

Tico, the pleasure horse. Jean Donley on board.

Tico, the trail horse. Lloyd Donley on board.

a gymkhana horse - all rolled into one.

Tico the games horse. Llyod Donley top photo, Roger Johnson bottom photo.

He's also proving to be a stud horse."


Tico and Lloyd Donley win Reserve High Point Performance Horse at 1967 World Appaloosa Show, Sweetwater, Texas.


Jeanie Donley and Tico win the Dixie National (1968?)
Jeanie said she thinks Tico Tornado was probably THE best All Round horse EVER.
Words of high praise from a lady who would know. Hat's off to Tico Tornado.


Multiple page articles about Tico Tornado appeared in both Apaloosa News and the Western Horsemen magazines. The Appaloosa News1 was written by Frank Holmes and Mrs. Howell wrote the article for Western Horsemen 2 under her pen name of Ollie Conrad. (Citations under Footnotes/References below.)

Basic Info

ApHC Studbook data:
Tico Tornado #22692
Sire: Myres Tico Tico 8853
Dam: Bay Bravo
(pedigree at bottom of page)
Foaled 1962
Bred by Joe Stroube, Corsicana, Texas
Sire of 32 registered foals (detailed list below)


The Tico ad (from the Stroube sale catalog) that hooked the Howells into wanting to own him.


Western Horsemen April 1963

Partial Show record

1964 World Champion, Racing, Sedalia, Missouri

1965 IAA High Point in Racing and Jr Reining, Reserve High Point in Stumps, Stakes and Trail

1965 World Champion, Senior Western Pleasure, Scottsdale, Arizona

1966 IAA High Point in Racing, Jr Reining, Men's Western Pleasure Stumps and Trail; Reserve in Rope Race, Ladie's Western Pleasure, Bareback Western Pleasure, Jumping and Men's Costume. Reserve High Point Over-All Performance Horse

1966 World Champion, Calf Roping, Sweetwater, Texas

1967 National Champion Performance Horse, Walla Walla, Washington, (Runner up was Simcoe's Frosty Eagle)

1967 National Champion, Camas Prairie Stump Race

1967 National Champion, Calf Roping

1967 National Show- 2nd in 550 yard Stock Saddle Race and Trail class, 3rd in Rope Race

Tico Tornado, ridden by Lloyd Donley, coming in second behind Charlie Brown H at the 1967 National Appaloosa Show


1967 World Champion Rope Race, Reserve World Performance Champion, third in Stumps, Stakes, and Trail (Champion was Sugar Britches. The title was a tie until the last class!)

1967 Five Club Regional3 Race Winner

1968 National Champion, Nez Perce Stake Race, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

1968 National, Reserve High Point Performance Horse, Oklahoma City, OK (trophy pictured below)

Tico's Trophy

Tico Tornado's Reserve High Point Performance Horse trophy from the 1968 Nationals. Ridden by Roger Johnson.


Award for 1982 Preference Poll Champion Best All-Around Horse.
Does anyone know more about this award? What other horses received it? When the ApHC started (and ended?) this award... help anyone?

This was a Survey of National Champions done in 19694.
Note that Tico Tornado is right there with other well known names! (bottom line)


Tornado's Sweetheart

Tornado's Sweetheart

Tico Viento

Tico Viento

Grandkids of Note

Absarokee Tornado

Absarokee Tornado


Footnotes and References

Pedigree of Tico Tornado

Balleymooney (Sorrel 1914)
Red Dog AQHA P-55 (Sorrel 1933)
Cinnabar (Sorrel 1927)
Cooterville Norrel's Little Red F-1673/AQHA P-998* (blue roan 1943)
Ding Bob (Buckskin 1926)
Little Buck AQHA P-1052 (Buckskin 1931)
Flossie (red roan 1927)
Myres Tico Tico 8853 (1958)
Cooterville Pee Wee T-1528 (Chestnut roan 1953)
Swenson Quarter stallion
Bay Bravo (Quarter Horse 1952)
Gordon Russell (1910)
Gordon Wells (Thoroughbred 1925)
Zadie Wells (1912)
Swenson Quarter mare (1943)
Swenson mare (Quarter horse)

*Cooterville Norrels Little Red was registered as a QH before he roaned out and started producing Appaloosa foals. At least 11 of his foals are still registered AQHA.

More Photos

Mike Fox (left) and Ginny with Tico Tornado in the Costume Class.
Judy remembers the headress that Mike is wearing to be made of actual eagle feathers. "It was spectacular in person."

Lloyd Donley on Tico in Poles/Stake Race

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This page last updated on July 2014.   ©2009-2014 Appaloosa Territory