Expensive Hobby was born in 1971 and was sired by Hobby Horse and out of Jan’s Helen, by AQHA Champion Stormy’s Sugar. Al Dunning bought the gelding for Georganna Stewart of Yuma, Arizona in 1973. “Other horses have been just as talented-but you’ve never seen one with so much controlled power. He just ran faster, turned harder and stopped bigger than all the rest of the horses in his day,” said Dunning.
Hobby dominated the toughest events during his show career, winning 29 of 32 hackamore classes, including Del Mar and the Phoenix A to Z show. In bridle events he won the stock horse championships at the Santa Barbara National, at the Phoenix A to Z three times and Del Mar five times. In addition to three AQHA World Championships, one in Reining and two in Working Cow Horse, Hobby won the NRHA Open World Championship in 1980. He earned his AQHA Superior Awards in Reining, Working Cow Horse, and Cutting.
One of the most recognized quarter horse athletes of his time, the buckskin appeared on the cover of Dunning’s bestselling reining book and was even chosen by Breyer to have a model horse made in his likeness. Expensive Hobby was retired from his show career at the age of 13. He spent his days on Dunning’s Almosta Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona where he was buried when he died in 1996. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007.