South Dakota Quarter Horse Association convention

PIERRE, SD – With an unwavering dedication to the promotion of the American Quarter Horse, the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association continues to be a leading force now entering into their 73rd year. Their 2021 SDQHA Convention was held on the eastern shore of the Missouri River at the Ramkota Hotel in Pierre Jan. 7-9, 2022.

An Executive Committee meeting in the morning led into their general membership meeting that afternoon with a special guest – the current AQHA President Norm Luba, along with his wife Lorraine. The evening included a social hour and banquet followed by their 2021 SDQHA and SDQHYA Year-End Awards presentations. Capping off the evening was the presentation of the SDQHA Legacy Celebration’ for 2021 Honorees. Now into it’s fourth year, the celebration weekend started off with a social on Friday evening across the river in Fort Pierre at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center for the honorees, their families, friends and dignitaries. Ending the activities was a Cowboy Church Fellowship led on Sunday morning by Pastor Harold Delbridge with Tracy Buer providing vocal entertainment at both the banquet and the church service.

Elected to lead the SDQHA in 2022 are President Bob Quickstad from Whitewood who will be assisted by Vice President Sheila Schelske, Reliance. Jodie Svennes, Luverne, MN and Shelby Holmes from Sioux Falls will share the Secretary/Treasurer duties for the upcoming year. Newly elected Board Of Directors from the East: Amy Krueger, Ferney; Jodie Svennes, Luverne, MN; and Marsha Hendrickson, Chancellor. Representing the Central Region: Heather Sutton, Gettysburg; Penny Petersen, Mitchell; and Beth Price, Redfield. SDQHA Directors from the West: Shirley Wetz, Vale; Bob Quickstad and Troy Crowser both from Whitewood. Dede Cuka, Vale; Sheila Schelske, Reliance; and Joellen Miller from Houghton are the At-Large Directors.

AQHA Directors representing the SDQHA at the National level are Janet Hansen, Fort Pierre; Debbi Holmes Stockstill, Virgil; Jim Hunt, Faith; and Dean Johnson from Mud Butte. AQHA Directors-At-Large are Larry Larson, Rapid City and James Sutton, Onida and Directors Emeritus are Michel Clites, Brookings and James Hootman from Harrisburg. Georga Sutton from Gettysburg serves as an AQHA Honorary Vice President.

SDQHYA Officers (Youth) for 2022 will be elected in early February with Becky Johnson from Mud Butte remaining on the SDQHA board for 2022 as their Youth Advisor. Leading the SDQHYA for 2021 were President Adisyn Kuxhaus, Pierre; Vice President Emily Johnson, Black Hawk; Secretary Kimberley Johnson, Mud Butte and Treasurer Colin Sprinkel from Aberdeen. Kimberley Johnson is the AQHYA Region 2 Director, International Committee.

Special awards during the evening included the 2021 SDQHA Sportsmanship Award being announced as Wayne Stockstill from Coldspring, TX. In addition, a special SDQHA Life Membership was presented to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem who also welcomed the crowd with a proclamation. She was joined later in the evening by Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden in presentations of the 2021 SDQHA Legacy Celebration Honorees. The SDQHA then announced that a monetary donation had been made to the AQHA Foundation in memory of our long time SDQHA and AQHA Director-At-Large Dr. R.M. Christensen from Harrisburg.


(A complete list available at

Amateur division:

AMATUER ALL-AROUND – Heather Brandenborg, Evansville, MN with Open On Tuesday. SELECT AMATEUR ALL-AROUND – Linda Foxworthy, Gretna, NE with Born A Lazy Loper and SELECT RESERVE AMATEUR ALL-AROUND – Wanda Carr, Chester, SD with One Powerful Krymsun. LEVEL 1 AMATEUR HIGH POINT – Claire Longhenry, Garretson, SD with A Dominating Power and RESERVE LEVEL 1 AMATEUR HIGH POINT and AMATEUR PERFORMANCE CHAMPION – Alyssa Nix, Sioux Falls, SD with Just A Blu Buddy.

SDQHYA – Youth Division

YOUTH 14-18 ALL-AROUND & HIGH POINT SENIOR GIRL – Emily Johnson, Black Hawk, SD and Gota Lota Style. HIGH POINT SENIOR BOY – Colin Sprinkle, Aberdeen, SD with Straight To The Stars & This Tigers Hot.

The annual Silent and Live Auctions were once again a huge success. Live auction highlights included a customized, all-inclusive trip to Coldspring, TX for up to 8 people donated by Eagles Nest Ranch, Coldspring, TX, Debbi Holmes Quarter Horses, Virgil, SD and SDQHA. Also part of the live auction was a 2022 AQHA Convention Package to Las Vegas in February donated by Jim Hootman, Jim Hunt, Dean & Becky Johnson and SDQHA. Proceeds from both were then resented to the Tim & Kristen Gonsoir Family. Tim was in a life changing motor vehicle accident last fall and is now home at their ranch near Groton, SD.

2021 SDQHA Legacy Celebration

(Access the FULL BIOS at

2021 SDQHA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – LAUING RANCH QUARTER HORSES, Blunt, South Dakota. Known for a Quarter Horse Breeding Program strong in the bloodlines of Blue Valentine, Hancock and Driftwood, they are now into their fourth generation spanning over 100 years on the prairies of Central South Dakota. JD Lauing shared, “My Grandpa Hank, who had good instincts about horses, had one of the first registered Quarter Horses in this area and it came up from Texas on a train.” He added, “The registered horses we have now are definitely because of my Dad though, he’s been doing this all of his life.” Headed by Bernie & Genie Lauing along with son JD Lauing and Becky Amio, the SDQHA is proud to honor the Lauing Ranch as our 2021 Producer Of The Year.

Legacy honorees

2021 Legacy Trainer – Merlon Fairbanks, White River, South Dakota; 2021 Legacy Rodeo – Joe Stoddard, Belvidere, South Dakota; 2021 Legacy Show – Jim Hootman, Harrisburg, South Dakota; 2021 LEGACY RACING – MELVIN RANCHES, Holabird, South Dakota; 2021 RANCH FAMILY – DENNIS PRICE FAMILY, Buffalo, South Dakota; 2021 LEGACY PROMOTER – JOHN ISMAY, DVM, Sturgis, South Dakota and 2021 INFLUENTIAL HORSE – STAGE BIRD TOM, Dr. R.M. Christensen, Harrisburg, South Dakota. Also recognized that evening were 2022 AQHA HALL 0F FAME INDUCTEE – SUN FROST owned by the Cowan Ranch T4 Quarter Horses from Holabird, South Dakota and 2021 PRCA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE (Contractor) – JAMES L. (and the late Julie) SUTTON from Onida, South Dakota.


MAY BROTHERS, Kyle, South Dakota; JAY H. LIVERMONT, Wanblee, South Dakota; RALPH PORCH, Wanblee, South Dakota; CLIFFORD TIBBS, Fort Pierre, South Dakota and AQHA 50-YEAR-LEGACY BREEDER – RAYMOND W. SUTTON, Jr., Gettysburg, South Dakota.

JAMES L. SUTTON – 2021 PRCA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE (Contractor). Joined by his son Steve Sutton (center), his 2021 SDQHA Honoree Award was presented by Governor Kristi Noem, Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden and AQHA President Norm Luba.
2021 SDQHA PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Lauing Ranch, Blunt, South Dakota.
SUN FROST – a 2022 AQHA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE owned by the Cowan Ranch T4 Quarter Horses from Holabird, South Dakota.
2022 SDQHA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – (Seated) Vice-President Sheila Schelske, Reliance; President Bob Quickstad, Whitewood and Secretary/Treasurer Jodie Svennes. (Standing) Jim Hootman, Harrisburg; Joellen Miller, Houghton; Dean Johnson, Mud Butte; Amy Krueger, Ferney; Beth Price, Redfield; Troy Crowser, Whitewood; Shirley Wetz, Vale; Jim Hunt, Faith; Penny Petersen, Mitchell; Debbie Holmes Stockstill, Virgil; Janet Hansen, Fort Pierre; Georga Sutton, Gettysburg and Kristen Gonsoir from Groton. Lezlie Moore
Courtesy photos

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