South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Convention |

South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Convention

Larry Larson
for Tri-State Livestock News

PIERRE, SD – Entering into their 71st year is a major milestone – but remaining a vibrant, fast moving organization is an accomplishment to be proud of. The 2019 South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Convention was held at the Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center on the shores of the Missouri River in Pierre, South Dakota, Jan. 4, 2020 with over 250 in attendance.

An Executive Committee meeting in the morning led into their general membership meeting in the afternoon. Special guest was the current AQHA President Stan Weaver from Montana who spoke at the conclusion of the business meeting. The evening included a social hour and banquet followed by their 2019 SDQHA and SDQHYA Year-End Awards presentation. Capping off the evening was the presentation of the SDQHA Legacy Award Honorees for 2019. Now into its third year, the ‘SDQHA Legacy Celebration’ started off the weekend with a social Friday evening across the river in Fort Pierre at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center for the honorees, their families, friends and dignitaries. Ending the weekend activities was a Cowboy Church Fellowship Sunday morning with Pastor Michael Brandt. Tracy Buer from Bison provided vocal entertainment at both the banquet Saturday evening and the church service Sunday.

Elected to lead the SDQHA again in 2020 is President Kristen Gonsoir from Groton. She will be assisted by Vice-President/Treasurer Jodie Svennes, Brandt, along with Victoria Cuka from Vale as the Secretary/Webmaster, and Janet Hansen, Fort Pierre, Point Secretary. Board of Directors from the East: Amy Krueger, Ferney; Dede Cuka, Wagner; and Jodie Svennes from Brandt. Representing the Central Region: Penny Petersen, Mitchell; Kristen Gonsoir, Groton; and Sheila Prins from Sisseton. SDQHA Directors from the West: Shirley Wetz, Vale; Bob Quickstad and Troy Crowser both from Whitewood. Joellen Miller, Houghton; Heather Sutton, Gettysburg, and Sheila Price from Reliance will represent the At-Large Directorships with Becky Johnson, Mud Butte, remaining on the SDQHA board for 2020 as the SDQHYA Youth Advisor.

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

The SDQHYA (Youth Division) held their election of officers following the convention and they will be led in 2020 by President Colin Sprinkel, Aberdeen; Vice-President Kimberly Johnson, Mud Butte; Secretary Emily Johnson, Black Hawk, and Treasurer Adi Kuxhaus from Pierre. Reporters will be Kendra Johnson, Mud Butte, West River; Shelby Holmes, Sioux Falls, East River; and Adi Kuxhaus, Pierre, Central. Becky Johnson, Mud Butte, will continues as their Youth Advisor for the coming year and it was announced that their 2019 SDQHYA Sportsmanship Award winner was Adi Kuxhaus.

Special awards announced during the evening included the 2019 SDQHA Sportsmanship Award being presented to Jodie Svennes from Brandt. In addition, a special presentation was made earlier in the day bestowing an SDQHA Lifetime Membership to AQHA President Stan Weaver and his wife Nancy. The mare A Touch Of Krymsun, owned by Brunner/Beauvais, LLC from Rapid City, was also honored that evening on obtaining her AQHA Championship in 2019.

It was our honor to have South Dakota native Jordan Tierney, the newly crowned Miss Rodeo America 2020, at the convention on her first official appearance of her reign. She, along with the current AQHA President, Stan Weaver, presented the 2019 SDQHA Producer Of The Year and SDQHA Legacy Honorees with their awards later in the evening. Larry Rhoden, SD Lieutenant Governor, addressed those attending and also assisted in award presentations.


Victoria Cuka and Invitationforeaster – All-Around Champion; Claire Longhenry and A Dominating Power – Performance & L1 Champion; Alison Longhenry and Jubilant Zip – Reserve Performance & L1 Champion; Linda Foxworthy and Absolute RSVP – Select Performance Champion; Sheila Prins and Mostly Invited – Reserve Rookie Performance Champion; Jan Ketterling and No Doubt Ima Loper – Select All-Around Champion; and Sheila Prins and Zipped With Pleasure – Rookie Performance Champion.


Emily Johnson and RPM Machine – All-Around Youth All-Ages, All-Around Youth 14-18 and High Point Senior Girl; Jasmine Hart-Crissman and One Hot Holly – High Point L1 All-Around; Colin Sprinkel and This Tigers Hot – High Point L1 All-Around and High Point Senior Boy.


Starting in 1998 with the purchase of their first American Quarter Horse stallion and the initial beginnings of their broodmare band, Roger and Betty Dikoff have since expanded to their present day Quarter Horse breeding operation along with their daughter Amanda. Located near Hermosa, South Dakota, they now stand Rambling Fever, sired by Playboys Buck Fever, and compete successfully on the national level in several events such as the AQHA World Championship Show, Versatility World Show and Ranching Heritage Finals.

The 2020 SDQHA Convention will again be at the Ramkota Hotel in Pierre, South Dakota January of 2021. Mark your calendars now to help us celebrate the next round of SDQHA honorees. Find FULL COVERAGE of SDQHA/SDQHYA Year-End award winners and the details on our 2019 Legacy Honorees at

2019 SDQHA Legacy Celebration

SDQHA legacy honorees include families and horses that have been influential in South Dakota’s history in the promotion of the American Quarter Horse.

2019 Legacy Trainers – Jim and Barb Halligan, Zell, South Dakota.

Always determined to be ‘cutters’, Jim and Barb Halligan purchased their first register American Quarter Horse in 1978 and committed themselves to mastering the event. They purchased their first real cutting horse in 1985 and she taught them, their 2 children and a variety of other family members the fine art of the sport. The purchase of the great stallion Smokin Manzana from Joe Heim put them in the cutting business in a strong way not only showing him but also in his phenomenal get. Jim has been an NCHA Approved Judge for over 30 years with Barb being an NCHA Director for over 25 years. She served as the chair of the NCHA Amateur Committee this past year.

2019 Legacy Rodeo – Bud and Iris Day and family, Meadow, South Dakota

Growing up on ranches in western South Dakota near Faith, Bud and Iris Day raised 6 children and horses and rodeo were always an important part of their lives. Married in 1954, they raised cattle, sheep and Quarter Horses and built an indoor arena on their ranch in 1979 hosting ropings, horse sales and other events with Iris doing much of the timing and secretary work. Bud was an Honoree of the Casey Tibbs Foundation and inducted into the South Dakota Hall Of Fame in 1992. Iris, featured in the Western Horseman in 2018, was the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the Black Hills Stock Show.

2019 Legacy Show – Don and Patty Brunner, Rapid City, South Dakota

A sale purchase of an American Quarter Horse mare by the name of Lady Foe in 1970 in Walnut Grove, MN started the Brunner breeding program. Patty, who grew up on a cow-calf ranch in Fall River County in South Dakota, and Don Brunner from a dairy operation background in Wisconsin began their successful merger into the Quarter Horse breeding and show world in December 1987. Heavily involved in the show, futurity and 4-H aspects of the industry, they also stood several industry leading stallions east of Rapid City, SD in Rapid Valley. Since Don’s passing in 2011, Patty’s son Brad Beauvais has joined her in their select breeding and showing operation now known as Brunner-Beauvais, LLC.

2019 Legacy Race – Jerry and Shirley Olson, Selby, South Dakota

Starting in the mid-sixties with the purchase of a 2-Year-Old race bred filly, Jerry & Shirley Olson from Selby, SD started their dream of breeding and racing some of the leading horses in the region. That first mare, Gypsie Rath, was bred to Laughing Boy AA and the resulting colt was named Laughing Bar Boy AAA – the eventual winner of futurity and derby races. His name is still prominent in the pedigrees of horses across South Dakota. In 1981, they purchased the Quarter Horse stallion Folk Dancer by Wee Folk (TB) and out of a daughter of Jet Deck. Later needing a cross on the Folk Dancer mares, they acquired Final Conquest, a son of Dash For Cash SI 114 who produced many winners on the track. Its Royal Time by Chicks Beduino came to the Olson Ranch in 1999 and proved once again to be the perfect cross with offspring winning across the nation.

2019 Legacy Ranch – Louie Krogman Family Quarter Horses, White River, South Dakota

Louie Krogman was a horseman. Living on the eastern banks of the Little White River, his goal was to always have ranch horses with speed. Involvement in the racing industry involved the American Quarter Horse stallions Leo 3 and Folly Bird and their progeny also excelled at rodeos in the barrel racing and roping events. His family continues to offer an annual horse sale and in 2020 on Labor Day weekend they will present their 68th Annual Quarter Horse Production Sale. The ranch focus has always been in cattle as well with Herefords in the early years but now Angus and black baldy cattle. Louie passed away in 1991 but his legacy continues through his wife Eunice, his 8 children and grandchildren.

2019 Legacy Promoter – Alan Odden, Pierre, South Dakota

After his purchase of his first horse in 1954 at age 6, Alan Odden is still heavily involved in the horse industry. Early success in the AQHA show ring eventually lead him to attending Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, MT. He still enjoys auctioneering and rodeo announcing and keeps involved with the rodeo and sports activities of his 3 children and now grandchildren.

2019 Notable Legacy Horse – Wilywood, Tom and Joann Eliason Family, Gregory, South Dakota

Sired by Orphan Drift, a grandson of Driftwood, and out of Oui Oui, a granddaughter of Driftwood and Poco Bueno, Wilywood came from the South Dakota breeding program of AQHA Hall Of Fame Inductee Stanley Johnston. Purchased in 1983, Wilywood was shown by the late Tom Eliason to many rodeo wins and soon had AQHA points in Reining, Working Cowhorse, Tie-Down Roping and Team Roping. He was a natural and soon proved himself as a leading sire of performance horses. He has 299 offspring, 28 performers earning 722.5 points, 13 Performance ROM’s and 6 Superior Performance Awards. He was 29 when he died in 2007 but his legacy continues today.

SDQHA Special Recognition – Shantell Brewer, Dupree, South Dakota – 2019 INFR Women’s All-Around.

Growing up on the Cheyenne River in South Dakota, Shantell Brewer is the 17-Year-Old daughter of Jess and Fanny Brewer. She is a senior at Dupree High School where she participates in Rodeo, Basketball and Cross Country and is a 4.0 student. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, she was recognized on Jan. 4 by the SDQHA as the 2019 Indian National Finals Rodeo Women’s All-Around.

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