Johne Dobbs has spent her life with American Quarter Horses, from her youth as an exhibitor to raising a family in horses. It’s like a family to her. Johne grew up in central Illinois, where her dad, Bill, was an auctioneer, a farmer and a John Deere dealer. Her mother, Suzanne, grew up riding ponies and gaited horses. She raised six children. When Johne was in sixth grade, the Hubers bought their first American Quarter Horse.
The five Huber sisters were fixtures at Quarter Horse shows in the Midwest in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1977, Johne rode the family’s homebred mare Loverlee Jet – a 1972 daughter of Jetty Man – in the first ladies’ reining at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. She also enjoyed western pleasure, halter and hunter under saddle.
Johne competed on the Illinois youth Congress team and was the Illinois Quarter Horse Association queen, in the days when state fair circuits had some of the largest horse shows in the country and the competition was stiff.
Johne attended Stephens College where she rode hunters at the college stables. She then transferred to the University of Illinois and majored in retail business. Just before graduation, Johne married trainer Charlie Dobbs and they developed a business, breaking racehorses to send to the track, training show horses in multiple disciplines and standing stallions.
Through the years, the Dobbses co-owned such great stallions as Hotrodders Jet Set, Zippo Jack Bar and Impressive Review. They stood Pretty Impressive, Awesome Tai and Dee Invitation, a Congress champion owned by AQHA Past President Jim Shoemake. Johne bred Loverlee Jet to Hotrodders Jet Set to produce her favorite mare, Loveable Lillie, who became the dam of Congress champion and AQHA high-point stallion Good Time To Shine.
Johne raised her children in the world of AQHA competition. It even expanded their family as son Travis met his wife, Johnna Strickland, at a horse show at Gordyville, and daughter Courtney met her husband, Josh Clagg, when his family purchased a horse from the Dobbs farm. Today, the Dobbs grandchildren compete in the AQHYA and rodeo arenas.
Johne established her successful Johne Dobbs Insurance Agency in 1992 and continues today with Andreini & Co. She was a youth adviser and director for the Illinois Quarter Horse Association before becoming an AQHA director in 1997. She added to her service by working on the marketing, equine research, Hall of Fame, and nominations and credentials committees, as well as many task forces.
She was elected to the Executive Committee in 2010 and served as the 2013-14 president.
During her time as president, Johne focused on encouraging youth to become involved in all facets of AQHA and listening to members, a skill she had learned in the business and horse worlds.
Johne Dobbs was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2019.
Biography updated as of March 2019.