Johnny Trotter

Johnny Trotter

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame

2020-2021 HOF Inductees

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It started pretty simple. All Johnny Trotter ever wanted to be was a cowboy.

He began riding horses as a pre-schooler in Abilene, Texas, where one of his father’s friends had a horse. Johnny’s dad was a Methodist minister who moved his family to Dumas, Texas, where Johnny learned to gather cattle.

Johnny is the president and general manager of Bar G Feedyard in Hereford, Texas, and has qualified numerous times for the World Series of Team Roping finals. In 1998, on a trip to Ruidoso with fiancé (now wife) Jana, he became interested in racehorses.

In 2005, he bred Mr Jess Perry’s son One Famous Eagle, whom he raced with Burnett Ranches to earn nearly $1.4 million. One Famous Eagle sired the earners of more than $29 million, including champions One Dashing Eagle and Bodacious Eagle. In 2018, Johnny was named AQHA champion owner.

Johnny has partners in cattle operations near Hattiesburg, Mississippi and throughout Texas.

He and Pete Scarmardo own El Camino Real Ranch near Bryan, Texas. They also own Granada Farms, standing Dealagame, Down N Dash, EC Jet One, Tempting Dash, and others.

Johnny owns Whiteface Ford in Hereford and has served on boards of directors of banks in Hereford, Lubbock, and Abilene. He is involved in his local community, serving on Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping Committee awarding scholarships to students at West Texas A&M University. Johnny was also named the 2004 Deaf Smith County Citizen of the Year and the 2006 recipient of the Tri-State Fair Western Heritage Award.

In 2018, Johnny, Stan Sigman, Chicho Flores, and John Andreini bought Ruidoso Downs.

“It’s been a heckuva ride through the horse business for me,” Johnny says. “Not only have horses been a big part of my life, but they’ve helped me make a living the better part of my life. I’ve seen things with horses that would break your heart, and I’ve seen things with horses that are so gratifying you can’t explain it to somebody who doesn’t have a passion for the horse. I thank God every day for the friends he has given me that are horses.”

He has tried to return the friendship. First appointed to the AQHA Racing Committee in 2000, Johnny has served on AQHA board of directors, committees, and councils. Johnny was approached by four AQHA Past Presidents asking him to consider a position on the AQHA Executive Committee and finally agreed in 2010.

“They told me it was something I needed to do, that I could really benefit the Association,” says Johnny, who became president in 2014.  “Being AQHA president wasn’t an ego thing for me,” he says. “I’m at the point of my life where I don’t have to try to impress anybody.”

Johnny pauses. And then laughs. “Well, except Jana.” Johnny Trotter was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2020.


Biography updated as of August 2021.