Orville Burtis

Orville Burtis

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1988.

hall of fame inductees

text size

In the early 1940s, AQHA inspector Orville Burtis traveled with Dan Casement to Stamford, Texas, to watch a Quarter Horse show.

To Burtis’ great surprise Casement turned to him, handed him a piece of paper and said, “Here are your credentials, now get in there and go to work.”

It was Burtis’ first time to judge.  In the stallions halter class, Poco Bueno was making his second show appearance, and Burtis placed the stallion first.

Another surprise awaited Burtis.  During the 1953 convention, the AQHA Nominating Committee informed Burtis he had been elected president.  He served two terms, during when the Association grew as never before in membership, registrations and employees.  AQHA soon built more office space for its workers.

A supporter of youth programs, Burtis was instrumental in the formation of the American Junior Quarter Horse Association, now known as the American Quarter Horse Youth Association.  He served as chairman of its committee for years.  He was the president of the Kansas Quarter Horse Association for one term.

As an inspector, the Kansas rancher traveled to surrounding states, plus Texas, Mexico, New Mexico and others.  After a few years, his ranch work increased and he retired as an inspector, but continued to judge a few shows every year, including Quarter Horse shows held at the Fort Worth Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show on three occasions, one of the few people to do this.

Burtis owned a band of broodmares and bred to Casement’s stallions.  He bred for ranch-type horses and never sold a stallion.  He gelded his colts and used them in his operation.

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1988 and died in 1990.


Biography updated as of December 1990.