Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994Lee Berwick pushed AQHA into the modern age and established new programs for the Association.
Growing up a sharecropper’s son is probably one of the reasons Berwick decided to go into cattle and horses. He had gotten his fill of those fluffy white cotton bolls. It was more than 10 years after the formation of AQHA before Berwick bought his first American Quarter Horse. It was not long before the Louisiana native had the Quarter Horse bug.
Berwick became an AQHA Director in 1960, and initiated the AQHA Supreme Champion award. Elected as president in 1969, Berwick was successful in the creation of the American Junior Quarter Horse Association.
The AQHA Executive Committee and Berwick also dealt with budget problems and cut appropriations across the board. The racing identification tattooing program was put on hold until the 1970 convention “due to the critical financial situation.”
During his term, Berwick helped usher AQHA into the modern era. He oversaw the reorganization of AQHA’s various divisions, began negotiations for a computer system to improve record keeping and customer service, and saw the implementation of a seminar program for approving show judges.
Berwick purchased 23 Quarter Horses in a 24-month span in the early 1950s. His mare band included daughters of Rey Del Rancho, Peppy, Macanudo and Wimpy P-1. His stallion was Wimpy O’Nesa, by Wimpy P-1. In the mid 1960s, Berwick started breeding for speed and purchased Little Duce. He also owned half interest in Jet Straw, by Jackstraw (TB) and out of Miss 89’er.
His enthusiasm for racing led to the development of Delta Downs racetrack in Vinton, Louisiana, and he was the president and a major stock holder for several years.
Berwick was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in 2001 at the age of 79.