Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1990Having been captain of the basketball team, all-conference football tackle and head of a construction company, Ed Honnen knew about leadership.
Honnen was introduced to Quarter Horses through his friend Paul Grafe. A Colorado native, Honnen became heavily involved with breeding racing Quarter Horses.
Not long after starting his breeding operation, Honnen became a member of the AQHA Racing Committee. Around 1960, he turned his attention to the newly formed equine research committee. Four years later, he joined the AQHA Executive Committee.
Elected as president in 1968, Honnen had a specific list of goals he wanted to accomplish: revisions of budget and expense account systems in each department and an upgrade of employee benefits.
During Honnen’s year as president, several changes were made throughout the Association. Standing committee reports were usually given one time a year at convention. Honnen changed this so regular reports were given on each committee’s work in progress. The initiation of testing procedures for approving judges happened in the summer of 1968.
In 1969, the Association implemented a new rule dealing with the problem of drugs at horse shows. Denny Smith and the racing department proposed “A Guide for Grading Meets,” which outlined a new set of rules for non pari-mutuel tracks, and the committee approved it.
As a breeder, Honnen achieved many things. He owned 34 daughters of Leo at one time and stood Firebrand Reed, a full brother to Leo. His other stallions were Hard Twist, Jaguar, Jag and Johnny Dial.
At 65, Honnen started competing in rodeos. Twenty years later, in 1984, he won the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s senior team roping championship.
Honnen was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1990. He died in 1996 at the age of 96.