Robert H. Kieckhefer
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994
Robert H. Kieckhefer’s interests have included paper, lumber, milk cartons, lettuce boxes, art, cattle and Quarter Horses. Obviously, he had the talent of juggling more than one responsibility.
Growing up in Milwaukee, Kieckhefer was not exposed to horses in any way. Health problems forced the teen to move, and Kieckhefer and a friend ran a dude ranch in Arizona. Over the years, he bought land and expanded his agricultural interests. Unimpressed with the local ranch horses, Kieckhefer started breeding and raising his own Quarter Horses.
Around 1945, Kieckhefer bought some horses from the Greene Cattle Company, which raised the reputable RO-branded horses. Ten years later, Kieckhefer had moved past raising ranch horses and into showing and racing horses. He owned Hank Will, who became a Supreme Champion in 1972.
Kieckhefer also became involved with the Association and was elected to the AQHA Board of Directors in 1962. Kieckhefer chaired the judges committee for seven years before he was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee. In 1976, he became the Association’s 26th president and was elected a member of the American Horse Council’s Board of Trustees.
His year in the AQHA president’s chair was a busy one. Kieckhefer’s main focus was cutting the overall costs of the Association. He was also worried about the cost for the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame project.
Kieckhefer was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994, and died in 2001.