J. L. “Dusty” Rhoades
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1991
“A leader of men…A builder with a blueprint for success…This lofty Texan not only raises money, but he inspires others to do so in a rather remarkable way. He is a friend to everyone.” Those words were used to describe J. L. “Dusty” Rhoades.
Around 1937, Rhoades was living in Abilene, Texas, and became involved with the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in promoting horse shows. This reawakened Rhoades’ love for horses. A year later, he helped found the Texas Palomino Association.
With experience under his belt, Rhoades attended the 1939 and 1940 organizational meeting for the establishment of AQHA. He was among the first shareholders of the Association, and was elected an AQHA director in 1949. He also served on the public information, international and racing committees, as well as the AQHA Executive Committee.
The pinnacle of Rhoades’ involvement with AQHA was in 1966 when he was elected the 16th president of the Association. That same year, the Supreme Champion award was created, and the rule prohibiting women judges was rescinded.
During his year of service, Rhoades and the executive committee decided that AQHA would stay in Amarillo, and they terminated the contract with the Association’s public relations firm and established a public relations department within the headquarters.
In 1956, Rhoades and his brother, Bill, formed a Quarter Horse breeding partnership with Jimmy Meek of New Mexico. The partners bred race and performance horses, and stood several stallions: Dan’s Sugar Bars by Sugar Bars; Hill King by King P-234; and Roan Wolf by One Eyed Waggoner. A few of the more notable horses produced were Lady Capri and Hill King’s Gal, both by Hill King.
Rhoades died in 1978 at 79, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1991.