Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004
Ronas Ryon had talent and luck on his side when it came to running a race.
Bred in Florida by James Floyd Plummer, Ronas Ryon was by Windy Ryon and out of the stakes-winning Three Bargains mare Rona Bar, whose dam was by a son of Wimpy P-1. Plummer and partners Ben Benham and W. E. “Sarge” Darden raced the stallion.
Ronas Ryon’s impressive racing career began as a 2-year-old in 1986. At the Kansas Futurity, luck was on both Ronas Ryon and jockey Jerry Nicodemus’ side. As the horse left the gate the saddle slipped. Nicodemus managed to stay on and they finished the race in first place.
A few months later at the All American Futurity (G1), Lady Luck struck again. Nicodemus, who almost never got rattled or made a mistake in the saddle, dropped his stick before he got it uncocked. Ronas Ryon was hand ridden, which means that the jockey never touched him. The stallion put half a length between him and his closest rival, favored Lil Bit Shiney, to win the $2 million All American Futurity in 1986.
Ronas Ryon racked up impressive numbers on the track, winning 18 of 23 races over three seasons, including five stakes wins. In 1987, he won the All American Derby (G1) and finished second in the Kansas Derby (G1). That same year, he set a new world record of :19.62 at 400 yards in Graham Farms Derby (G3) at Val Verde Downs in Del Rio, Texas. The following year, he ran second at the 1988 All American Gold Cup (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.
The stallion retired from the track with earnings of more than $1.7 million. Ronas Ryon went on to make his mark as a sire. From his 13 crops, he sired 1,046 foals, with 763 of those starting races and 483 coming back winners. Ronas Ryon is the sire of 48 stakes winners, 53 stakes-placed runners and the earners of more than $8.5 million.
Ronas Ryon died of a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 16. The stallion was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004.