Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004
Horseman, leader, visionary and, above all, gentleman. This is just the short list that describes AQHA Past President Don Burt.
Burt grew up in the river bottoms of Burbank, California, which during the 1930s was a horse-showing capital. Burt, his father and grandfather all made a living raising horses.
During World War II, Burt and his friends would ride their horses over the Hollywood Hills to shows.
“We would leave our stable at two in the morning,” he said, “ride all the way over the Hollywood Hills, show all day and ride back that night. That’s really wanting to show horses.”
When Burt was in high school, he worked at the Marwyck Ranch, which was owned by Barbara Stanwyck and Groucho Marx. He galloped racehorses in the mornings, and worked the show horses in the afternoons.
A training injury later in life led him to judging. Burt judged the AQHA World Championship Show seven times, and the AQHYA World Championship Show three times, and was named Judge of the Year for the American Horse Shows Association 10 times. As a judge, he presided over national and world championship shows for many breeds.
Burt retired from judging when he was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 1992. He was AQHA’s 46th president in 1996. He used to pass his time by writing monthly articles “On The Rail,” which were published in The American Quarter Horse Journal.
Burt was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2004 and died in 2012.