Bill G. Reed

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1995

Bill Reed

It is not surprising that a boy who carried a lariat to school in the Eastern Oklahoma town of Muskogee in the 1930s later became president of the largest horse breed association in the world.

The fate was deep in Bill Reed’s genes. His paternal grandfather drove thousands of longhorn cattle up the trail to the Kansas railhead, and a maternal grandfather had a feverish passion for match-racing sturdy Steeldust horses. Reed was destined for a career in the horse industry before he was ever born.

Living in a town that got its name from the many corrals built along the banks of the Rio Grande during Spanish settlement, Reed filled his own corrals in Corrales, New Mexico with a small lot of broodmares from the Silver Kip line. His breeding band frequently featured stock from the barns of Warren Shoemaker and Hank Wiescamp. The offspring proved themselves as excellent working ranch horses and all-around pleasure mounts, which would have made Reed’s cattle-driving grandfather proud. Reed also dabbled in the racing business, and purchased Roll N’ Easy, a son of Easy Jet, in 1978.

A past president of the New Mexico Quarter Horse Association, Reed was active in promotion and management of horse shows, rodeos, roping and 4-H activities throughout New Mexico. He was a charter member of the New Mexico Horse Breeders Association and a past president of the Rio Grande Horseman’s and the Palomino Horse Breeders associations.

In 1978, after serving on the AQHA youth and show and contest committees, Reed became AQHA’s 28th president.  His term marked the implementation of the AQHA Amateur Division and continuation of fund-raising efforts for the proposed American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Having been an AQHA-approved judge for 22 years, Reed was influential in the improvement of the screening, application and training of judges during his presidency. He pushed for more Quarter Horse racetracks and further allied the Association with the American Horse Council to protect the industry from excessive taxation.

Reed was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1995, and he died September 5, 2011.