William “Bill” Verdugo
Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994
William “Bill” Verdugo’s California heritage traced to the late 1700s. He descended from ranchers on both sides of the family, so it was only natural he would follow the same course.
Verdugo was working for Fresno State University when he joined AQHA in 1957. He was elected to the AQHA Board of Directors in 1963, and became a member of the AQHA Executive Committee in 1967. Verdugo became the 21st president in 1971.
Verdugo’s term in office was not quiet. He and the executive committee faced several different problems ranging from international Quarter Horse associations to an outbreak of Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis.
The Californian’s laid back personality kept any confrontations limited to the executive committee. He did not allow any of the problems to spill over into the Association at large.
The foreign markets and the youth activities programs were Verdugo’s priorities during his term. However, other business was accomplished as well. During one of the executive committee meetings, the group created a new award designation of “AQHA Superior Horse” which would be awarded to any horse that earned 50 or more points in one recognized event.
Verdugo continued serving AQHA after his year as president. He served as a Director-At-Large and was a member of the Hall of Fame and international committees. He also served as the president of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association.
Born in 1919, Verdugo was raised by his maternal grandmother on a portion of the family’s original La Puente Ranch. As a college student, he pursued a degree in animal husbandry at California Polytechnic College.
Verdugo was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in 1998 at the age of 79.