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The Raymond Sutton Ranch is home to the oldest family production in the world.
Courtesy Photo
The Raymond Sutton Ranch is home to the oldest family production in the world.
First South Dakota natives named to AQHA Hall of Fame
News Staff - January 17, 2018

RAPID CITY, SD – The Black Hills Stock Show is synonymous with quality livestock.  And that includes horses.  Over 3,000 make their way to Rapid City, SD, just ahead of the official start of stock show, where they are showcased in dozens of disciplines.  The nine days of competitions (January 17 – 25, 2018) are just ahead of one of the most prestigious sales in the country; the Black Hills Stock Show Horse Sale.

Among the associations heavily involved in the growing horse mecca that is housed on the Central States Fairgrounds is the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association (SDQHA).  The organization recently named it’s honorees for the year.  That includes the late Ray Sutton and wife Georga who are 2018 inductees into the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Hall of Fame.  The Suttons are the first South Dakota natives to be inducted.

"Induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is the highest honor possible in the American Quarter Horse Association," said Craig Huffhines, AQHA executive vice president. "Georga and Raymond Sutton have greatly impacted our Association.”

Home to one of the oldest quarter horse production sales in the world, the Raymond Sutton Ranch near Gettysburg, SD, still uses the original ranch brand, S quarter circle.  Established in 1894 by Edwin Sutton, the ranch has raised cattle, buffalo and horses since 1916. By the end of 2016, the ranch had registered 2,646 foals.

The first production sale was in 1951 at an area sale barn.  Now held on the ranch, the sale offering (that sells into 10 states) is primarily current year foals with a few older geldings and mare.

Home of Bill's Rock, first in AQHA Get-of-Sire for two years, the ranch is also home to Peggy Note and Patty Punk, both first in AQHA Produce-of-Dam; Sorrel Spark, whose produce accumulated 2,592 AQHA points and boasted a World Champion Senior Pleasure Horse, two AQHA High Point Halter Mares, a Youth Supreme Champion, Open and Youth AQHA Champions.

From the ranch’s breeding program, horses have Superiors in halter, pleasure, hunt seat, showmanship and horsemanship; and are the dams of Dynamic Deluxe, Sudden Inclination and Cowboy's Squaw II, an AQHA's Honor Roll Mare.

Following the untimely death of Raymond in 2005, daughter Heather returned to the ranch.  Along with her Mom, the two continue the Sutton legacy.  With 15 stallions and over 100 mares, their days are full.

Both Raymond and Georga were heavily involved in work within the quarter horse world.  Like mother- like daughter, Heather serves on the marketing committee for AQHA and on the board of directors of the SDQHA. Georga has served on  AQHA committees including international, studbook, registration and Hall of Fame Selection. In 2013, she was named an honorary AQHA vice president, and both she and Ray served as presidents of SDQHA.

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