Kansas Quarter Horse Association
Denny Hassett was born in Tonganoxie, Kansas. He graduated from McLouth High School where he took part in all high school sports, football, basketball, and track. While growing up, Hassett really didn't care for horses, even though the rest of the family did. His sister went to fairs and rode in potato and other races, while his father used work horses and went to pulling contests. Finally, a family friend, George Wingate, who had a son a year younger than Hassett, talked him into going to some open horse shows where he and his son showed a few reining horses.
It didn't take long before Hassett was hooked, Hassett's dad was pleased and gave him a gray mare sired by a Quarter Horse stallion out of a work mare. Hassett began to attend open and saddle club sponsored shows where he did well. In 1962 he began to take in a few outside horses to train; at the same time he worked at the Gas Service Company in Topeka from 1966-1967, and at City Service in Lawrence from 1967-1970. Finally in 1970 Hassett left the gas company job and became a full time trainer. He showed and won in reining, pleasure and halter classes. He married Dana Sullivan in 1972.
The Hassetts moved to western Kansas in 1978. While in western Kansas, the Hassetts had some of the nation's top horses in their barn. These horses included Conclusive, Impressive Dandy, and six time World Champion Decker Impressive. Denny rode western horses, while Dana rode English horses until the mid-1980's.
The Hassetts returned to the Wichita area in 1989. At that time Hassett, began to specialize in fitting and showing halter horses. He has earned 23 AQHA World Championships and 22 AQHA Reserve World Championships. He has also won numerous Grand and Reserve Grand Championships as well as too many futurity classes to count. In addition, the youth and amateur horses he's trained have racked up the wins also.
Hassett has given back to the Quarter Horse industry as well. He has served on the KQHA Board of Directors and is currently serving on the AQHA Board of Directors representing Kansas. He is also the author of Winning at Halter, a book which describes how to select, fit , and show the halter horse.
Hassett was inducted into the KQHA Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievements on the state and national levels and his contribution t the Quarter Horse industry.