Orville Burtis

Orville Burtis

1892 - 1990

When KQHA came to life the founding members selected Orville Burtis as the first president of the organization.  They could have selected no one more able to lead the group through the initial growing pains.

Orville was selected as one of the first AQHA inspectors.  He traveled to Stanford, Texas with founding AQHA member Dan Casement to watch one of the early Quarter Horse Shows.  Thinking he was there only to observe the competition he was suprised when handed a piece of paper indicating he was an AQHA approved judge.  Casement then informed him that he was there to work.  In his first judging assignment he had the honor to give the immortal Poco Bueno first place in the stallion class.

In 1953 Orville was elected as the 6th president of AQHA. He served two terms, during one of the fastest periods of growth that AQHA has ever experienced requiring an expansion of the offices to handle the increased number of employees.

As an inspector Burtis selected horses for inclusion into the registry.  His territory included Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, plus Texas, Mexico, New Mexico and other places as needed by AQHA. When his his ranch work began to take up most of his time he retired as an inspector, but continued to judge a few shows every year, including the Fort Worth Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show on three occasions, one of the few people to do this.

Orville served as a national director representing Kansas for over 38 years.  He was at the forefront during the formation of the American Junior Quarter Horse Association, now known as the American Quarter Horse Youth Association and was the chairman of that committee for many year.

Burtis owned a ranch near Manhattan, Kansas and owned a band of broodmares.  He bred to Casement’s stallions with an emphasis on hardy ranch type horse for use in his operation.It is interesting that he never sold a stallion. He gelded all of the colts for use in the ranching operation.

He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1988 and died in 1990.  On January 22, 2000 KQHA inducted Orville into the KQHA Hall of Fame.