Ralph Seekins

Ralph Seekins

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2023.

Ralph Seekins

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A self-described people person, it wasn’t a stretch for Ralph Seekins to serve as AQHA’s 68th president, focusing on the priorities of the Association’s members.

“AQHA is a member-driven organization, therefore my goals during my term as president are not to focus on my own priorities,” Ralph said during his presidency in 2017-18. “Instead, it is my goal to work with the members and focus on our members’ priorities. As an executive committee, we are determined to continue to increase transparency and involvement with our membership.”

Look at Ralph’s career track–he has been a car salesman a good part of his adult life, and he has owned a Ford dealership for 46 years. Ralph’s outgoing personality and desire to make a difference also led him to serve as an Alaska state senator for four years, which kinda made him a celebrity in the 49th state. And Ralph used that celebrity status to educate Alaskans about American Quarter Horses and help build the Quarter Horse industry in his state.

Someone once told Ralph that there are two things that teenagers should never have–spare time and spare money. So when daughters Beth and Andrea told their parents they wanted horses, Ralph and Connie told the girls that they had to prove that they could be responsible and take care of horses. After over a year of cleaning someone else’s horse stalls, Beth and Andrea were up for the challenge of owning, caring for and showing their own horses. That was the start of what in 1993 became Seekins Family Quarter Horses at the Lazy S Ranch.

Breeding, raising, training and showing horses was fun for the family, but they wanted to share that blessing with others. So in 1996, they started Helping Hooves, a therapeutic riding program in which their show horses also serve as the mounts for children, adults and military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or with disabilities. The family also started “Ride With Ralph,” which is a regular Wednesday night event during which the family offers riding lessons free of charge to 4-H’ers and other Quarter Horse owners.

The highlights of Ralph’s year as president included AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horses competing for nearly $115,000 in the inaugural AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals; the addition of seven 13-&-Under world championship core classes to the 2018 AQHYA World Championship Show; the American Quarter Horse Foundation awarding more than $365,000 to AQHYA members through scholarships; Ellexxah Maxwell and Zips Bossy Chip smashing the 30-year record for all-time leading youth horse by points; and AQHA Professional Horseman Ross Roark winning his 100th AQHA world championship title at the 2017 AQHA World Championship Show.

Leading up to being president, Ralph served on the marketing and membership, public policy and foundation committees, as well as the foundation council. He became an AQHA director in 2006, he was elected to the Executive Committee in 2014, he was then elevated to director emeritus in 2016 and served as AQHA president in 2018.

The Seekins family has AQHA in its blood, and that love of the American Quarter Horse isn’t going away.

Ralph was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2023.