50-Year Breeders: Ron Lien

50-Year Breeders: Ron Lien

Ron, of Westbrook, Minnesota, is 78 now and has been raising Quarter Horses since his 20s.

mare and foals

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Ron Lien had a plan for his foals that has worked for more than a half century: “I’d get ’em weaned in the fall and then get them in the barn, get them fit and then take them to the sale.”

Ron, of Westbrook, Minnesota, is 78 now and has been raising Quarter Horses since his 20s. “We always had horses at home,” he says. “I guess my dad always liked horses, too, so I kind of got it from him.”

But not just any horses; it was the golden ones he liked best. Ron focused on raising palominos, including one, Star Bar Anne, who was a Palomino Horse Breeders of America world champion in 1978. Ron’s horses went all over: Germany, France and Mexico, as well as all over the United States. He maintained the horses as a sideline, working at a grain and fertilizer elevator as his mainstay.

Ron still has two broodmares and an AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred palomino stallion, Golden Classy Doc, who came from Crago Cattle Co. in South Dakota. Other stallions over the years have included Guerrilla Star, the sire of Star Bar Anne who was by AQHA Champion Rochester’s Star, and Blondys Sonny Money, a 1988 son of AQHA world champion halter horse Mr Sonny Money.  

Ron has bred 221 foals from 52 foal crops, selling most of them as spring yearlings.

Besides conformation and color, Ron has another equine attribute that he appreciates: “The best kind I like is one that makes you money,” he says. He also appreciates having had horses in his life for so long.

“It gets in your blood, I guess,” he says. “I always have liked horses and just stuck with it.”