David Perkins brought one of the first American Quarter Horses in Louisiana in 1949 and 30 years later became AQHA’s 29th president.
Perkins became an AQHA Director in 1969 and was a director at large in 1980. He was also an AQHA-approved judge for 20 years. Perkins served on the nominating (1969-75), youth activities (1960-66, 1968), public information (1967), judges (1969-74, 1980), convention site (1975-76), finance (1980) and judges (1990-1994) committees. He became AQHA President in 1979.
Perkins’ involvement with Quarter Horses traces to his days at Louisiana State University, where he enrolled after serving in the Army. He was president of the student body of the LSU College of Agriculture and was a member of the livestock judging team. The coach of that team, incidentally, was graduate student Lee Berwick, who later became an AQHA President and founded Delta Downs racetrack in Vinton, Louisiana, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994. Berwick and Perkins became lifelong friends, and AQHA records show a great deal of horse-swapping between the two breeders’ barns.
In 1949, Perkins bought his first Quarter Horse for $250. He had to borrow the money, but in a community that was mainly involved in farming, he did not want to tell his banker the purpose of the loan.
Perkins’ new horse was named Angel’s Pep, a son of Peppy Jr. Perkins did everything with him, from breeding outside mares, to running him on brush tracks and letting his daughter ride him in barrels and reining events at open shows. When he had time, Perkins started putting together a few mares of his own to breed to Angel’s Pep. By 1979, he was keeping eight to 10 mares that he had raised by his first horse. Dave broke all his mares to ride, and used them in cow work before breeding them. The horse business proved to be a profitable sideline to his primary business in cattle and farming.
Perkins was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1996, and died in 2010.
Biography updated as of December 2010.