Inducted 2008 Joe Ruiz
Inducted 2009 Jim Montgomery
Inducted 2010 Pooch Chex
Joe RuizInducted 2009
Joe Ruiz was raised on a ranch in Arizona and roped since he was a little boy, he rodeoed all his life. When he moved to Utah he became intrigued with reining while working for Noel Skinner. Joe had an appendix Quarter Horse that showed some ability so he started teaching it how to rein. Meanwhile the Intermountain Reining Horse Association was born when Doug Milholland, training in South Jordan at Dr. Sharp's arena, put together an added money reining at the Salt Palace, Doug and Joe were the only two entries. This was the beginning of Joe's love and passion for the sport of reining. Doug moved to Nebraska and the association dwindled to no activity for a couple of years. Joe was determined to get the IRHA going again so he called Dale Davis and Mary Lynn Briggs who had been involved when Doug Milholland was here. They decided that because Joe was so excited about reining, he would be President, Dale would be Vice-President and Mary Lynn would be Secretary.
Joe and Dale began teaching reining clinics for a small fee and donated the money to the association, the IRHA started to grow. Joe and Dale would travel to Nebraska to learn more from Doug Milholland and Bob Loomis and then would come back and help IRHA members. Joe learned the new NRHA Judging system and got his Judges Card. He would teach clinics to help members and donate the proceeds back to the IRHA to help put on shows. He also trained judges to judge local jackpots, futurities, and derbies. Joe's example compelled many others to donate their time and talents to help build the association. John and Mary Jo Elwell became one of Joe's early clients supporters of the IRHA and remain so today. Joe and his wife, Carrie attended the first NRHA Futurity held in Oklahoma City where they experienced their first Freestyle reining. They were so excited they came home and performed a Freestyle Exhibition to introduce it to the IRHA. The first added-money IRHA futurity was held in 1986, it was so successful a Derby was added in 1987. Several years later Joe represented the IRHA at the Affiliate Finals in Scottsdale, AZ where he was Limited Open Champion and Reserve Open Champion. Since then Joe has won multiple Championships at the Local, State, Regional, National levels. Joe served as IRHA President for 6 years and continues to donate his time and talents in support of the IRHA. Joe's dedication to the sport of Reining and his commitment to supporting the growth of the Intermountain Reining Horse Association has been vital to the success we enjoy today.
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