Deep in southeast Texas, AQHA past president R. H. “Steve” Stevens, Jr., got his start, knee-high to the match racers running at local brush tracks.
In the 1940s, Wharton County, west of Houston, was a breeding ground of Quarter Horse action. The horse show at its county fair was as tough as you were likely to find in South Texas, and three-time racing world champion Go Man Go was bred and born in the county seat. A friend of Go Man Go’s breeder introduced a young Stevens to horses, and he’s never been far away from them since.
Stevens was raised in Wharton County. His parents, seeing his interest, bought him a horse as soon as he was old enough to ride. After his father retired, the family moved and Stevens graduated from Brazosport, Texas high school and enrolled in Texas A&M. Following college, he went into the Air Force, where he was stationed at a base just outside of Paris, France, where he met his wife, Kay. Prior to his release from the Air Force, Stevens secured a job at Arthur Andersen, an accounting firm in Houston.
Right after Stevens went to work for Arthur Andersen, horses came back into his life. In the 1970s, he became involved in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Impressed with what the show did for kids, he wanted to be a part of it, and during the next 30 years, he worked on various committees and became assistant horse show chairman.
Governor George W. Bush appointed Stevens to the board of regents for Texas A&M University in 1999. In 2002, he opened his own accounting firm.
Stevens was active within the Texas Quarter Horse Association and in 1986 served as president. In 1987, he was elected to the AQHA Board of Directors and has since served on the amateur, finance and investment oversight committees, as well as the Professional Horseman’s, public policy, affiliate and racing councils. In 1999, he was elected to the Executive Committee and in 2003 was named president of AQHA.
R. H. “Steve” Stevens, Jr. was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.
Biography updated as of March 2009.