LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen July  21, 2024


Julien "Butch" Stevens, III is a very busy man! He just accepted another duty to his demanding schedule when he was elected president of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) for 2016-2017.

Born and raised in Leesville, Louisiana, Stevens has been around horses his entire life.

"My dad was in and out of racing," said Stevens. "We spent plenty of time at the brush tracks when I was growing up."

He will join a noted list of recent hard-working past presidents including Gerald Libersat; Mark Petry, DDS; Mike Hayes; Leigh Lepinski; Larry Findley, DVM and Shawn Magee, whose term just ended.

Together with their LQHBA board members, each president has worked tirelessly to create greater opportunities and revenues for Louisiana racing and breeding. In 2015, Louisiana Quarter Horse racing offered $22 Million in Purses; $4.5 million in breeders awards and $500,000 in stallion awards. The association organizes the annual Yearling Sale and Fall Mixed Sale as well as its annual Awards banquet.

Stevens Committed to Breeding and Racing

The Stevens family had a long association with Claude and Bessie Lea Jeane, who were recently inducted into the inaugural LQHBA Hall of Fame.

In 2014, Stevens purchased multiple Grade 1 winner Okey Dokey Fantasy with Scott Jeane. He stands at the Claude Jeane Farm near Evans, Louisiana and covered 50 mares this season.

That is his lone stallion, but on his farm in Leesville, Stevens has 16 broodmares, nine yearlings, eight weanling and 16 horses in training. His racehorses are conditioned by Paul Rigdon.

Stevens also raises register Black Angus cattle and has been in the land and timber business for the past two decades. He has phased out the construction side of his company, but notes that he still has "plenty of irons in the fire".

Goals for LQHBA

Stevens credits his predecessors for their hard work and progress in growing the Louisiana racing industry.

"We have been very successful in bringing the numbers up for Louisiana horsemen," said Stevens. "Our state-bred racing program offers excellent incentives and Louisiana horses, such as Open Me A Corona, are getting national industry attention."

Stevens attended the April 25th Racing Commission Meeting and reported that things went well and that the new commissioners were up to speed.

"I have some goals regarding breeder incentives and purses," stated Stevens. "Our association is on the right track and we are proud of our $1 million futurity. We will do our best to keep it there."

Dr. Larry Findley, DVM, has served on the LQHBA board for eight years. He has known Stevens for over 20 years and feels he will do an excellent job leading the association.

"We have an excellent foundation in place and Butch will not only enhance what we have accomplished so far, but implement new ideas," said Findley. "As a Quarter Horse owner and breeder, he fully understands the goals of the association from all angles. I know he will be open to suggestions and work hard to take LQHBA's programs further into the history books."

Tony Patterson, executive director of LQHBA, looks forward to Stevens leadership in the year ahead.

"Butch is an experienced horseman who understands all facets of racing and breeding," said Patterson. "The role of our association's presidency is not easy, by any means. We have one of the best breeding and racing programs in the country, and each year we hope to build upon that. Butch is a well-respected businessman who has been an outstanding board member for five years. We look forward to supporting him in his new role."

Stevens is a devoted family man, He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children and six grandchildren.

With his leadership, the momentum for Louisiana racing and breeding will continue to flourish in the year ahead!

Photo above: Karla Skrantz, Butch Stevens, Jose Jaramillo with Brees Bayou.

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.