NRHA is saddened to hear of the passing of John Hoyt on the morning of December 20, 2016. He was surrounded by family and friends in his cabin in Texas. Hoyt was loved and admired by many in the reining community and his presence truly will be missed.
Hoyt was a wonderful man and legendary horseman that influenced many of today’s top riders. Al Dunning summed up Hoyt’s influence on reining and other western disciplines by saying, “John is the Dale Wilkinson of the West!” NRHA Judge and long-time friend Greg Darnall added to that opinion by saying, “He’s the John Wayne of the horse training business. He backs away from nothing.” Hoyt was well-known for his ability to mentor others with blunt honesty and to get extraordinary performances out of ordinary horses.
Hoyt, a native Californian, was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2010 after a decade-spanning and award-winning career. His accomplishments include more than $49,300 in NRHA earnings and multiple AQHA World Championships. Hoyt qualified for 21 AQHA World Championship Shows in a row. He was the 1986 NRHA Futurity Limited Open Reserve Champion on Okies Sure Bet. In 1988, he rode Lady Kiper to win the Intermediate and Limited Open ancillary classes at the NRHA Derby.
More information regarding John Hoyt’s celebration of life will be posted here when it becomes available.