John Hoyt was raised in and around Arcadia, California, among some of the best horsemen of the day, such as Pooch Leiber and Red Lott. When John was nineteen years old, he went to work for the FF Ranch and Mrs. Rose H. Fulton in Dragoon, Arizona. When he was called to serve in the US Army during the Korean War, Mrs. Fulton assured him the job would be waiting when he got back home. John returned to the ranch and continued to train some of the best and most talented Quarter Horses of the day at FF Ranch until 1958.
John knew training horses would be his life and career, so he moved to Phoenix and trained out of the Horse Lover’s Club. John also served as President of the Arizona State Horseman’s Association. It was not long before John Hoyt was the premier western horse trainer in Arizona. He became known for training AQHA Champions; horses that excelled in Reining, Western Riding, Working Cow Horse and Roping and Halter. The first AQHBA (Arizona Quarter Horse Breeders Association as it was known then) All Around Horse award was won by Canyon Tony, and he was trained by John. Hoyt trained horses would dominate the AQHBA All Around championships over the next decade and half. He trained many well-known Arizona horses such as: Cherizan; inducted into the AzQHA Hall of Fame in 2013; FF Ranch foundation sire Settle Up; AQHA Champions Bill’s Kokett, Roca Girl, Canyon Tony, Canyon Tom, Cherokee Scout and Studyhall, to name a few. John also rode and trained San Bonito Bob to the first ever AQHA World Champion Western Riding in 1975. John also had the distinction of training Enhanced and My Stormy Boy, both AQHA Supreme Champions.
John Hoyt has earned over $49,300 in NRHA earnings, has multiple AQHA World Championships to his name, and has earned the distinction of qualifying for 21 AQHA World Championship shows in a row. In 1986, John won the NRHA Limited Open Reserve Champion Futurity, riding Okies Sure Bet. In 2010 John was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame.
John left Arizona and moved to Texas in 1978; however he still considers Arizona his home. He has mentored several well-known horse trainers throughout the years; Al Dunning, Tom Gilmore, Dick George and Jim Paul Sr. There is no doubt that John Hoyt is responsible for the evolution of Reining and other western disciplines. John was also instrumental in the planning stages of the first Sun Circuit in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1973. Thanks to John Hoyt, Arizona became a leader in all facets for the Quarter Horse industry.
John Hoyt was inducted to the AzQHA Hall of Fame in 2014.