Robert (Bob) H. Kieckhefer was drawn to the Arizona desert from Wisconsin in the late 1930’s. Bob and his wife Virginia (Dudie) lived in Prescott and often spent time at his family’s K4 Ranch just outside of town. It was there that Bob’s love and admiration for horses grew. Wanting to increase the quality of the horses on the ranch, Bob started breeding and raising his own Quarter Horses around 1945. Within a decade, his interest had surpassed “using” ranch horses and had moved on to show and race horses.
Bob Kieckhefer served as Arizona Quarter Horse Association President in the early 1960’s. Bob also founded the Prescott Horse Show and ran it from the late 1940’s through the early 1970’s.
During this time, Bob owned and bred horses that were winning championships at racetracks and in the show ring around the west. Bob purchased a young son of Tonto Bars Hank from Walter Merrick. The beautiful sorrel stallion, Hank Will, raced as a two and three year old earning a speed index of 100 in 1969. Bob decided to campaign Hank Will for the title of AQHA Supreme Champion. In 1972, Hank Will became Arizona’s first AQHA Supreme Champion, earning points in Racing, Halter, Tie Down Roping, Heading, Heeling, Hunter Under Saddle, Working Cow Horse, Reining, Pole Bending and Western Pleasure.
Bob was an AQHA judge and also a national director. In 1976, Bob became the AQHA’s 26th president and was elected a member of the American Horse Council’s Board of Trustees. Bob Kieckhefer was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1994 and died in 2001. In 2013 Bob Kieckhefer was inducted into the inaugural Arizona Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame.