Ron McMillian
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Beloved ring steward Ron McMillian dies

A familiar face at horse shows around the country, longtime ring steward Ron McMillian of Collinsville, Oklahoma, has died.

A retired laboratory technician, Ron was a fixture in the horse industry for more than 50 years. He was a breeder and exhibitor, but perhaps was best known for his role as a ring steward at championship events around the country. He was part of the APHA World Championship Show ring stewarding team since 1999. Other world championship ring-stewarding credentials on Ron’s resume included events for the American Quarter Horse Association, National Snaffle Bit Association, Pinto Horse Association of America, Buckskin Registry of America, American Miniature Horse Association, Appaloosa Horse Club and Palomino Horse Breeders of America.

Remembering Ron McMillian

Exhibitors and staff fondly remember Ron’s beaming smile and kind words to everyone he encountered. In addition to his presence in the arena at shows, Ron was a natural teacher and frequently assisted with ring-steward and scribe education for APHA and at the Color Breed Council.

“Ron was like an anchor that holds the ship safe in the bay. You could always count on him and all the judges knew he would never let them down,” APHA Director of Judges & Professional Horseman Sandy Jirkovsky said.  He was kind, good-hearted and always professional. God must be planning a huge horse show in Heaven and needed the best of ring stewards, so he called Ron to come help.”

Ron was a lifetime APHA member and served on the Judges and Professional Horsemen Advisory Committees. He was honored by APHA with the 2018 Don Manuello Ring Steward Award. Ron was inducted into the Pinto association’s Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2022.


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The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association. Since it was founded in 1962, APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses. Learn more at