Meet Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter Horses
Tim and Kristen are first generation ranchers. We started our cattle heard in 1992, purchasing 20 bred Hereford cows through a loan from an uncle. From 1992 until 2000 the Gonsoir’s grew our herd—cattle and two wonderful kids-- on Kristen’s grandparent’s farmstead that had stood empty for over twenty years prior to their moving in. Capacity for cattle at that facility topped at 30 cow/calf pairs. In 2000 we purchased our currently owned 60 acre ranch that was set to handle more livestock. During the next sixteen years Gonsoirs increased their cattle herd to approximately 120 cow/calf pairs. Also during this time their children entered adulthood, married and became a working part of our ranch and generation two became involved in Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter Horses. The second generation includes our son Stanley C Gonsoir; his wife, Madeleine Marie Gonsoir; and our daughter, Joellen Gonsoir Miller. Joellen has recently married and moved to her husband’s and his family’s ranch/farm which is only a few miles away where they raise several hundred head of cattle. Joellen continues her involvement with Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter Horses coming to the ranch several days a week helping with cattle work, breeding horses, and training family owned horses. Stanley and Madeline, along with Tim and I, are involved daily with the day to day ranch operation. In addition to the 120 head of cow/calf pairs, Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter Horses also raise bucking bulls for use at rodeos and bull riding events. Approximately 10 bucking bred registered cows are artificially inseminated by ranking bucking bulls each year. Currently Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter Horses have about 20 bucking bulls ranging from yearlings to three year olds. The young bulls are entered in bucking futurities and contests in addition to rodeo use.
Operators of Gonsoir Cattle and Quarter horses have been breeders of American Quarter Horses for over twenty-five years. Collectively we have bred over 70 registered American Quarter Horses. Many of the horses we use for our ranch work were bred by members of our family. We currently stand one home bred, raised and trained stallion—AQHA Champion Daddys Legacy, to the public and we also breed our own mares with him. At 17 years old Daddys Legacy is still going strong as one of our working ranch horses and one of Stanley and Joellen’s team roping horses. In 2016 Daddys Legacy also qualified for the AQHA world show in senior and amateur ranch riding. Current horses owned by members of the Gonsoir family include five mares, six geldings, and two stallions. Of these horses, seven are currently in ranch use and several are young prospects that will eventually get placed into ranch work. We do sell a few horses privately every year. Horses we have bred can be found across the United States from coast to coast and they are used in a variety of disciplines including ranch work, barrel racing, rodeo, AQHA western performance, trail riding, and fox hunting.
Stanley, Joellen, Madeleine and Kristen also complete in AQHA shows and events on our horses that we also use on the ranch. One weekend our horses may be rounding up cattle in a pasture and the next at a show or rodeo. Nearly all of our cattle work is done on horseback, except for Tim. Tim was hurt in an accident in 1995 and can no longer ride, so he had to trade four legs for four wheels. All the rest of the operators and extended family that joins, ride horse or serve as truck/trailer drivers. During calving season, March to May, Stanley does nearly all the cow checking and bringing of calves to the barn with a horse and calf sled. Cattle are rounded up from pastures in the fall with horses.
The Gonsoir family is involved in many community activities. Stanley C Gonsoir and Joellen Gonsoir Miller are both FFA alumni and are currently volunteers for several FFA events. Kristen is also an FFA volunteer and has coached several successful horse judging teams, public speakers, and extemporaneous speakers to the national level. Joellen earned national FFA awards in public speaking and horse judging and state awards in horse judging, public speaking, and veterinary science. Stanley Gonsoir earned state awards in horse judging, market beef rate of gain contests, and in market livestock showing. 4-H has also been an important civic activity for the entire Gonsoir family. Stanley, Joellen and Kristen are 4-H alumni and are current local and state volunteers. Kristen has served on our state’s 4-H horse advisory committee and has coached many horse judging teams, quiz bowl teams, and hippology teams to state and national titles, most recently the National Western Roundup National Champion Horse Quiz Bowl team. Joellen has earned top placings at 4-H nationals in horse judging, public speaking, quiz bowl, and hippology. Joellen and Kristen also help with 4-H horse practices and Kristen has given several clinics across the state for 4-H members over many disciplines of riding. The entire Gonsoir family is a member of the Hub Area Rodeo group. Stanley has served as a 4-H rodeo judge for the past three years. He also serves as a volunteer helper for many rodeos and has also been the bull fighter for many 4-H and high school rodeos. Kristen is currently serving as the Hub Area Rodeo treasurer ad rodeo secretary. Joellen and Tim volunteer for a variety of rodeo tasks. Joellen and Kristen are currently serving on the Brown County Fair Board which hosts one of the largest fairs in South Dakota. Kristen judges approximately ten open or 4-H horse shows each year and is currently a specialized AQHA judge, POAc judge, and AQHA Professional Horseman. The entire Gonsoir family is also members of the South Dakota Farmer’s Union and the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association. Kristen is state director and president for the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association. Joellen Gonsoir Miller is an AQHA Foundation Scholar.