Laurel Denton

Laurel Walker Denton, raised on the Bar U Bar Ranch in Skull Valley, Arizona, grew up riding horses and working cattle. Laurel started her show career at the early age of eight and since then she has trained many AQHA Champions and has won AQHA World Championships. Laurel has spent her entire life in the show ring, earning points in fourteen different events. Today her main focus is on training Working Cow and Ranch Pleasure Horses.

Laurel served as AzQHA President in 1983-1985, is a current AzQHA Board member and a member of the Sun Circuit Oversight Committee. Laurel is also currently editor in chief of The Arizona Quarter Horse magazine, which she volunteers her time to the Arizona Quarter Horse Association.  She served as an AQHA Director for 17 years, and is currently a Director At Large, serving on the Stud Book and Registration Committee. An AQHA judge since 1996, Laurel has judged the all of the AQHA World Shows, Open, Amateur, Select and Youth. She is also an NRCHA AA judge. Laurel was the winner of the inaugural AQHA/Arizona Most Valuable Professional award, the 2010 AQHA Merle Wood Humanitarian award, and received the AQHA 50 Year Breeders award for the Bar U Bar Ranch in 2009.

Laurel and her husband Barry are proud to own and operate the Bar U Bar Ranch, which has been in the family since 1945.  


  • AQHA World Champion twice
  • AQHA 50 Year Breeder award
  • AQHA Most Valuable Professional first year awarded
  • Earned over 1500 AQHA points in over five decades. 
  • Still showing at a professional level after 5 years as a professional.  Qualified for Ranch Horse Pleasure, Jr. and Sr Working cowhorse AQHA World Show 1013
  • Judging the 2014 AQHA World Show
  • Past President of AzQHA (First Woman President) and AQHA Director at Large. 
  • Currently subject of Women of the West in Western Horseman Magazine. 
  • Also article written in Rope and Riata Magazine.