Skip to content

Sug Utz Passes Away

Lexington, Kentucky –  Wilbur Sugar "Sug" Utz, American Saddlebred trainer and owner of Blue Ridge Stables, of Raytown, Missouri, died Wednesday, November 5, 2008. He was 90 years old.

Sug, son of Emil and Sudie Utz, was born and raised on a farm outside Maysville in northwest Missouri. Coming from a horse training family, Sug learned his craft at his father’s side, along with his three brothers. Two of his brothers Don and Jay, similar to Sug, went on to become world’s champion caliber Saddlebred men.  They were all exciting competitors who loved competing against the other the best.

Sug started training horses at a barn in Excelsior Springs when he was 18. In 1945 he established Blue Ridge Stables in Raytown.  After 70 years of showmanship and national acclaim, Sug gave his final performance in the show ring on June 28, 2003, at the Longview Charity Horse Show.

Sug was an accomplished equestrian and trainer of champion American Saddlebreds. In addition to CH Mimi Genius, and The Shamrock’s Commander, he trained the famous CH The Contract’s Commander, who won the stallion stake at the American Royal five times in a row. He also judged many American Saddlebred horse shows throughout the United States.

A forty-year member of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, Sug was named 1987 Horseman of the Year, and in 2004 Sug received the U.S. Equestrian Pegasus Medal of Honor. 

Sug leaves behind his son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Cindy, and his two grandchildren, Clint and Hayley.

A visitation and celebration of his life was held on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at D.W. Newcomer’s Sons Floral Hills Funeral Home, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri.  Funeral services will be Monday, November 10, 2008, at 1:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Raytown, 10500 E 350 Highway, Raytown, Missouri. Interment will be at the Floral Hills Memorial Gardens.

The family suggests contributions to the Longview Horse Park c/o Jess Bain, 6285 W 183 Street, Stilwell, Kansas, 66085.

More Stories

  • Local Riding Club to Host Charity Horse Show

    The Castlewood Riding Club, in Castlewood, Virginia, will host a charity horse show May 5, 2018 at the riding club. The show will feature a variety of breeds and the schedule will include numerous divisions including academy classes. John Scott will serve as the judge for all divisions... Read More
  • Bobbie Jo Jaakkola Wins AMHA Young Adult Alliance Judging School Scholarship

    The American Morgan Horse Association Young Adult Alliance (YAA) presented their fifth annual Judging School Scholarship to Bobbie Jo Jaakkola of Northwell, Michigan. The Professional Development Project created by this passionate group awards a $1,500 scholarship to one individual aged 21-40, professional or amateur, who is interested in attaining their Morgan R judging card. Read More
  • Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018

    Spring Fling Horse Show to debut in its new location of the Equestrian Center at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, IA, April 5-8, 2018... Read More
  • Des Moines Springfest announces location

    The Des Moines Springfest Horse Show is scheduled for April 26 – 29, 2018.   We are pleased to announce the show will be held in the beautiful, state of the art Jacobson Arena at the Iowa State Fairground, Des Moines, IA. Read More
  • Coming Home Again

    Kevin Michael made a triumphant return to the show ring at Carousel Charity Horse Show Friday morning behind the elegant and high-stepping Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony CH Heartland Resplendant owned by Sandra Surber of Calistoga, California. Read More
  • ASHA Seeks Executive Director

    The American Saddlebred Horse Assocation (ASHA) is currently seeking to hire its next Executive Director. Founded in 1871, the ASHA’s mission is to safeguard the integrity of the American Saddlebred breed, to promote the use of American Saddlebreds, and to expand the public knowledge of the American Saddlebred.  Read More
  • Prize Lists Available for Asheville Saddlebred Classic

    The inaugural Asheville Saddlebred Classic is fast approaching and prize lists are now available at The entries closing date is April 20th and entries can be submitted online until that date. Hard copies of the prize list are available upon request... Read More
  • Blue Ribbon Opening

    Read More
  • Hall of Famer Dies

    Ronald E. “Ronnie” Graham passed away on Tuesday, March 13, during the Gasparilla Charity Horse Show. The horse world mourns the loss of this talented trainer, astute ground man, and friend to all. The recipient of the 2015 UPHA Tom Moore Professional Horsemen’s Hall of Fame Award, Ronnie was the first to lend a hand to those in need... Read More
  • Royal Crest's Mister Stone Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    Consistently in the ribbons, this wonderful gelding has proven to be an absolute star in whatever division he is entered in: Walk and Trot Equitation, Open English Pleasure, Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure - he can do it all and he is ready for his next young rider! Direct inquires to Country Meadow Farm. Read More