The Ranch History
In 1967, W.L. Miller, his wife Arlys and family moved from Cedar Falls, Iowa to continue their lives nestled between the hills of Northeast Iowa. Spring Valley Ranch, named for the many springs on the property, became home to some well known horses, numerous cattle and has served as a place for people to grow up and grow old.
W.L. used the dining room as his desk, making deals over the phone and receiving information from other horsemen for available stock to buy, sell and trade. If anyone had ever the opportunity to sit and visit about horses, W.L. gave them a great education about pedigrees and progeny. W.L.'s natural abilities with horses began as a child and grew with him as he moved from Iowa to Texas when he served in the Navy.
He went on leave's from base and purchased registered quarter horses and what would eventually be the beginning of bringing registered paint horses to the state of Iowa. Horses that W.L. owned and or raised include the following: Painted Robin and some of his progeny, Mark IV, Baldy Raider, Little Joe Bailey, Johnny Que, Johnny Joe Spade and Levis White Limo just to name a few. W.L. served as the 9th APHA president and made his mark on the industry with his judging, auctioneering, breeding program, and a go-to for pedigree knowledge. W.L. and Arlys also founded the American Paint Pony Registry in 1975, which is still in operation today.
Spring Valley Ranch is now home to W.L. and Arlys' youngest son, Jim and his wife Marilyn; their daughter, Cassie and her husband, Matt and their children: Audrey, Grant, Lauren and Carson.
On October 5th, 2012 W.L. was inducted into APHA's inaugural Hall of Fame, as well as the very important stud, the infamous Painted Robin. The Paint Horse Association celebrated it's 5oth anniversary. Fifty Years: A Golden Beginning was written by Sam Ed Spence & Duke Neff to remember and chronicle the past 50 years of people and horses making their impact on the Paint Horse industry. W.L. was featured in chapter 16 of this book and is mentioned numerous other places throughout the book. If you want to get your hands on some good, historical reading about the American Paint Horse, this is the book to have!
In May 2019, after submitting a steer from the breeding program to the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Steer Carcass Challenge, earned their recognition at the awards banquet. Their steer, out of 77 head participating against other stock producers throughout the state, won the Largest Ribeye Award for a ribeye size of 16.1.
In May/June of 2019 Matt was given the opportunity to travel across the U.S. to represent Iowa Cattlemen's Association on the Young Cattlemen's Conference hosted by NCBA. This once in a lifetime opportunity broadened Matt's knowledge in all aspects of the cattle industry on a national level. Photographed with the other representative from Iowa, Mike.