Our Story

Hello!  I am Richard Johnson, Owner of Diamond J Horses.  Horses are my business and my recreation!  I graduated from the Western College of Auctioneering in 1993.  I have auctioneered everything from horses to quilts!

Growing up as part of a big family in Southern California, my father and I always had a special bond – our love of horses.  We rode trail horses, sorting horses, cutting horses, rope horses, and more.  That love of riding and horses evolved in to a business for us.  Diamond J Horses was born!  We felt there was demand for fine quality horses:  kind, nicely broke, dependable horses that were easy on the eyes.

I moved to Idaho to find horses that would be well-rounded and a good fit for customers in California.  My father, Dick Johnson, would ride them near his ranch and on various terrains throughout California.  Gentle horses were much in demand and it was important that only gentle horses be sent as my father rode them himself through his 70’s.  We always required that the horses be cute, gentle, and sound.  Correct conformation, good bone and feet, big butts, nice heads, and color were important as well.  We were always partial to geldings with color – especially palomino and paint.

My father passed away in 2011 but our business continues.  One of many things he taught me was that he always wanted to be treated fairly, and always wanted to treat others fairly.  That is an important part of my business today.  If you are in the market for a special horse, please contact me.  I have built relationships with breeders, ranchers, trainers, and many horse people throughout the West.  If I don’t have your “dream horse”, I may well be able to help you find it!

Technology for the auction business has changed dramatically over the past decade and I have tried to take advantage of those changes.  I have been called a Hi Tech Red Neck, and I take that as a compliment.  It used to be that a buyer at an auction needed to be at that auction in order to see and ride any potential purchases.  That is the way my father and I did business for many years.  I wanted to see the horses ridden and I wanted to ride them.  I always said, “My ass and my eyes don’t lie.”  Now, though, Diamond J Horses is able to provide a similar experience via live-streaming.  We also use a Click-to-Bid system, which allows bids to be made via cell phone, or computer; you can bid from anywhere!  We want to make it easy for you to buy, with confidence that the horses consigned to us are represented with honesty, integrity, and full disclosure.

The Diamond J Horses Team wants you to find the horse that fits you best; we love our horses and want for you to love yours as well.  We all want to enjoy these wonderful animals!

Happy Trails and see you at the Sale!

Richard Johnson

Meet The Team!

Nancy Whittingham

Nancy Whittingham

Team Mascot & Mentor

The magic and mystique that radiates from the infamous "Grandma Nancy" is more powerful than words can describe. Imagine a fun and playful person who quickly establishes genuine relationships with children who regularly tag her with their "best friend" title, while at the same time maintaining the engaging aura of a world leader. If you are ever in Provo, Utah, pay her a visit and be inspired!

Nick Bennett

Nick Bennett

Auctioneer

Nick is the President of Western College of Auctioneering and a full-time professional auctioneer. Nick resides in White Sulphur Springs, Montana where he enjoys living in a small town that is deeply rooted in agriculture and is only ten minutes from all of the outdoor opportunities that Montana has to offer.

June Hill

June Hill

Event Host

June is from Norco, California “Horse Town USA”. She has had horses in her life for over 30 years and is an avid trail rider, and loves her horse friendly town of Norco. June recently went to France just to ride horses all over the countryside; she plans to travel more in her future. Wickenburg AZ is her next stop to help out at the first sale in January. She looks forward to seeing all of you there, and is so exited about the sale in her hometown of Norco in October 2018.

Jennie Smith

Jennie Smith

Event Host

Grew up in Arizona , with a love of horses. Winters in Southern Arizona and with her Husband Kevin Runs the A OK CORRAL in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Event Host

Born in Arizona and traveled the US rodeoing , Keven now runs the A OK CORRAL In Jackson Hole Wyoming with his Wife Jennie. Where they get to rope all year . Kevin was the big saddle winner this year at the Jackson Hole Rodeo. He is also a big fan of the Arizona Power Ball!

Karen Stone

Karen Stone

Event Host

Karen has over 50 years of experience with horses, showing and trail riding. There isn’t a trail or area in Southern California that she hasn’t ridden, when anyone needs a trail boss for anywhere, its Karen they call. Karen loves all animals, and put that love to use helping others by taking care of their fur babies when they are gone. “Karen’s Kritter Kare” is a thriving business that she runs in the community of La Cresta, in Murrieta California.

Melody Van Aken

Melody Van Aken

Director of Event Operations

Melody is looking forward to using her degree in Business Management for something that has been a passion of hers forever, “Horses”. Since being retired, she has been able to enjoy trail riding on the beautiful trails of La Cresta, in Murrieta California for the last several years. With a background in Gymkhana, Barrel racing, Team sorting and penning as well as an avid trail rider, she is very exited to join the team at Diamond J Horses, running the office at the Monthly Sales.

Brady Whittingham

Brady Whittingham

Marketing Technology

Brady attended El Modena High School in Orange, California before moving to Provo, Utah to attend BYU where he earned his degree in Communications. He and his wife Terri planted roots in Lindon, Utah where they have raised their 3 daughters. Brady and Richard have been friends (more like brothers) for over 40 years. When Diamond J. Horses began operations near his home in Utah, he was the first one to join the team and is responsible for our Website and marketing technology.

Zack Zumstein

Zack Zumstein

Auctioneer

2007 B.S. Agriculture Economics from University of Idaho
2007 graduate western college of Auctioneering
2016 Idaho State Champion Auctioneer
2016 Semi Finalist Wold Livestock Auctioneer Championship
2017 Northwest Auctioneer Ass. 1st Runner up
Sells cattle twice a week at Treasure Valley Livestock Auction Caldwell, Idaho
Works for Adesa Auto Auction In Boise and Reno
From Marsing, Idaho
Married to Cheyenne and Father to Leo.