June 20, 2024

Fred (Classically) prefers leaves to grass I guess.

June 17, 2024

I don't know how people and horses that live in the South survive in this heat and humidity. We are not used to it and today is a scorcher and tomorrow even worse. Leah Gloudemans, Bob Luebker and I put fly boots on the outside horses and they have fans. We brought Pebbles and Roxy in the barn and as you can see Roxy is enjoying sleeping in front of her fan. Fred is so funny----he was standing in front of his fan waiting for us to turn it on.

June 12, 2024

One of my memories popped up today and it was a really nice picture of Gabriel that my farrier, Scott Bruecker's daughter Hope took. I had commented that I thought Gabriel looked thinner and Vicki Livasy added this picture to my post. When it showed up today it gave me a good laugh. Vicki is such a wonderful friend. She is always willing to help. I don't know how she does all the things she does but I guess when I was younger I had a lot more energy too.

June 10, 2024

Mr Tailwind-----a stallion that was such an important influence on my "horse life" He was sired by Skip Shi and out of Rickie Ashwood by Rudy Ashwood. Bill Moomey who owned Coys Bonanza realized that it takes great mares to make a stallion. He purchased some of the greatest halter mares in the country to breed to Coy. One of the mares was Rickie Ashwood. When Bill bought her she was in foal to Skip Shi and good friends of mine, Dean and Marge Achtenhagen bought the yearling Mr Tailwind from Bill. Over the years, I loved the produce of this horse and talked my father into buying Royal Tailwind from the Achtenhagens as a baby. I don't know how many Tailwind horses I owned over the years but I always seemed to make money with them. To be honest, the reason that we bought Impressivist was not because he was by Impressive, but it was because he was out of Miss Sabre Wind by Mr Tailwind. The Achtenhagens had some nice mares but not nearly the quality that Bill Moomey had. However, they produced some great show horses. To me, Mr Tailwind was far ahead of his time of halter horses. He had plenty of size, a great neck and if I had to fault him he may have been a bit short crouped. All in all, he was very good to Mike and I and we met a lot of long lasting friends through this horse

June 9, 2024

What a beautiful day in Wisconsin----62 degrees and sunny and no humidity. Roxy is enjoying being outside. I love this filly, she is so sweet and so smart. She is 2 and 1/2 months old and I am debating whether to wean her later this month or wait until she is 4 months old.

June 4, 2024

Happy birthday to another wonderful friend who has always been a part of the "Village"----Mary Mancini. We have so much fun when the group gets together and we are always willing to welcome new members. From our many trips to look at horses, to our get togethers in Florida, we always have a great time. Our last "event" was watching Mary show her beautiful filly, Lauralee at the Supreme Champion Show. I am looking forward to our next outing knowing it will be so much fun.

June 3, 2024

Happy birthday to a great friend----Joe St Clair. Joe has been such an important person in my life. I met him many many years ago when he worked for John Schulz who owned Reds Double Sonny. He was merely a kid. Then he "disappeared" for a number of years while he worked at various ranches in the West. One day someone showed up at our place and when I looked up, there stood Joe St Clair. Mike and I hired him when we stood Fred (Classically) at stud and he was always ready to help with whatever we needed. In fact, when I was recovering from my surgery he hauled Fred to the vet clinic for his colic surgery. I can't say enough about Joe. Everyone should have a friend like him. He is now living in Waupaca helping Big Daddy with his cattle and Joe still has horses. We talk on the phone several times a week and I know that if I ever need him, he will be there for me. Friends like this are hard to find.

June 1, 2024

Yesterday while I was taking pictures of Patty, Fred (Classically) was watching us. I happened to take a few pictures of him and as luck would have it-----I think they are the best pictures I have taken in years. Which do you like the best??????

May 31, 2024

Since I have been taking pictures today I thought I better not forget Patty as she is the only one I have not posted. Her name is Tickytackypattywacky and that name was given to her by my good friend, Mary Mancini. Patty is sired by Invest in a Hot Star, who had 29.5 halter points and 621 performance points. He was also a Superior in Western Pleasure and a Superior in Western Riding, along with being High Point Junior Western Pleasure horse in the nation. Invest in a Hot Star was by Blazing Hot. Patty's dam was Regally Invited by Invitation Only. Kathy Sheahan and Mary Mancini bought her at the Rita Crundwell dispersal and Joe St Clair bought her from Kathy. Well, when we did an embryo transfer on Wilma (Classically Kool) my recipients were not cooperation and Patty was timed perfect. So Patty came to live with me and because everyone loves her, they won't let me sell her. Oh well, what is another mouth to feed and I can always use her as a recipient again.


Roxy----March 16 filly by Secret Gunfighter out of Kool to be Classic by Classically (Fred)

Fred (Classically) 16 year old NN stallion by Kids Classic Style out of Miss Bunny Tardee by Tardee Impressisve.

May 30, 2024

Look who has a new toy-------Roxy!!!!! I thought she should have something to play with until I wean her and she will then have Gabriel. It is hard to believe that she is 2 and 1/2 months old---time goes so fast.

May 26, 2024

Isn't this a pretty picture? I am so thankful for such wonderful friends I have. Yesterday Kimmie Biggar and Pat Konz came over and planted flowers for me. It has been like a tradition around Memorial Day that Biggars come and plant my front flowers. However this year, Morris was in Canada fishing so the girls came and did a great job. After they left Kimmie sent me this picture of Wilma (Classically Kool) and Gabriel, Wilma's new friend.

May 24, 2024

I was thinking about some of my "horse friends" who are no longer with us and Dee Bartek came to mind. I would enjoy spending time with her and the "girls" at the World Show. The last time I saw her was at Clark Rassi's in Texas and she passed away in 2019. The stallion she was associated with was Temon. He was a 1987 sorrel NN stallion by Mr Sonny Money by Sonny Go Lucky and out of the great mare, Poco Coed's Te N Te by Te N Te. Poco Coed's Te N Te is an all time leading dam of AQHA World Champions, producing 6 World Champions and 2 Reserve World Champions and earned 257 halter points herself. Temon was owned by Paul Swanson, who was Dee Bartek's brother but Dee ran the horse operation. That was before shipped semen and the stallion was over run with mares coming to be bred. Despite the fact that he only had one testicle, people loved breeding to him. Probably his most famous produce was Forever My Temon who was out of Every So Sunny by Sonny Dee Bar. I remember cheering for Dee when she showed Forever My Temon as a weanling at the World and we were so excited when Jerry Wells showed her and made her a Reserve World Champion. However, her real claim to fame is that she is the dam of Mr Elusive. I did breed one mare to Temon--a mare named Cutie Carmex but unfortunately I lost her before she foaled.

May 23, 2024

Last night I was watching television and happened to look at my barn camera. I saw the funniest thing. Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) likes to sleep in the corner of her stall and stretch out flat. Her filly layed down next to her so there was no room for Pebbles to stretch her legs. So, Pebbles thought she would be smart—-got up and layed down in another corner. That didn’t work either as the filly moved there too. So back to the original corner. Pebbles evidently gave up and let her filly lay by her. I thought it was truly an example of “motherly love”

May 18, 2024

Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) on May 18 enjoying the beautiful day outside. She is by Fred (Classically) and out of Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee)

I know you have all tried to take pictures when you are by yourselves and it is impossible. I turned my 3 year old My Intention fillies out in the pasture and I really don't think they are enjoying it. They would prefer to be in the barn so whenever they see me, they come walking to me. I will probably give in when the bugs get bad and put them back inside. The one with the white face is Nicki who is NN and out of Wilma (Classically Kool) and the other one is Ellie who is NH and out of Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool)

May 17, 2024

Beautiful day in Wisconsin and it has been awhile since I took any pictures of my horses so today I will show you my two mares and their "babies" Of course there is Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) and he Secret Gunfighter filly, Roxy. Then there is Wilma (Classically Kool) and her "baby" that she has adopted, Gabriel. Both mares are sisters in blood as both are by Fred (Classically) and Pebbles is out of Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee) and Wilma is out of Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool) and both Bonnie and Rebecca are out of Miss Bunny Tardee.

May 15, 2024

I love the Goldseeker Bars horses and recently I told you about Dandy Seeker. Today lets talk about another son of his, Leo Goldseeker. He was a 1971 stallion by Goldseeker Bars out of Sandy Lou Smith by a son of Leo San out of a daughter of Monsier Joe. He was bred by Regers Ranch and owned by Bobby Joe and Renee Cudd in Woodward, Oklahoma. My good friend, Dudley Pillow bought several mares from Florence and Janet Smith in Oklahoma. One of them was Regers Kitty who was by Leo Goldseeker and out of Regers Lady Skip by Skip Em Bar out of Excuse Bay Lady. I got to see Excuse Bay Lady when we went to the Smiths. Dudley left Regers Kitty at our place for several years to be bred to Impressivist. I loved that mare. She looked just like her sire----about 14.3, beautiful head, pencil neck that could have been longer, short strong back, good hocks and a huge hip. She was the dam of Skips Shane the stallion that Dudley used as his herd sire. Several of the Leo Goldseeker mares that Dudley bought had a lot of white on them. In fact, one had excessive. The Cudds still have horses and have concentrated on performance breeding. The have a stud by the name of Metallic Cattack by Metallic Cat who is their main stallion. Every year they have a sale and it is amazing what those horses bring. Many of their bloodlines still go back to Leo Goldseeker.

May 13, 2024

I got away from here last week and attended the first Supreme Champion Horse Show in Oklahoma City. It was great to meet "my village" and to visit with old and new friends. The weather was beautiful and I thought the WCHA did a wonderful job of putting on the show. So many people contributed to make it successful. I was extremely proud of my friend, Mary Mancini and her filly, Lauralee. The yearling filly is by Evincible and out of a granddaughter of Janie (Kids Classic Gal) and she placed high in every class she entered and is now qualified for the World in both Amateur and Open. Tim Finkenbinder showed her to perfection in the open classes and Mary showed her in Amateur. I think Lauralee who is a late filly is only going to get better with age and I look forward to seeing her in Iowa. Well, that was the good part of the trip. On my way back to Wisconsin, my flight from Oklahoma City could not land because we had to wait on the tarmac for another plane to unload SO I missed my flight to Appleton. And as you would have it, that was the last fight and all the flights to surrounding cities were full. So, at my age, I spent Saturday night in O'Hare Airport. To be honest, I was a bit nervous as there was no one anywhere around me and it was cold. After about an hour, a nice young lady came over as she was alone also. So we spent the night freezing and unable to sleep. When I finally got home on Sunday around noon, I thought I would be exhausted but I was fine----until about 4 pm when it hit me. I think I slept 11 hours last night and am still tired today. I think I will drive to Iowa for the Breeders Halter Futurity. lol

May 4, 2024

What a surprise arrived yesterday from (of all places) Germany. My wonderful friend, Judith Kaiser sent me this beautiful shawl that she crocheted herself. As most of you know, 8 years ago I received a phone call from Marko Kaiser in Germany and he told me he wanted to buy the gray filly by Fred (Classically) out of Malibukini. Since then, I have sold several horses to the Kaisers and they have become like family to me. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching their success with horses I have raised. Judith taught herself to crochet while she was laid up with back surgery and I feel so honored that she would send me this beautiful gift. You don't know how much I appreciate all the friends I have made though Facebook and the Kaisers are special ones.

May 2, 2024

Today let's talk about a family of horses that are dear to me. I loved Goldseeker Bars and one of his sons was Dandy Seeker. He was bred by Bud Boschert in Missouri in 1974. His sire was Goldseeker Bars and his dam was Dixie Suwanee. Jerry Wells owned him as a yearling and sold him to Bernard Fairchild in Iowa in 1975. Dandy Seeker sired 4 World Champions and 8 AQHA Champions. Mike and I bought Dandy Dee Gal from the Fairchilds. She was sired by Dandys Dee Bar and out of Ima Seekers Gal, making her a half brother--sister cross. Dandy's Dee Bar was by Dandy Seeker and out of Nays Dee Bar by Sonny Dee Bar. He sired 90 point earners. Dandy Dee Gal was one of my "foundation" mares. She was Bernard Fairchild's wife, Arlene's mare. They called her PDS and it stood for "Pretty Darn Special" We continued to call her that and she really produced for us. Janie (Kids Classic Gal) who was sired by Kids Classic Style was one of my favorites. After we bought PDS from the Fairchilds, Dudley Pillow ended up buying her dam, Ima Seekers Gal and I ended up buying her from Dudley. As I mentioned before she was a daughter of Dandy Seeker. So, I guess this is not only about Dandy Seeker but also a little story about one of my favorite mares.

May 1, 2024

Happy times at Ellis Quarter Horses. Poor Gabriel has been braying when he is outside because he is alone since I took Nicki away from him and paired her up with her sister. And, Wilma (Classically Kool) has been by herself since her buddy, Pebbles had her filly. So----today we put Wilma in with Gabriel and they love each other. It is always good to have a "happy family" at our place.

April 28, 2024

Coosa---a 15.3 NN stallion was born in 1982. He was sired by Pretty Impressive and out of Im a Rosita by Leo Moore. He was bred by John Hamiter in Alabama and sold to RGV Quarter Horses and then to Loree Quarter Horses and ended his career with Eric Hammond in Kansas. Coosa was the World Champion as a weanling and he sired 9 World Champions and 20 Superior Halter Horses and 5 Superior Performance horses. I saw Coosa at Halvorson Ranch in Oklahoma where he stood along with Ima Cool Skip. There was quite a difference in the foals. The Skip foals were stout and had huge hips. The Coosa foals were more elegant and had long archy necks and big hanging hips. But in my opinion, when they got to be yearlings, some of them got cresty necks and lost their hips. That is just my opinion. Because of that, I never bred to Coosa. Ima Cool Skip produced more my kind of horse with the big bodies and the huge hips.

April 25, 2024

Skipa Star was not only a great show horse, but he was also a great sire. We tend to think of him as a sire of stallions as Ima Cool Skip and Skipa Lindy Streak were sired by him. However, he was a great mare sire as demonstrated by these mares sired by him. We had a daughter of Super Starlette sired by Ima Cool Skip but could never get a foal out of her. Dudley Pillow had a great mare, Jag On a Star and she was a great producer for him.

April 19, 2024

Another great stallion that Jerry Vawter once owned----Sir Quincy Dan. He was a 1969 sorrel stallion by Quincy Dan by Mighty Bars by Three Bars (TB) Quincy Dan was out of a daughter of Leo. The dam of Sir Quincy Dan was Saneta by Joe Reed II. He was bred by Susan Sullivan in Pennsylvania and purchased as a yearling by Rick Johns and Jerry Vawter in California. Rick bought out Jerry and owned him until his death. Sir Quincy Dan amassed 20 halter points and sired 17 AQHA Champions and 8 World Champions. Among his world champions were Quincy Feature, Sheza Cover Girl,. Opies Raquel, and Elegant Quincy. I always admired the get of Sir Quincy Dan and was surprised to read that at one time he stood at stud in Nebraska.

April 18, 2024

My friend, Mary Mancini sent me a picture of BRTSendingMyRegards that she took several years ago when he was at Halvorson Ranch. For those who don't know, "Dragon" as he is called is the 52nd AQHA Supreme Champion and he is owned by Terry and Tammy Bradshaw. Of course he is 5 panel NN and has a "blueblood" pedigree being by Chicks Regard and out of Aleisha Elaine, a First Down Dash bred mare. The Supreme Champion title requires a horse to have raced and achieved a speed index of at least 90 on two occasions, earn at least 40 points in halter and performance classes at more than five different AQHA shows, including two grand champion titles. The performance points must come in a riding class and in cattle classes, like roping and cutting. BRTSendingMyRegards was raised by Dr Bob Story and Eddie Willis trained him for racing and Steve Orth put the performance points on him. It amazes me that he is the last Supreme Champion made and that was in 2018. When I was young, Supreme Champion was a really big deal. I don't know if it is anymore as we seem to specialize in activities like reining, halter cutting, etc. When I used to go to horse shows , we would show halter in the morning and performance in the afternoon. I don't know if there are many of our present day horses that could do that. To be honest, I don't know if the direction we are going is the best as I kind of liked the "old way:" when a horse could do more than one thing.

April 17. 2024

Mr Cabin Bar was a stallion I thought was a great broodmare sire. He was born in 1961 and sired by Sugar Bars by Three Bars and out of Cabin Fever by Leo. He accumulated 57 halter points and 17 performance points. Mr Cabin Bar was raised by Bud Warren in Oklahoma and was owned by John Jones in N Carolina.

April 16, 2024

Today let's talk about Impressive Flower. He was a 1975 stallion by Impressive out of Paula Flower who was by Bar Flower and out of a daughter of Paul A. He was bred by Robert Sutherland and owned by James Groff at the end of his life. He was an AQHA Champion. We had a daughter of his named Oh So Sharp that we got from Carri Eurich. The mare was out of Super Starlette by Skipa Star. I really liked this mare. She had a great neck and back, a lot of heart girth and was about 15.3. Where I faulted her was I thought she needed more hip. I know that Impressive Flower was a great broodmare sire and I am sure many of you are familiar with him and his produce.

April 15, 2024

Jerry Vawter was a great horseman and well known for the stallions he owned. One of the first ones he promoted was Triples Image, a 1969 stallion by Triple Chick out of Phfft by Leo. He not only was an AQHA Champion but he also had 99 halter points and 42 performance points. Since he was in California, I never had a chance to breed to him.

April 13, 2024

I have not been taking many pictures this year. It is hard when you are alone and the horses are not cleaned up. This morning there was a marathon and the 3 year old fillies were sure intrigued by the runners. I was able to capture a decent picture of Nicki, the 16.1 NN mare by My Intention out of Wilma (Classically Kool).

Today my wonderful veterinarian who is also a special friend is having a birthday. Here's hoping Dr Katherine Fox is able to enjoy the day without me or any other horse person bothering her. I don't know what I would do without her as she is so much help with these horses and besides that I depend on her for so many things.

April 12, 2024

There were a few stallions that dominated our futurities "back then" One of them was Color Me Skip, a 1976 stallion by Skip Sioux by Skips Reward. His dam was Rebels Choice, a Rebel Cause bred mare. Color Me Skip was Superior in Halter with 62 halter points and he also had 56 pleasure points. He was owned by Dr Fred Benker of Noblesville, Indiana. When Fred and Rich Benker would show up at our Wisconsin Futurity, you could expect them to win. I have always been friends with Fred and Vicki Benker and Vicki and I talk often and she is part of the "hen house" as Scott Haack would call us. I was honored when the Benkers brought 2 mares to breed to Impressivist. As I think back, the Benkers had some other awesome stallions. I was at Doug Tallent's sale when they bought The Finest Kid and he sired some outstanding horses. One of the last stallions that they had was The Finest Mocha and I bred Miss Bunny Tardee to him. She had an awesome bay filly who unfortunately didn't live very long. I still keep in touch with Fred who has since retired from veterinarian practice and of course, Vicki and I are still best friends.

April 12, 2024

My sweet Roxie.

April 10, 2024

Today let's talk about Blondys Dude. He was a 1957 stallion by Small Town Dude by King. Small Town Dude was out of a daughter of Zantanon making his sire half brother, sister. On the bottom side he was out of Bondy Queen by a son of Plaudit and out of a Yellow Boy mare. Blondys Dude was superior in halter, an AQHA Champion, in the AQHA Hall of Fame and is in the top 10 of leading sires of AQHA Champions. Years ago, we were good friends with Lona Wolfe who is a great horsewoman and was an AQHA judge. She and her husband Henry lived in Marshalltown , Iowa. When Morgan Freeman had his dispersal, the Wolfe's bought several of their young mares. Lona sent her last one here for me to use and we called her Blondy. She was a beautiful 16 hand bay mare with a gorgeous head and neck and board back. I thought she was a bit long backed but I think that was a Blondy Dude trait. I bred her to Impressivist and Jil Hinds bought the resulting filly from us when she was a three year old. Jil sent her to Dudley Pillow's and bred her to Skips Shane. I do have a picture of Jil's mare and will try to find it.

April 9, 2024

Well---if anyone wants to contact me, perhaps you need to call Winnebago Mental Hospital as that is probably where I should be. I had decided that one foal a year for me is plenty and I had decided that I would breed Wilma (Classically Kool) this year. BUT---yesterday I was looking at my filly by Secret Gunfighter out of Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) and I truly love this 3 week old baby. She has so much class and muscle and I couldn't ask for a sweeter baby. So, I called my wonderful veterinarian, Dr Katherine Fox and she came and checked Pebbles this morning and she has a huge follicle. Of course, it is not a breeding day so if it was meant to be, I will be breeding Pebbles tomorrow. And today was the first day they were able to get outside but with the 20 MPH winds I was surprised that I was able to get any pictures at all.

April 4, 2024

I have been thinking lately about how lucky I have been in the horse business. I know they say that hard work pays off but I also believe that luck has a lot to do with it. First of all, the fact that we were able to buy Miss Bunny Tardee as a two year old for a very reasonable sum because she lost one eye. She was the foundation of my modern horse program. Second, a client who was breeding to Impressivist offered to trade me a coming 2 year old mare for 2 months of fitting on his foal. The mare was Miss Impressive Step and she was sired by Sir Impressive and out of a daughter of Stepahead. The reason he was willing to trade her was that she was not a very tall mare. We bred "Skeeter" as we called her to Mr Conclusion and when the stud colt was born, I sent pictures to Edgewood Farm who owned Mr Conclusion. To my surprise Joe Edge contacted me and wanted to come and see the colt. Of course, I was a nervous wreck as Joe was an icon in the horse industry. I remember at that time we had an old Ford Fiesta so we borrowed Mike's brother's Cadillac to pick him up at the airport. On a funny note, I did not know how to operate the passenger seat and evidently I hit the wrong button and the seat reclined. So, that is how I rode with Joe and his friend in the back seat. Joe loved the colt and made us a great offer. He bought 1/2 of him for $50,000 with no expenses to us from that point on. We also got to meet Ann Lanning's brother who came to pick up the colt and his dam as Joe also gave us a free breeding to Mr Conclusion for her. Joe sent the colt to Ted Turner for fitting and the colt was Reserve World Champion at the AQHA World Show. I will never forget after that class when Joe wanted to talk to me and he told me that someone had offered $250,000 for the colt. That money gave us a real start to fixing up our place and buying more land. The following year, Skeeter had another stud colt. But by that time, Mr Conclusion had been sold to the Perrys. So I sent pictures of the colt to them and they were interested. But when Joe heard about it, he contacted me and we came up with the same deal of him buying 1/2 of this colt and no expenses to us. Again, Ted Turner fit the colt to perfection and Joe was able to sell him for even more money than he sold the first colt. I went to the World Show where the colt named I Am the Mr. became the World Champion weanling stallion. Mike and I became good friends with Joe Edge and he was a gourmet cook. He even sent us a New Years meal by overnight mail and he had prepared it himself. Bill and Ann Lanning have been and always will be favorite friends of mine. I could call Bill for advice whenever I needed it. And, of course, Ann is the "weaning expert" and I wouldn't think of weaning my foals without calling her for the dates. As I said sometimes in life, luck has an important part in what happens to you. Sometimes just being in the right place at the right time, can make all the difference in the world.

April 1, 2024

Coming into Ellis Quarter Horses.

March 31, 2024

What could be better on Easter Sunday than a beautiful young lady and a 2 week old filly? Bailee Fox came with her mother who is also my wonderful veterinarian and little Roxy had fun playing with her.

March 29, 2024

Finally drying up a bit outside and the two three year old My Intention mares were loving the room to run. Ellie ( out of Rebecca) is NH and is in the background, whereas Nicki in the foreground is NN and is out of Wilma.

I don't remember ever raising a foal like Roxy. From the beginning she was not afraid of anything and we could do anything with her. She was leading at 2 days of age and no problem with handling any part of her body. This morning I found Bob Luebker in the stall playing with her. And, of course, Pebbles is such a good mother. Roxy is sired by Secret Gunfighter and out of Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) by Fred (Classically) and out of Bonnie ( CJ Miss Cool Tardee)

March 21, 2024

I have been thinking of how Facebook has made it possible to renew friendships with people we knew years ago. One of these is Gary Helland. Back in the "old days" Helland Ranch showed and stood Deck of Stars. He was a 1977 stallion by Skipa Star and out of Opal Deck, a Top Deck and Three Bars bred mare. Deck of Stars was a World Champion and also a Superior Halter horse. Gary would show at our Wisconsin Futurity and there were so many in the classes that he would even have time for a cigarette while the judges were making up their minds. A mare that the Hellands showed and I loved was Aint She Amazin. She was a 1976 mare by Sonny Go Lucky out of Shi Sue by Skip Shi. Ed and Sandy Kerner bought Aint She Amazin and I became good friends with them. I remember how excited Sandy was when she called to tell me that the mare was Grand at the Quarterama, Canada's most prestigious show. All in all, Aint She Amazin became a Superior Halter horse with 173 points. I reconnected with Gary a few years ago when he posted this beautiful car for sale. Mike and I bought it and Mike loved driving it. However, as we got older, getting in and out was a problem and after Mike died I sold it to my good friends, Pat Roch and Sandy Schreiner. Gary and I still exchange jokes and comments. He is one of the many that I have reconnected with through Facebook.

March 17, 2024

It never ceases how horses can fool you. Yesterday I woke up at my normal 6 AM and took my time coming to the barn. I sat in the office looking at the computer and Bob Luebker showed up around 7:30. We sat and visited and one thing we talked about was how he found a baby in a stall several years ago. So I get up and walk in the barn and there in the stall is a newborn baby with Pebbles. Now, Pebbles had no signs of foaling---her bag did not look full and the nipples not down. My neighbor Jack Cowling brought straw the day before but we did not have the mare in the foaling stall. In fact, I was kidding that she would probably have it in May and spoil my trip to Oklahoma. I looked at the baby and it looked like a filly but I was afraid to check. Finally Bob says that he thought it was a girl----and it was. Pebbles liked her new addition but she wouldn't let her nurse. She is a maiden mare and evidently quite sore. So, I called my wonderful veterinarian, Dr Katherine Fox and she left her dog show and came to help. A little banamine and holding the mare a few time and everything turned out just fine. I am on "cloud nine" and I love this little girl. Sorry that I don't have more pictures but rest assured you will be seeing many of her. My good friend and neighbor stopped over and she told me that her name has to be Roxy as Roxy was Pebbles baby on the Flintstones. So---Roxy it is. She is sired by Secret Gunfighter and out of Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) who is by Fred (Classically) and out of Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee).

March 13, 2024

Fred (Classically) enjoying the beautiful weather in Wisconsin.

March 10, 2024

This is Sonnys Securitee, a 1989 stallion by Sonny Go Te out of Conclusive Delight by Conclusive. He was bred by Joe Edge and owned by Merillet Quarter Horses. He was the 1991 and 1992 World Champion stallion as a two and three year old. I remember that both Bob Lee and I really liked this stallion and we wanted to breed Trouble Yes to him. But, so did a lot of other people and since back then you had to take your mare to the stallion, many mares were at Chip Knost's where he stood. Consequently Trouble Yes did not get in foal and the breeding season closed on June 1. But Chip called me and told me that if we would leave Trouble Yes there he would get her in foal. So, we did and consequently had a June foal. By that time, the foals by Tardee Impressive were yearlings and we had a visit from Bill Morris and Bill Edmundson. They loved the yearling stallion Azzari who was by Tardee and out of Trouble Yes. Bill Edmundson also fell in love with the filly by Sonnys Securitee out of Trouble Yes and bought her. We decided to send both Bill's filly and the yearling stud to Bill Morris' to fit. The following year, Mike and I went to Canadian Texas to visit the Morris' Bill had some awesome Impressive Dandy young mares and we got to see a whole different way of life. They were branding calves and what an ordeal that was. Bill showed us a pail of "Rocky Mountain oysters" That night we went to a dance. Everyone brought there own "beverages" and there was a lot of line dancing. I noted the beautiful flowers lining the walkway to their house and Susan sent some seeds back with us. However, I don't think they like the Wisconsin weather. What an experience it was especially for Mike who had hardly been out of Wisconsin. We also established a great relationship with Bill Edmundson. He bought a mare and sent it to Danny Watts in Mississippi with another mare owned by Bill Rosenfeldt to be bred to Ima Cool Seeker. I still have this awesome artist print by Don Yarnell that Bill gave us. It brings back many good memories of times gone by.

March 7, 2024

Today let's talk about futurities. Years ago, we looked forward to taking our foals to futurities. The year would start with the Stallion Service Auctions where you had to buy a breeding in order for your mare's foal would be eligible to compete in the fall. We would go to the Wisconsin Awards Banquet and the following day would be the auction. Stallion owners would set up displays and they would get more breedings than the one who bought that particular horse in the auction. Impressivist topped the sale may times in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. As I said Michigan and Iowa also had stallion auctions. The stallion owner could show one foal by his stallion and the person who bought the breeding could show the foal out of the mare they designated in the fall to show her foal. I know I looked forward to going all year, preparing our foals for both the breeders futurity and the open futurity. Horses would come from many states to Wisconsin to show as many of the big name stallions would be entered. Our Wisconsin futurity was in September and sometimes we would have to put winter blankets and hoods on the foals as it gets that cold here. I remember Jim McKillips bringing Percott Corp. foals there still on their dams and taking them away to show them. I always wanted to win a buckle and finally one of our foals won it for me. Then there was the Iowa Futurity. Now, that was a big one. Again horses came from all over the country and to win it you could get over $15,000. They always had a party with a band at the little saloon on the grounds and we had some wild and great times there. We were able to win the Breeders Futurity one year and I still have the big trophy. Finally the Solid Gold Futurity. John Narmont from Illinois started it and it was a fantastic event. It reminds me of our current Breeders Halter Futurity and the World Conformation Halter Futurity. The state of Illinois added money to the classes and the payouts were huge. My friend Donna Davis took home close to $20,000 showing her foals one year alone. The classes took forever to judge and they had bales of straw along the arena for exhibitors to sit on. I remember our friend, Russ Nagel, had to go to the bathroom so someone had to hold his filly while he left the arena. We stayed at the Holiday Inn and it seemed like all the horse people stayed there. The basement had a nice bar and we could mingle and talk horse all night. I am so happy that the big futurities have been started. It is too bad that our state run ones no longer exist but the fact is the classes had over 50 horses per class back then and the money was good whereas the money dwindled to about nothing and people couldn't afford to show.

March 4, 2024

I thought today I would tell you about another stallion that I really liked----Impressive Dandy. He was a 1978 stallion by Impressive and out of Glo Mo who was by Leo Glo who went back to King. His dam was Star Deck bred. He was born in Missouri and bred by Brown Quarlies, Inc who owned Impressive. Impressive Dandy was the 1978 World Champion 2 year old stallion. He was not a real tall horse and I would have prettied up his head a bit but I really liked him and I found 2 daughters of his to buy. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the one mare but I bought her in Michigan and she was a big 16 hand sorrel mare, lots of body, perhaps a bit on the coarse side. The other was Storm Struck, a beautiful hand made mare out of an Otoes Luck mare. We sold her to Carri Eurich in Iowa. Let me tell you how I was able to get these mares. I remember driving by myself to Michigan all in one day in the little red Ford Fiesta while Mike was in Madison as the Senate was in session. He would never let me go by myself otherwise. I also took a solo one day trip to Iowa to buy Storm Struck and the little car tried to die on me during that trip My good friend, Dudley Pillow also owned a great mare by Impressive Dandy named Shes Always Rockin. She was out of Merrits New Star by Jack's News and was a Reserve World Champion. Dudley bought her from Henry Abreu and he always kidded that her name fit the mare as she was straight in her pasterns and so she "was always rocking" on her legs. When Mike and I went to visit Bill and Sue Morris in Canadian Texas I got to see a couple of awesome Impressive Dandy young mares. I never bred to the horse but I sure did like what he produced.


March 3, 2024

Clu Heir was a 1995 stallion by Obvious Conclusion out of a daughter of Just to Impress. He was owned by great people, Ron and Lana Gabriel. Lana was part of "the girls" that got together during the World Shows. I hadn't seen her in years and ran into her at the Breeders Halter Futurity a few years ago and hardly recognized her. Clu Heir was the stallion who was World Champion over Exclusivist who was by Mr Conclusion and out of Miss Impressive Step. Exclusivist was sold at that World Show and because of the sale we were able to expand Ellis Quarter Horses by adding the arena and another barn and just doing some improvements. We never bred to Clu Heir but I sure did like him. I posted a picture of his dam, Just an Heiress and also her sire, Just to Impress.

February 27, 2024

Today let's talk about a stallion that dominated our local Midwest futurities---Beaus My Daddy. He was a 1976 stallion by Beau Bonanza by Coys Bonanza and out of Miss Ponjet who was a granddaughter of Ponjet. Beaus My Daddy had 139 halter points and was a Superior in halter. But the way I remember him was at our Wisconsin and Iowa Futurities when Rogalynn and Shawn Wacker would show up and win just about every class with foals sired by him. The foals were always balanced and had a lot of pretty to them. And of course, they were fit to perfection. It was always a pleasure to see Roger and Carolyn Wacker as they were some of the nicest people you could ever meet. They had Style Stable Products and I still have several of their Style blankets. They also and still have Pepi which of course was and still is the preferred show coat polish of many exhibitors. Those were great times and times I will never forget. You had to have strong kidneys if you were showing as most of the classes had at least 50 horses in them. I do think that reviving the big futurities that we have now truly increased the number of horses showing but the expenses to get your horse there are hard for some to fathom.

February 26, 2024

This beautiful painting of Fred (Classically) was sent to me by a great artist and a friend who I have never met----Rosie Hayson. And, Rosie lives in Australia. She is so talented and I treasure our friendship.

This is Windchester, a 1973 son of Mr Tailwind out of Jackie Pine who was by Pine Chico by Poco Pine. He was shown extensively in my area as Ken Windhorst from Minnesota originally owned him. He had 129 halter points and 53 performance points, was Superior in both halter and performance and also an AQHA Champion. He is a stallion that I was not particularly fond of. I always thought he was too coarse and that he had too much set to his hocks. But, others certainly didn't agree with me as he was purchased by Jim and Jerry Wells for a lot of money and then he was syndicated back when there were several big time stallions in that particular syndicate. Windchester sired quite a few foals but I never bred to him.

February 25, 2024

Many of you know the importance I put on the mare line of a pedigree. Here is a good example. After Mike and I sold Royal Tailwind to Warren Ploeger in Schaller, Iowa, I spend the summers hauling mares back and forth to breed to him. As part of the deal, Warren gave us 8 breedings a year and $5 a day mare care. Keep in mind that was before shipped semen. Sometimes I would make the trip by myself twice a week hauling and picking up mares and foals. On one of those trips, I stopped to visit Homer Danielson in Ellsworth, Iowa. Homer is the one who brought Warren to our place to see Royal Tailwind. Homer only had a few mares but they were good ones. One of them, Miss Sabre Wind had a stud colt at her side by Impressive. Well, I immediately fell in love with him. But, Homer wanted $40,000 and I knew that was totally out of my budget. The reason I was so infatuated with this colt was that his dam was a daughter of Mr Tailwind and I had grown to love that stallion and his produce. I couldn't get that colt out of my mind and had no idea that we could ever afford him. Now to justify the price, Homer had paid the $15,000 stud fee to get him. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my conservative husband would consider buying a colt and we did not have the money to do so. I guess he had seen that I had been successful selling horses as I had sold Bar Fly Bailey for $15,000 and we used it to buy land and then had sold Royal Tailwind for $40,000 to be paid over 3 years. That money we used to build our place. Homer liked me and agreed to take $30,000 for the colt. After much persuasion, Mike agreed to ask my father for a loan to buy the horse. I still remember taking him to eat and Mike, being a good politician talked him into lending us the money. Within 3 months I sold 2 yearling Royal Tailwind mares and we were able to pay him back in full. The mare and foal picture is of him at 6 weeks old and the picture with Mike and I was taken by Diane Baier when we brought him home. Well, if you know me, I had to track down his dam and we bought Miss Sabre Wind who was by Mr Tailwind. Not only that but we ended up buying her dam, Bar Jill who was by Carver Bars by Sugar Bars. Impressivist turned out to be a very good asset for us. We bred over 100 mares a year for 2 straight years and that was before shipped semen. His colts won many of the surrounding state futurities and he was often the high selling stallion in the stallion service auctions. It was great times with great help. Diane Baier and Joe St Clair were here and so was Bob Luebker who is still helping me. At times we had about 75 mares on our place for breeding. Of course, it helped that Dudley Pillow kept about 15 mares here year around. Impressivist was a very photogenic horse and thanks to Dick and Barbara Waltenberry, who took great pictures of him and his foals and also the wonderful staff at the Quarter Horse Journal, we ran successful ad campaigns. I met so many wonderful people who brought their mares to our place and I am still friends with most of them. Finally we sold Impressivist to Lanis Noble in Mississippi and he and I became best of friends. That is a story for another day. I guess I have rambled on enough for today and I don't know if I made my point or not but what I am trying to say is that the reason I was attracted to Impressivist in the first place was not because he was sired by Impressive but because he was out of a daughter of Mr Tailwind. The last picture is of Miss Sabre Wind as a yearling.

February 23, 2024

Recently Carolyn Stewart was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame. She has been a "force" in our industry for many years. She currently owns and stands Execute and The Final Verse. I remember a stallion that she owned that came from Wisconsin-----Skip Light Lee. Dr James McCollum owned him and he was Wisconsin High Point Halter Horse and a Superior Halter Horse. He also won our futurity as a baby. Carolyn bought him and moved him to Oklahoma where he sired many wonderful horses. One of them that I truly loved was I Lightly Sparkle. I am sure I have pictures of her in my old Quarter Horse Journals. Skip Light Lee was a 1975 stallion, sired by Skips Dundee who was bred by Hank Wiescamp and out of Power Pelota, a King Ranch bred mare.

February 20, 2024

Thought I would share a picture of Kids Classic Style today. It was taken at Doug Tallents when he was standing there.

February 19, 2024

Impressive history flyer.

February 18, 2024

The last few days, I have been impressed with the pictures from old Quarter Horse Journals. Well, I have Journals going back to the beginning but they are in cabinets in the barn and I seldom look at them. So, I thought today I would dig out a few and write a story about someone who has been an influence not only to me but to so many of us in the horse world-----Clark Rassi. I don't know how long I have known Clark but he has been a great influence on my learning about horses. Way back when, he sent me a video and I still have it of a foal by Robert Redford, a stallion he owned. That was when he was still in Indiana. When he moved to Texas, I would always make it a point to stop and visit him and see the fabulous horses he had. I remember Mike and I going one time and there was a football game on so Mike not being interested in horses stayed in Clark's house and watched the game in his bedroom while Clark "educated" me about conformation. One of his favorite expressions when he liked something was calling that part on the horse "fabulous" I also remember when he insisted that I drive from the World Show to see his great yearling stallion, Fearles. I don't know of many people who have owned so many great mares as Clark Rassi. Over the years, he has also been involved with some great stallions---Robert Redford, Sonny Go Te, Top Secret, Sierra Te and Fearles to name a few. What a well deserved honor it was for him to be inducted into the WCHA Hall of Fame. Clark is still like me, it is hard to get horses our of our blood so we both continue to be involved with them. I am posting a few Quarter Horse Journal ads with some of the stallions Clark has owned.

Discussing stud fees from years ago from my last post, Kathy Wenzel Smallwood is so correct. Stud fees in the earlier years were higher than they are today. BUT-----in those years we also got more money in general for our foals. Now days the great ones will bring big money but if you don't have one that will compete at that top level, it is difficult to sell it. I remember "back then" that I usually could sell a foal for at least $15,000 and $20,000 or $25, 000 was not out of line. That justified paying that kind of a stud fee. I do think that the emergence of the big futurities has really helped our industry. It is sad though, that so many people only look to breed to the stallions in the futurities and forget that matching their mare to a stallion is of the utmost importance to raising a good one. The following ads are of Impressive who stood for a $15,000 stud fee and Mr Conclusion stood for $3750. There are many more stallions whose stud fees were comparable.

February 15, 2024

Winter isn't over and Fred enjoys sleeping in the snow.

February 14, 2024

Happy Valentines Day all my wonderful Face Book friends.

February 6, 2024

Bob Luebker and I were talking about how expensive it is to go to a doctor in this day and age. I was thinking back to how much health care used to cost. As you probably know, my father was a doctor in the small town of New London, Wisconsin and I can remember going on "house calls" with him, sometimes in the middle of the night. One Christmas eve he got the call and had to attend someone having a baby. My nieces sent me this article from the Waupaca County Sheriff's post and it has pictures of an accident and the amount that my dad charged to care for the person in the accident. They also listed the charges to repair the car and pictures of the accident itself. Quite a change from what we are charged today. Things were much more simple back then.

February 2, 2024

My friend, Harriet Link posted this picture of Sonny Dee Bar. I had never seen it before so thought I would share it with you in case you haven't seen it either.

February 1, 2024

Fred (Classically) wants to thank everyone for your birthday wishes yesterday. He had quite a day playing with his new toy but as you can see old age is starting to get to him and he was exhausted afterwards.

January 31, 2024

Guess who has a birthday today------Fred (Classically) is 16 years old. The time goes so fast. I took this picture of him when he was exactly one year old. He is the last foal out of Miss Bunny Tardee and is sired by Kids Classic Style. Fred is getting new shoes for his birthday, thanks to my wonderful farrier, Scott Bruecker. After all, it is time to take his "football cleats" off. I think Fred would prefer treats for his birthday and he will probably get those when he is finished.


I love this post about Wimpy that Cindy Buchanan posted. Thought I would share it.

Cindy wrote: 

Here is a great Fort Worth Stock Show memory Grand Champion Stallion at the 1941 Fort Worth Stock Show-

** Wimpy P1 1937 stallion by Solis by Old Sorrel out of Panda by Old Sorrel .. Wimpy was bred and raised by the King Ranch - Kingsville, Tx, where he spent most of his life. There seems to be some uncertainty as to when Wimpy actually was foaled. In The King Ranch Quarter Horses book, Bob Denhardt gives three different foaling dates for Wimpy - 1935, 1936 & 1937. AQHA Stud Book # 1 gives Wimpy's foal date as 1935, a King Ranch ad in Stud Book # 2 , published in 1943, shows a picture of Wimpy and gives his age as 8 yrs old.. ( indicating 1935 ) Yet Wimpy's official AQHA record gives his foaling date as 1937, as given on his original registration application. I see that the AQHA papers that we are purchasing reflects the 1937 foaling date. In terms of Wimpy's contributions to the Quarter Horse industry it makes no difference when he was foaled.. When the AQHA was organized, the directors decided that numbers 2 - 19 would be issued to those stallions that they considered to be foundation stock for the breed. The coveted number 1 would be reserved for the horse named Grand Champion Stallion at the 1941 Fort Worth Exposition and Fat Stock Show.. Word spread of this thru the country and many of the best stallions of the era showed up at Ft Worth to be scrutinized by judge Jim Minnick. And , although most of the stallions were better known than Wimpy, after judge Minnick watched each horse move and studied their conformation closely, he then chose Wimpy Grand over the others !! The Reserve honor went to Silvertone, a palomino stallion owned by Lee Underwood of Wichita Falls, Tx. Wimpy returned to the King Ranch where he spent most of his life and sired many outstanding foals. According to AQHA, Wimpy sired 174 foals from 22 colt crops - siring foals that earned 351 halter points, 196 performance points, 1 AQHA Champion, 3 superior awards & 1 race starter. He was inducted into the AQHA Hall Of Fame in 1989. Some of Wimpy's better known sons were Bill Cody, Little Wimpy, Wimpy II, Silver Wimpy, and Showdown. Their influence as sires is still being felt today. One of his better known daughters to show was Gitana Chica - foaled in 1956, she was out of La Bandolina by Tomate Laureles and earned a superior halter with 103 halter points. It is possible that Wimpy never went to another horse show after the historic win at Fort Worth as no show record is listed with the AQHA other than that one show. Wimpy lived most of his life out at the King Ranch and then when he was in his early 20's the King Ranch gave him to their long time friend George Clegg, who had bred Old Sorrel. A short time later, because of illness, Clegg had to sell Wimpy and the buyer then was Rex Cauble. Cauble got just a few mares bred to Wimpy before his death in 1959. The photo I have posted here is my favorite photo of Wimpy - as an older horse.

January 28, 2024

I can hardly believe this but if Fred says he is cheering for the Detroit Lions then I guess I am too.

January 22, 2024

Pete Bowling posted about Major Bonanza and it brought back some good memories for me. The stallion was by Coys Bonanza and out of Manana's Rosa by Majors Manana who was by Major King. The dam of Manana's Rosa was by Cueller by King. Manana's Rosa was owned by my good friends, Francis and Delores Schanen in Wisconsin Mary Mancini and Kathy Sheahan are nieces of theirs. Well, anyway, "back then" Chris Cassidy Manion showed Rosa and we were great friends. Bill Moomey who owned Coys Bonanza leased Rosa from the Schanens and bred her to Coys Bonanza. Bill did not stand Coy to outside mares and he accumulated some of the best mares in the country to breed to him. There was a waiting list to buy the foals and they were all priced the same---fillies one price and colts higher priced. In 1972, Andy Rees and his wife, Carol were 25 years old and dreamed of owning and standing their own stallion. So, they got on the 'waiting list" for a son of Coys Bonanza. Bill Moomey said that when a foal hit the ground he would call the first person on the list and they had to make up their mind then and there if they wanted the foal and if not he would call the next person on the list. Andy said he got the call telling them that Mananas Rosa had a stud colt 12 hours ago and wanted to know if they wanted to buy him. They decided that they would and when he was 5 months old they made the long trip from Langley, British Columbia to Waukesha, Wisconsin to pick him up. I remember the way Bill weaned his foals back then was to take them away from their dam and put them on the trailer to leave. When they unloaded the colt in Des Moines, Iowa to exercise him, he slipped under the trailer and skinned this shins down to the bone. Bill recommended a veterinarian he knew in the area and they had to leave the colt in Des Moines for treatment. When they finally got Major home, they took him to the University of California-Davis for cosmetic surgery on his knee. In 1973 when he was a yearling , Andy began showing him in AQHA halter classes. Andy says " I'll never forget when Morgan Freeman was judging he walked around Major in a huge class and told Andy "Son, I don't know who you are or what you do, but this horse is either going to put you in the horse business or keep you in the horse business. Such a true statement as Major Bonanza went on to achieve greatness in halter, reining, working cow horse and cutting. He even showed in Western Pleasure and hunter under saddle and was named the 1977 high point working cow horse in the nation. He also became an AQHA Champion. In total Major Bonanza sired 15 World Champions in seven different disciplines. In 1997 Major colicked and had to be euthanized. What a great stallion and I feel so lucky to have known his dam back in my days of showing.


January 21, 2024

Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) by Fred (Classically) out of Bonnie (CJ Miss Cool Tardee) on a -15 below cold Wisconsin day.

I took these two pictures of Fred (Classically) on the left and Pebbles (Kool to be Classic) his daughter on the right. They certainly resemble each other. I am anxious for Pebbles to have her first foal in about a month.

January 20, 2024

Well---old age must be catching up to me. Last night when I woke up and thought that Elara was out of Miss Bunny Tardee, I was totally wrong. She is the last foal out of Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool) who was by Ima Cool Skip and out of Miss Bunny Tardee. I tried for 6 years, bothering Jim and Georgia Snow every year to get semen from My Intention for her. Every year, the disappointment of getting no embryo continued until 4 years ago. My wonderful veterinarian Dr Kathryn Fox flushed an embryo out of Rebecca and her daughter Bailee Fox let us put it in her mare, Cinnamon. And, the following year, to get a filly was the "icing on the cake" Elara is the last foal out of Rebecca and of course she has a permanent home with me.

January 19, 2024

Well---old age must be catching up to me. Last night when I woke up and thought that Elara was out of Miss Bunny Tardee, I was totally wrong. She is the last foal out of Rebecca (You Bet Im Cool) who was by Ima Cool Skip and out of Miss Bunny Tardee. I tried for 6 years, bothering Jim and Georgia Snow every year to get semen from My Intention for her. Every year, the disappointment of getting no embryo continued until 4 years ago. My wonderful veterinarian Dr Kathryn Fox flushed an embryo out of Rebecca and her daughter Bailee Fox let us put it in her mare, Cinnamon. And, the following year, to get a filly was the "icing on the cake" Elara is the last foal out of Rebecca and of course she has a permanent home with me.

January 18, 2024

Well, the temperature finally hit -1 with a wind chill of -12 this morning but the sun was shining. So, Bob Luebker and I put the horses out in the deep snow. By the time I got my camera they had quit running around. I was freezing without my gloves but managed to take a few pictures. This is Rebecca's (You Bet Im Cool) coming 3 year old filly by My Intention. Her name is Elara. She is not the tallest in the world but she surely has some major muscle. I will be anxious to pick a boyfriend for her in the future.

January 16, 2024

What an interesting story of King, P234. I had never known it before.

By Quarter Horse History Pictures

Byrne James and his wife were driving down a street in Laredo, Texas, one day in the early 1930’s when they saw a yearling colt they had to own. He was a blood bay colt with black mane and tail and black feet. Here was royalty on four legs.

A Mexican boy led the yearling down the dusty thoroughfare at a walk. James slowed his car for a better look. Yes, it was quite a colt. And they followed the boy and the colt all the way to their destination–the home of a Laredo horseman named Charlie Alexander. There, after a brief bargaining session, they bought the yearling for $300.

It turned out this was no run-of-the-mill cowpony. Alexander had acquired him from the Mamie Benevides Ranch at Laredo, and the youngster was a son of the noted running sire, Zantanon. That $300 James paid for the colt was a flock of currency in those days and no doubt some of his neighbors in the sagebrush and rattlesnake country around the James Ranch at Encinal might have figured Byrne got the short end of the deal. Turned out this was more than just another horse. He was to become King P-234, the most famous Quarter Horse that ever lived.

Once back at the James Ranch, Byrne’s missus didn’t take long to hang a name on the yearling. You’ve heard the expression “King of Beasts”? Well, to me, he was the King–superior to all the rest…” Some thirty-five years later she recalled that the colt was a good-natured kind with an even disposition, yet a good stallion. In those days Byrne James was a professional baseball player in the spring and summer and a rancher the rest of the time. There was plenty of hard work to be done running cattle and in those days it was mostly still done on horseback. As soon as he was big enough, young King found himself with a saddle and a ranch hand on his back, doing general ranch work. King’s future as a sire of “registered” Quarter Horses wasn’t even dreamed of. The formation of the Quarter Horse registry was still some seven years in the future. In those days, James remembers, “ranchmen used horses for work. Very few of us ever took the trouble to find out the exact breeding on one.”

But James did take the trouble to find out about King. Not only that but he took the trouble to go out and buy both the sire and the dam of that colt. He paid $500 for Zantanon and he also acquired Jabalina, (by The Strait Horse) King’s dam. Further, James put a bunch of miles on his car to establish that the colt is bred just like his papers say he is bred. The colt’s birthdate was June 2, 1931. Byrne was to own two full sisters of King before the young stallion passed into other hands. One of these came to a tragic end. She was about nine or ten months old, as James recalls, and we had to rope her to get a hackamore on her. She fell over backward and broke her neck.

King’s other full sister, Maria Elena, had a long and productive career as a broodmare, producing some outstanding colts.

What delighted Byrne James and other ranchmen in the area was that King represented an ideal stock horse, despite the fact that his sire was a small horse. Zantanon (See Texas & Southwestern Horseman, Nov., 1965) has been described as standing slightly under 14 hands in height. Yet he was, in his prime, a heavy muscled animal of excellent balance and conformation. Many of his colts, including King, inherited his muscle and some had more height to boot. King’s dam, Jabalina, stood 15 hands or taller. As King reached maturity, says James, he stood between 14:3 and 15 hands and weighed from 1,150 to 1,200 pounds. By that time, King’s obvious quality had attracted wide attention in the south Texas area. King became a roping horse in 1933 partly because of James’ pro baseball career. When he took off his boots in favor of baseball spikes that year he decided to loan King to a friend and neighbor, Win DuBose. In those days, DuBose was one of the good young ropers in that part of Texas–where roping has long been almost a way of life. And while Byrne James played infield for the New York Giants, his young stallion was back home learning to “rate” a calf. The work came easy to King. Win DuBose, who lives near Uvalde, Texas, remembers how easy it was to teach the horse.

“He was very quick to learn,” remembers DuBose, “and good natured for a stallion. He had a lot of cow sense. I wouldn’t say he was the fastest horse I ever rode but there was no lost motion. He was quick out of the box and quick to get to a calf.” “A neighbor named Lester Gilleland and I would take turns roping calves in the arena and after about thirty days we started taking him to small ropings…at first we had used a hackamore bit on him but then we changed to metal.”

Soon Win and another roper, Johnny Stevens, were hauling King to the tough ropings throughout west and southwest Texas and they were winning their share. By the time Byrne James got home from the baseball wars he could see that friend DuBose wanted to own the stallion. And so King changed hands for the third time, on this occasion bringing $500. “That was a big price then,” James smiles now. “We were in the depths of the depression.”

During the following eighteen months that Win DuBose owned King he recalls breeding about 25 mares to the stallion…”but we didn’t keep a record, not knowing at the time that Quarter Horses would ever be registered.” “After a few years,” DuBose wrote in 1966, “most of his (King’s) colts in this immediate vicinity were bought and taken away…I sold every direct offspring of King’s that I owned and started breeding a few mares to King April, owned by Morris Witt.”

While he owned King, DuBose stood him to outside mares at a stud fee of $10. And sometimes, unusual as it may seem today, he would keep visiting mares as long as three months–free. One of the things about King that intrigued DuBose in the summer was the horse’s color. Gold flecks would show up in King’s bay coat, giving him a striking sheen. “I never saw another like that,” he says.

In 1937, when there was still no hint of the booming Quarter Horse industry two decades in the future, Win DuBose decided to sell King. He had been in conversation with Jess Hankins of Rocksprings, Texas, a few times about that subject but DuBose understandably was not eager to let a producing stallion go. Still, money was always needed and a man couldn’t own them all. In July Win told Jess he would sell the horse. The agreed-upon price was $800. The deal hit Hankins at precisely the worst time.

“I had just that day spent all the money I had for a bunch of calves,” Hankins recalled later. “So I borrowed the money from Lowell.” (Lowell Hankins, Jess’ brother). The deal was closed July 7, 1937.

Not just everybody figured in 1937 that a cow horse was worth any $800. “People said I was crazy and would go broke,” Jess chuckled long afterward. For a few years there, of course, King did not create any surge of wealth for the Hankins family. The stallion was offered at a $15 stud fee the first year of breeding. Jess raised the fee to $25 the next year–although he remembers “I didn’t get too many mares in those days at any price.” But the south Texan hadn’t bought the horse on a whim. “I liked his conformation,” Hankins says, “and I hadn’t seen a horse around like him. I saw his colts–he was producing some fine ones by all kinds of mares–and he had the speed to produce fast horses too.”

As the years passed and the Quarter Horse registry was formed (in 1940) King began to produce the colts that would make him the most famous sire of the breed. It would take pages to list them all. At the time of his death, King had produced 520 registered foals.

In Jess Hankins’ own judgement, two horses that helped establish King’s breeding fame were his sons Poco Bueno and Royal King–both great sires in their own right. By the fine mare Queen H, King produced Squaw H and Hank H, outstanding running horses. And 89’er by King also ran and produced running horses. But it was in the conformation and “doing” department that this stallion joined the ranks of the immortal breeding animals. Consider these other King colts, picked at random: Old Taylor, Captain Jess, Little Tom B., King Joe Boy, Beaver Creek, Major King and Zantanon H. Among his outstanding broodmares was O’Quinn’s Midget, one of the few Quarter mares ever to produce six AAA offspring.

At his death, King had sired Quarter Horses which thoroughly dominated most phases of the breed’s performance activity–particularly cutting competition. Among his get were 46 Register of Merit qualifiers, eleven of which earned their AQHA Championships. On the list of leading sires of cutting horses, from 1951 to 1956, King led with 24 qualifiers. Poco Bueno by King was second with 24 and Royal King by King was third with 16. Another of his sons, Kings Joe Boy, was fifth with seven qualifiers.

Statistics, however, fail to fully measure this animal’s impact on the Quarter Horse breed. Space prohibits a full list, not only of his own get, but of the thousands of third and fourth generations of King-bred horses that are today the living proof of his potency and quality. Further, the animal’s appearance and the performance of his offspring excited the imagination of thousands of new horse owners in the 1950’s when the breed began to grow rapidly–and the term “King-bred” became a household phrase among horsemen.

January 7, 2024

This is what Fred (Classically) thinks of the Chicago Bears. After all, he is a good Packer fan.

January 5, 2024

I have been reading Pete Bowling's interesting stories regarding cutting horses and I thought I would share with you my "cutting horse" experience. I was teaching school in Poynette Wisconsin and dating a horse person. The two of us along with another friend, Jim Wenzel decided to take a trip to Texas. Jim was into the performance horses and loved the Blackburn line of horses. On the trip we went to Village Creek Ranch in Burleson, Texas. There I got to see War Leo and some great cutting horses. Bess Fish who owned the ranch and Don Carr the manager were wonderful to visit with and I can still remember when Don asked me if I wanted to ride a cutting horse. Of course the answer was yes and what a thrill that was. Just sitting up there while the horse moved back and forth preventing the cow from going where it wanted was a thrill beyond compare. Jim ended up buying a young mare named Holly Janie who was by Hollywood George and out of Janie Bert Watts a double bred Bert mare. That mare was so "cowy" I remember after we got her back to Wisconsin that if you would turn her loose with a herd of cows, she would actually cut them by herself.

January 2, 2024

Gabriel basking in the sun and laying in the hay. All of my horses love him except Patty. She chased him so he is back in the barn with "those that care"

January 1, 2024
What a glorious way to start the New Year with a big Packer win over the Vikings on New Years Eve.

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Michael and Sandra Ellis 1752 Co Rd GG
Neenah, WI  54956
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