The remuda at the R.A. Brown Ranch was an integral part of the ranch before AQHA was even founded. R.A. Brown Sr. was a founder of the Association and served on its executive committee in the '40s. He was one of the first to be inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in honor of his contributions. The ranch has long recognized the importance of a good horse for their cowboys.
When R.A. Brown Sr. returned from Texas A&M to run the Throckmorton ranch in the late 20's, he started a Polo team of local cowboys based on the experience with his college team. Stories were often told of how these men would ride and drive their polo ponies over 75 miles, compete in a match, and then ride 75 miles back home. Apparently, they loved competing on good horses.
R.A. had a herd of what he called "crossbred" mares when he bred to a leased stallion from Waggoner's named Yellow Wolf. A buckskin son of Yellow Wolf, "SKEET", was the first of a long list of foundation stallions used on the ranch. It wasn't long after this that R.A. and some other men got the idea of calling them Quarter Horses because of their speed for the early quarter of a mile. No one dreamed, however, that the breed would grow to the magnitude that it is today.
R.A. Brown Sr. went on to become a founder of the American Quarter Horse Association. He served as an officer or director of AQHA until his death in 1965 and was name to AQHA Hall of Fame in 1988. His son, R.A. (Rob) Brown Jr served as AQHA president in 1995 and was also inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2004, becoming only the second father and son duo to share this honor.
In the 1960’s and the 1970’s, R.A. Brown Ranch was ranked eight times in the top 25 breeders of Register of Merit Performance horses, and they didn’t even have a show string. In 1997 R.A. Brown Ranch was named an AQHA Inaugural Legacy Award winner and followed it up in 1998 as a Best Remuda Award recipient.
a progression of horses and people through the generations:
"BLACK HANCOCK" by the old Joe Hancock horse, was the next addition to the stallion lineup. The story started when the stallion had been injured in his hip during halter breaking at the 6666 Ranch in the early 40's. He also had a fistula of the withers and a bad foot. R.A. swapped $50 and 100 bushels of oats for the horse. After nursing him back to health, the stallion was used for only a few breeding seasons. R.A. was in the process of registering him when the horse got tetanus and died. However, BLACK HANCOCK produced the mare, "BROWN'S FIREFLY" who, in 1946 was Grand Champion at Denver and sold for a phenomenal amount in those days to Haythorn Land and Cattle Co. of Nebraska for $5000. He also sired the next stallion in our remuda history, "SPLITTY HANCOCK". Splitty Hancock was sold to a man in Mexico after a few breeding seasons. When the ranch started utilizing his offspring and realized the kind of minds they had, R.A. tried every way in the world to get the stallion back to no avail.
"TUBAL BLAKE" of Steel Dust and Peter McCue line and "JOE BAILEY RICKLES" a double bred Weatherford Joe Bailey horse were the next additions in the late '40s to the remuda. Both of these horses contributed lots of heart and stamina.
Then in the 1950's, Brown acquired another stallion from the 6666 Ranch that really put R.A. Brown Ranch on the map in the Quarter Horse breeding circles. Johnny Schwartz, who was manager of the 6666 Ranch, had been a childhood friend of R.A.'s. R.A. had also known Miss Anne (Tandy) while they were growing up in Fort Worth. When Johnny had a heart attack, R.A. was asked to go to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch and pick out the Hereford bulls that 6666's had contracted that year. He also selected the stud Blue Rock for them. As a way of repaying R.A. for his favor, Miss Anne told ranch foreman George Humphreys to pick out the top stud prospect from Blue Rock's first colt crop and give it to the Browns. "BLUE GOLD" by Blue Rock and out of a Hollywood Gold mare, became one of the most influential stallions in the R.A. Brown Ranch remuda. He bred a lot of cow and was an eye-catching gray, which is the reason for the gray influence in Brown's herd today. In the summer of 2007 Breyer Horses released a tribute to this great stallion with the “Blue Gold Family” as part of their Remuda series.
Then came the Eddie horses. R.A. had helped the Haythorn family in Nebraska find a super, athletic cutting stallion for their breeding program. When Throckmorton County drouthed out during the '50s, Brown sent six or seven mares to the Haythorns in Nebraska on halves. This little band of half Eddie mares returned to Texas and Brown crossed them with Blue Gold to get a set of horses that set the world on fire. Not only are they the base for the brood mare band today, the geldings from those mares were cat quick, cow horses. The half Eddie studs, "EDDS BLAKE" and "EDDIE HANCOCK", were bred back to the mares that were not of Eddie bloodline, and the Brown's ended up with a double shot of Eddie blood.
For 9 years in late '60s / early '70s we used a stallion that forever marked R.A. Brown Ranch in the performance arena. "EDDIE RED ROSE" was by far the stoutest, heaviest muscled stallion we have ever used. When we crossed him on the Blue Gold daughters, a set of outstanding horses was created. The progeny of Eddie Red Rose and Blue Gold showed up in the Winner's Circles around the country. R.A. Brown Ranch was ranked many times in the AQHA Top 25 breeders of Register of Merit Horses. However, 98% of those horses were ridden by other people, who bought our horses and showed them. We remained low key and let our customers earn the points.
In 1970, another 6666 stud was acquired. "TWO ROCKS" sired by Double Devil and out of a Blob Jr. mare, crossed well on many of the Blue Gold-Eddie mares.
The late '70s brought two more stallions to the remuda. "FOUR Y FIVE" by Double Express by Double Bid and out of a Silver Wimpy mare (a 7/8 sister the many times champion cutting horse, Marion's Girl), and "SMOOTH AT HEART" by Jet Smooth and out of an Old Man mare. These two stallions have left their mark with numerous mares in the band and quite a fewhard-working geldings sporting those two names in their pedigrees.
"ZANS BLUE DIAMOND", a grandson of Zan Parr Bar, was purchased from Carol Rose in the late '80s. We were only able to use him two breeding seasons before a very untimely death. We were fortunate enough, however, to keep ten of his daughters to infuse his trainable mind and excellent disposition into our program.
"CADILLAC 7633" by Sky High Leo and out of a Blue Gold / Eddie cross mare from the Krebs Ranch in Kansas and also "TENINO TOUGH", who was purchased from the 6666's in 1995 were next in line. “Tenino” combined Little Peppy and Doc Bar's breeding.
“DOCEN EDDY” is another beautiful palomino stallion that was used at the R.A. Brown Ranch. His pedigree reads like the royalty that he was combining Colonel Freckles and Doc Bar. His offspring possessed the same traits we appreciated about this horse….extremely athletic and an eye-appealing package.
“GOLD PEPPY FRECKLES” as his name says combines three of the greatest cutting horse sires ever, Hollywood Gold, Colonel Freckles, and Peppy San Badger. Gold Peppy Freckles qualified for the World Show in both reining and cutting and then served us well as a stallion. This beautiful Palomino stud with his kind and gentle disposition proved to be an outstanding cross on our Hesa Eddie Hancock mares. A few of our favorite mares today are sired by him as well as a 2015 VRH Reserve World Champion, RAB Go Pep Hancock. Gold Peppy Freckles maternal half-brother, Colonel Jazz, is in our stallion battery today.
“HESA FIREFLY” is a 2002 red roan stallion that we purchased from our old family friends in Nebraska, Haythorn Land and Cattle Co. Firefly takes us back to our roots in giving us an opportunity to bring back the legendary Browns Firefly, a mare that Waldo Haythorn purchased from us after she won Grand Champion in Denver in the 1940’s! Firefly is extremely stout and throws an incredible hip on his offspring along with that authentic “cowboy color”. Firefly is a son of Figure Four Fly 406 (Bandit) and out of a Happys Warrior mare. Although no longer in the stallion battery, Firefly can be seen working daily by our cowboys as part of the remuda.
“BLUE HANCOCK EDDIE” is a son of Hesa Eddie Hancock. Like his sire, “Blue Eddie’s” smooth easy-way of going is combined with quickness and agility. He bred a high percentage of the beautiful dark iron-gray color with his outstanding head and neck. He was excellent in passing on his excellent mind and gentle disposition. When “Blue Eddie” was not with the mares, our ranch hands used him daily for ranch work as well ranch rodeo competitions. After keeping a good number of fillies for the mare band, Blue Eddie was sold to the Scarborough Ranches headquartered in Midland, TX for their breeding program.
“LITTLE TWISTIN JUAN” is a beautiful red dun stallion that was our fortune to own with Gerald Roberts from Finley, OK. “Twister” is an athletic, muscular stallion that combines Peppy San Badger on the top side with High Brow Hickory and Smart Little Lena on the bottom. His colts were cat-quick and many fillies were fancy enough to go right back into the mare band. Quite a few geldings we are riding now, including several horses the grandkids are using and showing, are sons of Twister including two World Show Qualifiers in Team Roping and Versatility Ranch Horse and SHOT money earners.