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.
Back then everything was done on horseback. 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.
"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 on the remuda in the mare band and the geldings that are still used by the cowboys.
"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. Ten of his daughters are in the present day mare band and contributing his trainable mind and excellent disposition.
"HESA EDDIE HANCOCK" by Eddie Eighty and out of a Two Rocks Lad mare, could potentially be the best stud we've ever had. He adds a significant amount of foundation blood back into our mares, tracing back three times to Joe Hancock, Eddie and Blue Rock and twice to Hollywood Gold. This 1992 gray stallion is a nice headed horse with a long, pretty neck and lots of bone. He's a soft mover and has a wonderful disposition. He is athletic and shows to have a lot of cow sense. His influence lives long at the R.A. Brown Ranch as currently we are riding many of his sons and are utilizing 20 of his direct daughters in our brood mare band along with a son as a stallion, Blue Eddie.
"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 seem to possess the same traits we appreciate 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 reining and earned $2225 in Cutting. This beautiful Palomino stud with his kind and gentle disposition is proved to be an outstanding cross on our Hesa Eddie Hancock mares.
“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. He’s big, 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 Happy’s Warrior mare. When he’s not with mares, Firefly can be seen working daily by our cowboys as part of the remuda.
Although there are a few replacements kept every year, the majority of the weanlings are sold in two sales: the October production sale at the ranch and in the Ft Worth Stock Show Remuda Sale in January. Our cowboys are all given a colt to add to their string and by starting these horses, earn part interest and possession of the horse. Their strings are filled with solid ranch geldings that are an important tool to fulfill their daily jobs at the ranch and some find their way to the rodeo arena, 4-H horse shows, cuttings, and ranch rodeo competitions.
“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. As you will see, he is breeding a high percentage of the beautiful dark iron-gray color with his outstanding head and neck. He is also passing on his excellent mind and very gentle disposition. His oldest progeny are 6 years old now and are making excellent ranch horses. When “Blue Eddie’s” not with the mares, our ranch hands use him for everyday ranch work as well as Ranch Rodeo competitions.
“LITTLE TWISTIN JUAN” is a beautiful red dun stallion that we are fortunate to own with Gerald Roberts from Finley, OK. Twister is an athletic, muscular stallion that combines Peppy San Badger on the top side with Doc’s Hickory and Smart Little Lena on the bottom. His first colts seem to cat-quick as well as good-minded. We are anxious to add them to our remuda.
About 20 brood mares are maintained at the ranch today and some are leased to the Rocker B Ranch near Barnhart, TX on the shares. Many visitors have commented that their favorite part of touring the R.A. Brown Ranch, is seeing these mares with foals at side running in the 1200 acre Mare Pasture. The Browns pasture breed and foal all of the mares in the rough, rocky hills of west Texas. The foals are halter broke around the 4th of July every year and then weaned in late September.