Reading A Pedigree

   Inbreeding ~ a chapter
    from the forthcoming book
    "Bloodlines N Pedigrees"


        A Lost Bloodline

   REY JAY  part 1  part 2

        The Legend of Unikia

   HARLAN ~ part 1  part 2
Dixie Beach's Last Foal

Triple Cutter Bill

Triple Cutter Bill in 2006

Triple Cutter Bill moves to Texas and his historic roots!


He has been leased from Larry by the Burgess-Herring Ranch of Stinnett, Texas. The Herring Ranch was founded by C. T. Herring.

It was Herring that turned Golden Chief over to R. L. Underwood. Golden Chief was the foundation sire for Underwood's Copperbottom breeding program. Thus the Herring Ranch is the original home of Golden Chief.

Triple will be used by C. C. Burgess, Burgess-Herring Ranch owner and Jim Scudday, Burgess-Herring Ranch manager to reintroduce the Golden Chief blood back into their breeding program.

FLASH! Larry's next book,
"Bloodlines N Pedigrees" is scheduled for printing SOON!  Watch for more information here.

Welcome Page
About Larry Thornton

Click Here for book information and ordering books!

"The Working Lines" Volume I and Volume II can be purchased from Southern Publishing: 1-800-647-6672


Rey Jay - part 1

by Larry Thornton

(c) Copyright 2004, Larry Thornton. All rights reserved. Reprint permission must be in writing.

The story of Rey Jay's contribution to the Quarter Horse begins with his overcoming a handicap that allowed him to compete and out perform many of the industry's elite cutting horses. Rey Jay sustained an eye injury as a weanling that impaired the vision in his right eye. It is believed that when the eye was irritated and inflamed that he could see about 15% of his normal vision. This handicap became a trade mark of Rey Jay's desire to succeed as a cutting horse, earning him a place in cutting horse history.

Tom Lee aboard Rey Jay in 1965
Photo courtesy of NCHA

Rey Jay proved his value as a show horse and this allowed him to enter the stud and prove himself as a sire. This has lead to a demand for the blood of Rey Jay in the modern cutting horse. Rey Jay has supplied that blood as the sire of outstanding foals, especially through his daughters. His daughters have produced such horses as Colonel Freckles, Freckles Playboy, Freckles Hustler, Jay Freckles, Lenas Success, Si Olena, Tamulena, Dox Lena Rey, Dox Abilena, Dox Alex, and Storks Gin.

Rey Jay was bred by the King Ranch and foaled in 1955. He started life by traveling Texas before settling in Indiana. The King Ranch sold Rey Jay to Lloyd Jenkins. Ira White reportedly traded two Holstein calves for Rey Jay. White then sold Rey Jay to Curley Talamage. Talamage sold Rey Jay to Tom Lee of Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1959.

In Patricia Close's story, "Rey Jay, The One-Eyed Cuttin' Horse" (WESTERN HORSEMAN, June 1965), Lee is quoted telling his first impression of Rey Jay. "That's the greatest prospect I've seen and I'm going to buy him."

Lee added, "My Dad never questioned my judgment in getting the horse. He only said, "That's a lot of money for a one-eyed horse!"

Tom Lee and Rey Jay went on to put the elder Lee's concerns to rest with a very good show record. Rey Jay earned his AQHA Championship, an AQHA Superior in cutting and the NCHA Bronze Award. They earned 257 cutting points, 12 halter points and 4.5 western pleasure points in the AQHA.

Tom Lee became friends with Buster Welch. Welch's name is synonymous with many outstanding cutting horses. They include the great Mr San Peppy , Peppy San Badger, Dry Doc, Marion's Girl and Chickasha Mike. The Lee and Welch friendship would eventually lead to Rey Jay's permanent return to Texas.

Tom Lee was severely injured in a horse accident and was unable to continue his showing and training activities. After the accident, Tom's wife Delight continued to show Rey Jay.

In a 1985 interview, Buster Welch talked about Tom Lee with a great deal of respect and admiration. He credited Lee with doing an excellent job of training Rey Jay. His high regard for Lee was expressed when he called Lee "a real horseman" that could have been one of the great cutting horse riders and trainers had the accident not ended his career.

With the accident making it impossible for Tom Lee to continue his riding and training, a decision was made to sell Rey Jay. It was Buster Welch that recommended Rey Jay to Marion Flynt and this is how the horse found his way back to Texas. Flynt was known to many in the cutting industry as "Mr Cuttin' Horse" because of his long time association with the NCHA. Flynt served as NCHA President from 1956 to 1958 and from 1963 to 1971.

Buster Welch and Marion Flynt had what Welch termed a "wonderful and long association" as trainer and owner. Welch had trained and ridden Flynt's legendary mare Marion's Girl to the 1954 and 1956 NCHA World Championships.

Welch clearly remembers his first encounter with Marion Flynt. "The first time I met him, I was about 16 years old. I was breaking a string of horses for Bob Hill of Midland, Texas. These horses ran from four to nine years old. We were coming out of the war and a lot of people had let their horses go. Marion came out and bought five horses for his ranch."

Welch continued, "Mr. Hill had promised to let me pick a horse out in our trade and have him for $100.00. I had picked a brown horse that was a real pretty horse. A six year old horse. Well Marion saw him and insisted that he get that horse in the five. So Mr. Hill sold him the horse. The sad part is that that horse would up killin' a fella named Buck Underwood that was workin' for Marion. It was a roping accident. I didn't see Marion for a long time after that. Then I got into the cuttin' horse thing with him."

By the time Rey Jay went back to Texas, he was experiencing problems with his hocks. Welch confirmed that the horse was experiencing pain and showed his ability "only when he felt good." Flynt used Rey Jay as a sire until the leg problems became too severe. He gave the horse to Texas A&M University, hoping they could help the horse with his physical problems. Eventually, the leg problem forced them to put the gallant one-eyed horse down.

Rey Jay's bad eye may account for some of his success as a cutting horse. Welch describes the horse this way, "Rey Jay got real low to the ground. He had a lot of style for a horse in his day. I think some of it was that he had a lot of cow and that bad eye. He tried so hard to keep a cow under control, where he could see her. That gave him a little extra animation. There's not a whole lot of horses that would look at a cow as hard as he would, concentrate as hard as he did." By examining Rey Jay's pedigree, one can readily see where the potential for his ability and desire came from. Rey Jay traces four times to Old Sorrel through his sire, Rey Del Rancho and his dam, Calandria K. Old Sorrel was the foundation sire of the King Ranch Quarter Horses.

Old Sorrel was bred by George Clegg, a noted breeder of early quarter horses. The sire of Old Sorrel was Hickory Bill. Hickory Bill was sired by Peter McCue. The dam of Peter McCue was Nora M., a Thoroughbred mare by Voltigeur. The sire of Peter McCue was Day Tucker by Barney Owens. Barney Owens was sired by Martin's Cold Deck by Old Billy. Old Billy was sired by Shiloh and out of Ram Cat by Steel Dust. The dam of Dan Tucker was Butt Cut by Jack Traveler. The dam of Hickory Bill was Lucretia M. This mare was sired by The Hero and out of Bird, who was sired by Jack Traveler. Jack Traveler was sired by Steel Dust.

The dam of Old Sorrel was the mare known as the Dr. Rose Mare. This mare was believed to be of Thoroughbred blood, but her pedigree is unknown. She was owned by a Dr. Rose, a Dentist in Del Rio, Texas until she was bought by George Clegg.

Old Sorrel was purchased by the King Ranch and he developed into the greatest cow horse to ever set foot on this famous ranch. When Old Sorrel had proven his ability as a cow horse, he was given the opportunity to breed a band of the best mares on the ranch. His foals proved to be good using horses and Old Sorrel became the foundation sire of one of the most successful breeding programs in the world.

To retain the Old Sorrel's working abilities, the King Ranch set out to linebreed to their prize stallion. Several sons of Old Sorrel became key contributors to the linebreeding program. They were Little Richard, Cardenal, Macanudo, Babe Grande and Solis.

One of the early King Ranch bred stallions to be shown extensively was Peppy P-212. Peppy was the Grand Champion Stallion at shows like the Fort Worth Stock Show in 1940. He was a double bred grandson of Old Sorrel. His sire was Little Richard by Old Sorrel and his dam was a daughter of Cardenal by Old Sorrel.

Despite Peppy's success, the King Ranch stallion that will probably be remembered as the most famous product of the early breeding program was Wimpy P-1. Wimpy earned his #1 in the AQHA Stud Book as the Grand Champion Stallion at the 1941 Fort Worth Stock Show. Wimpy was a double grandson of Old Sorrel. His sire was Solis by Old Sorrel and his dam was Panda by Old Sorrel. It has to be noted that Marion Flynt's World Champion mare Marion's girl was sired by Silver Wimpy by Wimpy P-1.

Solis was one of the first sons of Old Sorrel to be used in the King Ranch breeding program, His dam was a Lazarus Mare by *Right Royal. Solis sired two AQHA registered sons on the King Ranch. The first one was Wimpy and the second was Ranchero. Ranchero was bred just like Wimpy. He was sired by Solis by Old Sorrel and out of Borega by Old Sorrel. The dam of Borega was a Lucky Mose Mare.

Ranchero became the sire of Rey Del Rancho. Some pedigrees will show that Rey Del Rancho was out of the mare Panda De La Tordita. Panda De La Tordita was sired by Ranchero. This would make Rey Del Rancho intensely inbred to Ranchero. This is the offical pedigree listed in the AQHA Stud Book, but it is not the correct pedigree. Joe Stiles, long time King Ranch employee, sent me the correct pedigree of Rey Del Rancho. It shows that he was sired by Ranchero and out of Panda de Tordilla. Panda de Tordilla was sired by Babe Grande by Old Sorrel and out of a mare known as the Norias Mare.

Rey Del Rancho became an important part of the King Ranch breeding program. He was the sire of such noted horses as Anita Chica, Rex Del Rancho and El Rey Rojo. Anita Chica was a very successful halter horse for the King Ranch. She earned a Superior in halter with One Champion of Champions win at Fort Worth; 41 Grand Championships; 15 Reserve Championships and 60 Blue Ribbons. She was the dam of the AQHA cutting point earner El Probre, a stallion used extensively in the King Ranch breeding program.

Rex Del Rancho was the 1962 AQHA Honor Roll Roping Horse. He earned 26 roping points in 1962 on the way to his Honor Roll Title. He was an AQHA Champion as well with 16 halter points, 43 reining points, 57 roping points and 2 western pleasure points by the end of 1962.

El Rey Rojo was a major sire for the King Ranch. One of his foals to leave the ranch was El Bandito Rojo. This up and coming show horse was killed in a fire. He was shown in 25 shows in 1969 and 1970 before he died. He won 20 first places earning 37 halter points with 10 Grand Championships and 10 Reserve Grand Championships. He earned 14 performance points with a Register of Merit in western pleasure. He was a three-year-old when he died.

Despite the good looks of Anita Chica; the versatility of Rex Del Rancho and the proven sire qualities of El Rey Rojo, Rey Del Rancho was a noted sire of cutting horses on the King Ranch. Welch called the Rey Del Rancho line of horses "the best King Ranch breeding for cuttin' horses and agility."

He added, "I think he was recognized (by the King Ranch personnel) as the best sire of cuttin' horses in his time on the King Ranch.

In addition to Rey Jay, Rey Del Rancho was the sire of Callan's Man and Isis. Both of these horses were NCHA Top Ten qualifiers. In turn Callan's Man was a successful sire with horses like Mr Linton, a top cutter in his own right.

Continued ~ part 2

Author Biography

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28322 Highway 64 West, London AR 72847    
Phone: 479-885-3144

Copyright (c) 2004, Larry Thornton. All rights reserved. ~  Designed and Hosted by HorsesOnly.com