Roy Browning, Sr.
Roy Herbert Browning was born in August of 1916 in Tinnie, New Mexico, a small town in the Hondo Valley about 30 miles east of the famous Ruidoso Downs Racetrack.
After moving with his mother to Fort Worth in the mid nineteen-twenties, Roy proceeded to graduate from Central High School as a track star. It was this athleticism which got him a scholarship to attend LSU in Baton Rouge, LA. After college, in the late 30’s, he worked in the aircraft industry for several years during WWII.
With this experience Roy, founded his primary business, Master Products, an aircraft parts supply company in Fort Worth.
In the early 1950’s, Roy reconnected with his father and began a cattle ranching operation in western New Mexico. Later, he moved the cattle business to a new ranch south of Holdenville, Oklahoma, close to the small town, Sasakwa.
It was while running cattle at this ranch that Roy visited with his uncle, Ernest Browning of Wilcox, Arizona. By telling you about Ernest, you will know why Roy became such a horse enthusiast.
Ernest, a “real cowboy” in every sense, had become very successful in both Herefords and horses. He was a perfect mentor for Roy, a city boy, because Ernest had done it all.
Born in 1899, Ernest spent 22 days moving by wagon and hack from an area near Ruidoso, NM to Wilcox, AZ in 1914. By 1939, he was focused on cattle raising and, in 1953, he traded 900 acres of valley land for the famous Muleshoe Ranch.
Ernest Browning became interested in Quarter Horses and, in 1940, he attended the American Quarter Horse Association organizational meeting in Fort Worth and was named a director and a founder of the AQHA. He served as president of AQHA and was one of the founders of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, now the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
It was, then, with the advice and encouragement of his uncle, that Roy focused on horses and not polled Herefords. It was those horses that led him to become one of AQHA’s leading breeders and owners.
Roy purchased The Ole Man from the Frank Vessels Stables in the mid-sixties and never looked back. The Ole Man, a stakes winner on the track, soon became a leading sire of both running and performance horses. He was one of the industry’s most successful sires.
After many years of tireless “service”, The Ole Man was joined at stud for Roy Browning Ranches by a classic speed horse, Jet Smooth, who met his untimely death in 1981. Shortly after, Roy acquired that year’s champion 3-year old colt, Easily Smashed.
Roy Browning was named AQHA’s Leading Breeder of Winners in 1991 and 1992.
His filly, Heavenly, was his all-time biggest runner, winning 15 races including the All-American Derby and the Rainbow Futurity. During her racing career, she won four Grade 1 stakes races and won over one million dollars.
His uncle had taught him well; Roy had “made a name for himself”.
Roy Browning died in Fort Worth, Texas, on the last day of 1999.