After service in World War II, Ted Wells Jr hauled future Hall of Fame sire Leo from Carlsbad, New Mexico to Oklahoma on behalf of his father, Ted Wells, Sr. and partner Gene Moore, who had purchased the horse as a four-year-old. After working for a while at the famed 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, Wells took Leo’s first offspring, Leo Jr. to Ruidoso Downs and won his first race there.
As he continued to rodeo and match race horses, Wells caught the attention of legendary horseman Walter Merrick, who gave him a great opportunity in 1956 when he gave him a stable of horses to train which included the great Bob’s Folly, as well as Easter Rose, Lena’s Bar, Captain Dick and Little Zeke. Wells made the best of the opportunity and became the leading trainer at Centennial Park in Denver, Colorado.
As a young man, Wells served on the committee, which initiated the first Ben Johnson Memorial Steer Roping. Wells became one of the nation’s foremost trainers of racing Quarter Horses.
In 1965 he conditioned Lena’s Bar, the dam of Jet Smooth and Easy Jet, and conditioned Savannah Jr. to win the Oklahoma Futurity, the Sunland Park Futurity and the All American Futurity. He campaigned Savannah Jr. to honors as World Champion Two Year Old Colt of 1965 and World Champion Three Year Old Colt of 1966. Wells won the Oklahoma Futurity three times, twice as a trainer and once as an owner.
Wells retired from the racetrack in 1968 and established breeding farms, first in Texas, then in his native Oklahoma.
By the early 1970s, Wells Ranch was among the leading stud farms in the nation, propelled by such stallions as Azure Te, Easy Six and Savannah Jr. Although primarily a commercial breeder who sold most of his colts, Wells occasionally raced promising individuals such as top-class Devine Liz and Three Two Yankee.
He served as president of the Oklahoma Horseman’s Assn. for two terms, and was also president of the Senior Pro Rodeo Association for two terms. Ted served on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association as well as the Oklahoma Thoroughbred Association.
Wells retired from the racetrack in 1968 and established breeding farms, first in Texas, then in his native Oklahoma. By the early 1970s, Wells Ranch was among the leading stud farms in the nation, propelled by such stallions as Azure Te, Easy Six and Savannah Jr.
Shortly after he dispersed his bloodstock in 1986, Ted Wells purchased a cattle ranch in Osage County, near Pawhuska, his childhood home. There he became an avid steer roper, an activity which he enjoyed until age 83.
Wells was inducted into the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Ruidoso Downs Hall of Fame. Ted was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.
One of Robert “Bob” Moore’s best-loved homebreds was Prissy Gold Digger, a 1975 daughter of Easy Jet and out of Broom Straw by Jackstraw (TB).
From 1977 through 1979, running from Oklahoma to Ruidoso and Los Alamitos, “Prissy” broke three track records, finished in the money in 19 of 29 races, won five stakes, set a top speed index of 106 and earned $299,589, as well as a Superior race horse award.
Prissy went on to produce 18 foals and 17 starters that earned just under $1 million. Prissy’s daughters and granddaughters continue to influence the Bob Moore Farms brood are band, in addition to the bands of leading breeders across the country.
Prissy Gold Digger was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.
From helping the careers of many professional trainers, including his daughter Jackie Krshka and his nephew Pete Kyle, to teaching the basics to newcomers to the Quarter Horse industry, Jack Kyle was a distinguished role model and has been described as “a legend in his own time.”
Kyle was born in 1925 on a ranch 40 miles from Brownfield, Texas. When he was old enough to start first grade, he and his brothers saddled up before sunrise to ride 14 miles to school, never being tardy. His family later moved closer to civilization, to a cow outfit near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
Kyle began breeding Quarter Horses in 1949 when he purchased Skip A Barb from Hank Wiescamp. The stallion became his program’s foundation sire. Skip A Barb sired 18 AQHA Champions, four world champions and three honor-roll titlists.
From Skip A Barb, Kyle bred a stallion called Skip’N Stage, who won the 1978 Honor Roll titles in working cow horse and steer roping and became an AQHA Champion at the age of 4. Skip’N Stage continued Kyle’s breeding legacy, siring the 1982 AQHA Superhorse Sweet And Innocent, two AQHA Champions and three world champions. The produce of Skip’N Stage’s daughters won several world championships and more than $450,000 in National Reining Horse Association earnings.
In 1996, Kyle earned AQHA’s five-year continuous breeder award and the 40-year cumulative breeders award in 1998.
Kyle was a founder of the New Mexico Quarter Horse Association, and served as a director for more than 30 years and one term as president. He also served as an AQHA judge for 24 years, assisting with seminars and helping to define the rules for judged roping events. He officiated the first AQHA World Championship Show and the first NRHA Futurity, and he won the first western riding class held at the New Mexico State Fair in the early 1950s.
Kyle was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1999, died in February 2006. He was inducted into Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.
“This is a good mare. She is OK.” Thus began the career of a distaffer who would grow up to have an enormous influence on the development of the racing American Quarter Horse. But that was in the future – the filly had just passed her first public scrutiny, with the comment by an AQHA inspector who wrote it on the tiny 2-year-old’s papers when he checked her in 1948. Foaled in 1946, a sorrel filly by Leo and out of the Jimmy Allred mare Jenny Dee, Garrett’s Miss Pawhuska was bred by Bill Rowe of Carlsbad, New Mexico. Rowe sold the mare and foal to Earl Jackson of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Jackson sold the filly as a yearling to Dee Garrett, who also ranched near Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Trained by Garrett, Miss Pawhuska won five of six official races at 2 and 3, including her first two starts, the trials and second running of the Oklahoma Futurity in August 1948 at Enid, Oklahoma. Garrett then took the filly to Del Rio and Eagle Pass, Texas, where she won both races. Those were only a few of her actual races. Most of her contests were unofficial matches, and the sorrel mare lost few of them. But Miss Pawhuska’s fame came from producing offspring that won races, earned money and then sired or produced others that could do the same. Bred to Garrett’s stallion, Vandy, Miss Pawhuska produced six starters – world champions Vandy’s Flash, Vanetta Dee and Vannevar; track-record setter Vansarita Too; and AAA sprinters Vandy’s Betty and Miss Vanity. She also produced two nonstarters. A gentle, kind mare, Garrett’s Miss Pawhuska died at 29, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.
FL Lady Bug never performed on the racetrack or in the show ring, but she has earned her place in the AQHA Hall of Fame as a producer of top-quality Quarter Horse runners. FL Lady Bug was foaled in 1945 and bred by W. A. Yeager of Woodward, Oklahoma. She was by Sergeant and out of Yeager’s Lady JA. She was owned by Marvin and Lela Barnes for most of her producing years. FL Lady Bug was bred to produce working horses most of her life because pari-mutuel racing was outlawed in Oklahoma at the time. In 1952, the sorrel mare foaled Rocky Bert, a top tie-down roping horse by Bert, and the first indication that she could be a speed producer. Rocky Bert raced in several match races and became a consistent AA campaigner. The potency of her speed was shown in her first foals, which were not sired by proven progenitors of racehorses. These foals included five starters – one AAAT and two AAA – that earned 29 wins, one stakes win, five racing Registers of Merit and more than $16,000 in winnings. Her daughter Top Ladybug by Top Deck (TB) was the 1966 champion 2-year-old filly and earned $195,943 on the racetrack. She won seven stakes races, including the 1966 Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. Top Ladybug placed third in the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in 1966. But in the 1968 All American, she was the dam of second-place Lady Bug’s Moon and the granddam of third-place Top Bug and fourth-place Ralph’s Lady Bug. Ruidoso Downs officials jokingly quipped that “the race must be bugged.” Ralph’s Lady Bug was bred to Top Moon in 1972, and the mating produced 1975 All American winner Bugs Alive In 75.
All in all, FL Lady Bug produced 14 foals – 11 starters, 10 winners, four stakes placers and one world champion, with total combined earnings of $520,414. Her produce earned 14 Registers of Merit and two Superior race awards. FL Lady Bug died in 1974 at 29. She was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.