Lee Allen Smith – Bud Breeding Spirit Award Winner

1 Best Friend of OklahomaLEE   ALLAN   SMITH

 

 

The 2012 recipient of the Bud Breeding Oklahoma Spirit Award, Lee Allan Smith was born  in Oklahoma City, November 13, 1929, and lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, DeAnn.   They have three daughters, DeLee, Jennifer and Wendy.  During his lifetime he has worn many hats and had many titles, but the two most definitive of his contributions to the State of Oklahoma are Mr. Oklahoma and Oklahoma’s  Best Friend.

 

Lee Allan is Chairman of Oklahoma Events, LLC which is a full-service event production firm.  He  also served as Vice-Chairman of Ackerman McQueen and President of Oklahoma Centennial Sports, Inc, which was the local organizing committee for the U.S. Olympic Festival in Oklahoma.


Starting as a salesmen with the Gaylord Broadcasting Company, he eventually became  General Manager and Vice-President of WKY Radio and Assistant General Manager of WKY-TV.   He subsequently became President and General Manager of KTVY, Channel 4, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City.

 

During his three year tenure as Chairman of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, he was deeply involved in the development of Remington Park and in convincing


Mr. De Bartolo to make that investment in Oklahoma City.   During his career he has served on the Board of virtually every civic organization or activity in Oklahoma City, and at one time or another has been either President or Chairman of most of them.  To name a few, he was President of Allied Arts of Oklahoma for three years, President of the Oklahoma Zoological Society and was instrumental in establishing the Zoo’s  fabulous aquaticus exhibit.   He was Chairman of the Oklahoma Heritage Association, President for three years of the Last Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America, creator and developer of Stars and Stripes Park, and was founder and producer of the Stars and Stripes Show which was aired on the NBC network for five years.  Lee Allan orchestrated the Dome Dedication at the State Capital, and was instrumental in all of the planning for, and conducting of,  Oklahoma  Centennial Celebration in 2007.

 

Lee Allan attended Oklahoma City public schools, graduated from the University of Oklahoma, became a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, and served his country in Austria, Germany and Libya.

 


We are all familiar with the bronze Quarter Horse statue that graces the front of the Norick Arena at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Park.  But what you may not know is that, because of his position on the State Fair Board and to acknowledge and commemorate the partnership that  has developed between the American Quarter Horse Association and Oklahoma City, Lee Allan Smith conceived it, raised the money for it, found the sculptor in Enid, Oklahoma, to make it, arranged for its erection and produced the unveiling ceremony.

 

Due to time constraints, we cannot recite all of the Boards on which he has served, or is now serving, but we would be remiss if we failed to mention the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Advisory Board.  Neither can we enumerate all of the awards and honors that he has received, but to mention a few :

The Oklahoma City Public School Foundation  Annual Hall of Fame Humanitarian Award,


Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the University of Oklahoma, and the  very prestigious Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

 

And tonight we are honored to invite Lee

Allan Smith into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Trixie Blake

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Trixie  Blake

Some might view it accidental, others might think of it as simply a coincidence, and there might be some who  will consider it an unusual and somewhat eerie quirk of fate.  But, whatever the viewpoint, the fact remains that a few minutes ago we inducted the great stallion, Bert, and now we are honoring one of his outstanding daughters, Trixie Blake.

 

Trixie Blake was foaled in 1939, by Bert and out of Oklahoma Blake by Oklahoma Star.  She was acquired by the Fisher Ranch of Eufaula, Oklahoma, in 1952 at the Tulsa State Fair, where she was being shown in the mare and foal class.  Fisher Ranch was subsequently the breeder and owner of eight of Trixie Blake’s  foals.

 

The one thing that sets Trixie Blake apart from  other Quarter Horse mares is that she was the first  and maybe the only mare  to foal three AQHA Champions by three different sires.  The first was Susette Clapper by Oklahoma Star, Jr., next was Janie Bert Watts by Bert and the third was Bert Leo by Leo San.


It is difficult to separate Trixie Blake from the Fisher Ranch, which, like the Stuart Ranch, is family owned and operated.  Roy Fisher, his wife, daughter and two of their four sons work full time on their 25,000 acre ranch.  They have one of the top commercial Angus cattle herds in the State, and their 60 year old horse program has been recognized by the AQHA with an award for 50 years of continuous Quarter Horse breeding.

  

In the early 1940’s  the ranch acquired its first registered Quarter Horse along with a Palomino stallion by Question Mark.    They acquired their first Bert mare in 1949 and by 1958 they had eight Bert-bred broodmares.  In 1968, with the help of Andy Kinkead, who was the head of the horse department at Oklahoma State University,  they acquired Guthrie Double Star, an 18 year old stallion by Oklahoma Star.  The Bert – Oklahoma Star cross has been tremendously successful.

 

As a fitting tribute to Trixie Blake, it is interesting to note that 70% of the broodmares on the Fisher ranch have some Trixie Blake blood coursing through their veins.

 

Stuart Ranch

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Stuart  Ranch

 As the oldest ranch in the State of Oklahoma under continuous family ownership, descendants of Stuart Ranch are proud and honored to carry on the family legacy.  Terry Stuart quotes her grandmother, Carrie Ida Freeny Stuart, in reference to their forefathers saying “these beloved pioneers have left a great heritage to us”.  Many years of hardship and devotion to their country and family have produced hardy men of strong character.  From this background came our great State of Oklahoma, in which there is much pride among her people.

 

In late 1869, Robert Clay Freeny located his family northeast of Caddo, OK, in what was known as the Redlands.  He engaged in farming and ranching, including trading horses and mules to the U. S. Army.  He died 10 years later, leaving Robert Clay Freeny II in charge of the ranch.  Clay raised cattle, horses, mules and farmed.  In 1902 he became County and Probate Judge of Blue County, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory.  He served in that capacity for four years and was forever recognized and identified as Judge Freeny   His only daughter, Carrie Ida Freeny, was born in 1900.

 Judge Freeny gave the ranch to his daughter, Ida, who married Col. R. T.  Stuart  in 1931, and the operation became known as Stuart Ranch.  The ranch flourished and in 1949,

 

R. T.  Stuart, Jr. bought the stallion Big Shot Dun, the first of the operation’s Quarter Horses and began the Stuart Ranch award-winning Quarter Horse lineage.  In 1963 the ranch purchased the stallion  on O Leo who sired a number of quality horses including three AQHA Champions.  In 1995 a Stuart Ranch product  Genuine Redbud won the Super Horse award at the AQHA World Championship Show.  Also in 1995, Stuart Ranch received the Best of the Remuda Award presented by the AQHA.

 

In 1983 Stuart expanded the 16,000 acre ranch with the purchase of 22,000 acres in Jefferson County, and in that same year he made his daughter, Terry Stuart Forst, the ranch manager.  Newly widowed and the mother of two boys, the 1976 Animal Science graduate of Oklahoma State University went back to school in order to gain a through understanding of the business side of ranching.  She graduated from the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program in 1988 and from the Texas Ranch Management Program at Texas Christian University in 1992.

 

Under her watch the cattle operation has improved and the horse program has gained notoriety.  Terry has served as President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s  Association, was named the 2007 Oklahoma Cattleman Of The Year, and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in November 2007.

 

Terry is quoted as having said “always knew that this is what I wanted to do”.  My parents actually discouraged me in some respects.  Daddy in particular, maybe because I was female, believed that certain things were for a boy or a son to do, not for a daughter.  And that’s fine.  But because of that, I always thought I had to prove myself to be worthy.  So, I had this desire to be good at anything I chose to do.

 

Terry has continued to run the ranch in the ways that have worked for her and the ranch for many years, earning wide-spread respect and admiration for herself and for Stuart Ranch.  With an excellent work ethic and a big helping of good manners, she has been recognized as a woman who has excelled in her field while exemplifying the pioneer spirit of the American West.

 

 Tonight we are breaking new ground because Terry Stuart Forst’s  7S Stuart Ranch is the first ranch to receive the recognition of being inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Royal Santana

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Royal Santana

 Foaled in May 1971, Royal Santana was born famous. He was the son of “Peppy San who was an AQHA Champion, a two time National Cutting Horse Association Champion and a member of both the AQHA and NCHA Halls of Fame. He was out of Royal Smart by Royal King.

 From C. N. Woodward’s vast Douglas Lake Cattle Co. ranch in British Columbia, Royal Santana was sent for training as a two year old to Matlock Rose. Matlock had shown Peppy San to the 1967 NCHA World Championship.

Frank Merrill bought Royal Santana in 1985 and Windward Stud became a virtual “Fountain of Youth” for the horse. Robin showed Santana to the AQHA high point cutting title and a sixth place finish in the in amateur cutting at the AQHA World Championship Show in 1986. Their daughter, McKenzie, rode the gelding to the AQHA Youth cutting title and sixth place in the AQHA Youth World Championship Show in 1988. In 1990 Royal Santana took McKenzie to win both the high point youth cutting title and the AQHYA World Championship.

 But an AQ\A World Championship title still eluded Santana, so in 1991 Frank decided to give it one more try.

 After watching Robin score a 218 on Barb Olena, Frank knew he had to score big to win. Frank cut cows that would challenge Santana, and his last one was a charger Brahma-cross that caused Santana to dig deep. When the dust settled, their 220.5 score lasted through 13 more runs to the AQHA Amateur World Championship/

 In a world where youth is sought, admired and acclaimed, Royal Santana defied the odds when he won his first AQHA World Championship title at age 20.

 He went on to place three more times in youth cutting competition and once more in amateur cutting, In his lifetime he won more than $171,500 in cutting competition and spawned a legion of memories.

Royal Santana died in 1995 and was buried next to the arena named in his honor at Merrill’s Windward Stud ranch.

 Royal; Santana was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2000, and we are privileged to induct him into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Frank Merrill

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Frank  Merrill

 

If there is such a thing as “love at first sight” it happened in 1960 when a young man – reading a magazine in Fremont, Michigan – saw the results of the Houston Stock Show and a picture of Miss Jim 45,  So…..this young man called Matlock Rose, one of the owners and said “Mr. Rose, I am Frank Merrill from Fremont, Michigan, and I was wondering if Miss Jim 45 was for sale and for how much”.  The $25,000 price was a shocker to a 19 year old guy, but Frank went to Gainesville, Texas, and after much negotiation bought the mare with one proviso.  The proviso being that he would go to work for Matlock Rose and George Tyler but not in a pay position – just for room and board and the opportunity to learn from two of the best.

 

The move from Fremont, Michigan, to Gainesville, Texas, was the beginning of  the Frank Merrill story – about which volumes could be written.  While working for and learning from Matlock and George, he credits Carol Rose with  much of his education, particularly the fine details of how to properly take care of a horse. 

 

He met Jerry Wells while in Texas and about 2 years later when he moved to Purcell, OK he and Jerry became good friends and partners on a great  number of horses.

 

Frank formed and operated Windward Stud on his 140 acre ranch in Purcell.    Initially the main  function was prepping horses for sale.  That got off to a rousing start when he and Jim Wells got the job of prepping all of Bud Warren’s horses for the Haymaker sale.   But that job exposed Frank and Jim  to a lot of traffic because of the reputation of Bid Warren and his horses.  More people came to Frank and Jim for prep work , and more stallions came to Windward Stud to stand. 

 

Frank married Robin Severinsen in 1975, who immediately became an integral part of the business.  It was a natural, because Robin had already shown  to a World Championship at the AQHYA Finals, and she was running her own horse farm in Aubrey, Texas.   

 

Windward Stud continued to grow and prosper; leading Frank and Robin more and more into the racing side of the business.   In 1978 they partnered with Bob Weik from San Antonio in a mare named Holme Maid who ran third in the All American Futurity, and who earned more than $230,000 on the track.   But as their family grew and their children, Megan, McKenzie and Tyler began to show, their attention returned to showing, and their interest gravitated to those events in which a  cow was involved.  Frank says that it reflects the traditions of the West and the cowboy culture. 

 

Frank and Robin sold the ranch to the Cowan family of Havre, Montana in 2006, but Frank serves as CO-CEO of Cowan Select Horses LLC at Windward Stud LLC.  In reflecting on the Merrill operation of Windward Stud, Frank has owned, managed or syndicated over 95 stallions and cared for over 25,000 mares.

 

Frank has bred, owned and raised champion American Quarter Horses that have won honors in racing, cutting, reining, reined cowhorse, roping, halter and other events.  He also owned and exhibited two.  AQHA Hall of Fame horses, Miss Jim 45 and Royal Santana.  Frank, Robin and all three of their children have won World and/or Reserve World Championships in a variety of events at all three AQHA World Championship shows.  Frank is active in non-pro cutting competition with over $440,000 in lifetime earnings in NCHA cutting events. 

 

Frank is a Past President of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association, a Past President of the American Quarter Horse Association, a National Director of the National Cutting Horse Association, a Trustee of United States Equine Foundation, and a Director of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  In addition, he writes a monthly column entitled “Frankly Speaking” for the Quarter Horse News.

 

There have been many great horsemen in Oklahoma’s history, but probably none more intensely involved, more dedicated to the welfare and future of the industry, or none who has conducted his personal and business affairs with more dignity, integrity, honesty and character than Frank Merrill.  It is an honor to welcome him into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Roy Browning

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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.

Darrell Bilke

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Darrell  Bilke

 

 

Darrell Bilke was born November 28, 1947, in Miami, Oklahoma, and has two younger sisters.

 

Darrell attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Afton, and graduated from Oklahoma Panhandle State University with a degree in animal science.

 

He met his wife, Barbara, when they were both working for the Oklahoma State University Extension Service – Barbara in Nowata County and Darrell in Rogers County.  Darrell was with the Extension Service 6 years and developed the farm, ranch and home management programs at Rogers State University in Claremore.  The Bilkes have identical twin daughters, Lenzee and Lacee.


Darrell and his father-in-law, Rex Graham, owned and operated the Tom Cat Horse Walker business and formed Graham-Bilke Quarter Horses, engaging in breeding, raising, showing and selling Quarter Horses.   When Rex died, Darrell shut down the show side of the business in order to concentrate on judging and managing horse shows. 

 

Darrell holds judges cards in fourteen breed and discipline organizations, and has judged the world championship shows of all of them – some several times.

 


His international judging experience is vast.  He has judged the German and the European Championships for four different breeds, the Australian Championships for three different breeds, the AQHA Canadian National Championship and Canada’s Quarter Rama.  He has judged the International American Horse Show in Brussels, the Munich Open in Munich, Germany, and the AQHA Austrian Championship.  He belongs to twenty different horse breed and discipline organizations.

 

Darrell was an AQHA Director for eighteen years, during which time he served on the AQHA Youth Committee, the Show and Contest Committee and was Chairman of the AQHA International Committee.

 

Darrell was OQHA Youth Director from 1980 to 1985 and started the OQHA youth judging team.  In 1982 he took the Oklahoma judging team to both the World and Reserve World Championships – a feat never repeated. 

 


Darrell was President of the Western Oklahoma Palomino Association, the Oklahoma County

4-H Leadership Association, and served as President of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association in 1990.

 

At the present time Darrell is the Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pinto Horse Association of America, Inc., with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City.

 

We are pleased to invite Darrell Bilke to join his many friends in the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

 

Bert

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Bert

 

Cowboys in the 1930’s  and -40’s  needed good horses to work and compete on, and Bert horses were among the best.

 

Born in 1934, the brown stallion was bred by Bert Benear of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Sired by Tommy Clegg, Bert was out of Lady Coolidge by Beetch Yellow Jacket.  Barely broke to ride as a three year old, Bert nearly cut off his right front foot with wire.  Afraid to ride him, Bert’s owners decided to use him for breeding purposes.

 

If Bert had one downfall, it was that he didn’t  have a very pretty head, and he passed that less- than-fancy mug onto his offspring.  He also passed on a grand amount of muscle and tremendous back ends; just what Eastern Oklahoma cowboys wanted.

 


Not many of Bert’s sons were kept as stallions because people wanted the colts for using purposes.  Also, it was said if a horseman had a Bert mare, he was in the horse business.  Bert sired four AQHA Champions:  Bert Lady, Janie Bert Watts, Sutherland Dwight and Thomas Bert, and his daughters produced 24 AQHA Champions.

 

Another well known Bert horse was Jeanne  Patsy, the 1955 AQHA high-point tie-down-roping horse.  One of the most famous Bert granddaughters was Baby Doll Combs, known as the legendary Baby Doll in the rodeo arena.  In the 1950’s,  nearly every steer wrestler who rode Baby Doll Combs placed in the money, and more than one cowboy cried when Baby Doll died.

 


 

 

Bert died in May 1956 at the age of 22.  He was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2007, and we are proud tonight to induct Bert into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame to take his place alongside of his granddaughter, Baby Doll Combs, who was inducted in 2010.

Jim Scarbrough

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Jim Scarbrough, was born March 14, 1934 and lives in Heavener, Oklahoma with his wife of 52 years, Billye. The Scarbroughs have three children, daughter Ellen, and sons Carl and Dean.

 

Were it not for people like Jim Scarbrough, who volunteered their time and talent in the days when the Association was still in its infancy and money in short supply, there might not be the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Association as we know it today.

 

Jim was Secretary, Treasurer of the Association in the 1950’s. He edited, wrote stories for and helped Andy Kinkead put out the monthly newsletter from 1960 through 1966. During that same time he was also the racing Secretary and managed the annual race meet at Enid, Oklahoma. The meet ran six weekends and culminated in the running of the OQHA Oklahoma Futurity.

  

Jim also served as the secretary for the Southeastern Oklahoma race meet and futurity in Hartshorne, Oklahoma, and also helped set up and was the racing secretary at Midway Downs in Stroud, Oklahoma.

 

Jim says he bought his first Quarter Horse from Orlando George of Canadian, Oklahoma – a yearling gelding by Star Money by Oklahoma Star, Jr. and out of a Bill Cody mare. He showed him in quite a few cuttings and won the newly formed Central Oklahoma Association Horse of the Year award in 1966.

 

Jim was the foreman and stallion manager for Walter Merrick from 1966 through 1969. He handled the breeding of Three Bars and Jet Smooth as well as Riches and Honors (TB) and King Kameah (TB)

 

After the breeding season in 1960 Jim went to work for the Quarter Horse Journal as Assistant Editor and feature writer. This afforded him the opportunity to visit with and write stories about many great horsemen and their horses. Most of the material used in the biography of Monte Reger when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame came from a two-part story written by Jim Scarbrough and published in the Quarter Horse Journal.

 

Jim moved to Carrollton, Kentucky in 1973 as managing partner of Tucky Farms, where they raised and sold Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. He sold a cutting horse stallion to Bill Frith of Tenderten, Kent, England who sired a number of quality horses in England in the formative years of the American Quarter Horse Association in the UK.

 

In 1974, while in Kentucky, the Governor appointed Jim to the Quarter Horse Racing Commission, and in the fall of 1978 Jim served as Assistant Racing Secretary and placing judge at the first all Quarter Horse race meet at Commonwealth Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

The Scarbroughs moved back to southeastern Oklahoma in 1978, where they still live east of Heavener. They cut the timber off the land, sawed it at a county sawmill and built the house and all of the improvements themselves. Jim says that it was a 25-year project, but a labor of love.

  

Jim still has registered Quarter horses, which he uses to work cattle in the mountains around Heavener. He also sorts and pens cattle weekly at a nearby cattle auction.

 

A truly amazing life – one which enriches ours and makes it a pleasure to induct Jim Scarbrough into the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.