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.