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.