Horsemanship / Ranch Horses

The Horses of Western Horseman

A collection of Western Horseman stories about some of the most influential and memorable horses.

Since the beginning of Western Horseman in 1936, we have had the chance to meet and write about many incredible horses who have created a legacy for themselves in the Western industry. Whether they had success in the show pen, were standouts in the rodeo arena or simply just great ranch horses, we have had the privilege of telling the stories of these great equine individuals.

Some have stood out more than others, but all are special in their own right. In honor of National Day of the Horse on December 13, we have collected some of our favorite horses, stories and memories from our archives to share.

Three Bars | Mr. Ed | Wimpy | King P-234 | Hollywood Jac 86 | Shue Fly | Dash For Cash | Poco Tivio

Playgun | Joe Hancock | Easy Jet | Driftwood | Two Eyed Jack | Doc Bar | Clabber | Peter McCue

Three Bars

The narrative of Sid Vail and his famous horse, Three Bars, reads like a storybook. This Thoroughbred stallion has left his mark on hundreds of horses, creating a superior field of running Quarter Horses.

Mister Ed

Saddlebred cross gelding, Bamboo Harvester was everyone’s favorite talking horse — who left millions laughing every week at his on-screen antics!


Ask any AQHA member, and they can probably tell you the name of the horse carrying the honored AQHA registration number P-1. The Wimpy legend began on the King Ranch in 1937 and the stallion created a legacy for himself across the AQHA show arenas.

King P-234

Bought for a mere $800 during the Great Depression, King P-234 was one of the first American Quarter Horse Association stallions. When the AQHA became established, you rarely saw King’s name without the P-234 with it.

Hollywood Jac 86

Richard Greenberg had success as a non-pro rider on Hollywood Jac 86, and the horse’s drop-to-the-basement way of stopping revolutionized the style of reining.

Shue Fly

An outstanding racehorse on the short track, this mare ran against some of the best racehorses in her time and emerged victorious.

Dash For Cash

This revolutionary Quarter Horse was just as phenomenal on the track as he was a sire and has even been referred to as the greatest thing to ever happen to Quarter Horse racing.

Poco Tivio

As a cutting horse, this bay stud showed an incredible amount of “cow.” The stallion carried on the great cutting horse sire tradition started by his father, Poco Bueno.


Shown successfully in cutting, he went on to become one of the top sires in the industry. His foals won big money in cutting, reined cow horse, ranch versatility and other events. 

Joe Hancock

One of the best-known sires of Quarter Horses wasn’t included in the first 20 foundation stallions, but many claim him to be one of the greatest all-around sires of ranch and rodeo horses ever. 

Easy Jet

Easy Jet had a blazing career and a lifelong bond with owner Walter Merrick. His progeny have earned in excess of $24 million.


Driftwood was the foundation of Channing and Katy Peake’s breeding program and helped shape bloodlines within the AQHA.

Two Eyed Jack

Two Eyed Jack is one of the greatest sires in AQHA history, earning himself and Howard Pitzer a large niche in AQHA history. In fact, there are some people who refer to the “Two Eyed Jack Era.”

Doc Bar

Anyone in the Quarter Horse world will recognize the name Doc Bar, for never has there been such a prolific sire of cutting horses. His influence is also felt in the world of cow horses and reining horses, but it is in cutting where he reigned supreme.


Known as the “Iron Horse,” Clabber not only passed along his speed and durability to his offspring but also his true grit and competitive spirit.

Peter McCue

Several of the great horses on this list can trace their bloodlines back to him. Peter McCue is considered to be the greatest Quarter Horse of all time.

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