Horse History

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McAllen Ranch: A History of Quality Horses
McAllen Ranch horse history stretches back more than a century. Horses have been an essential part of the ranchÂ’s operation, and this
timeline serves as a tribute to their contributions. Since 1942 we have raised foundation quarter horses. Old King Ranch breeding lines
and other early South Texas quarter horses have been the cornerstones of our horse operation over the decades.

When buying a Quarter Horse, consider the history and tradition that is built into each horse. McAllen Ranch is proud to present horses today that still carry the values, pedigree, and confirmation of horses long ago.

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The earliest mention of horses at Santa Anita occurs in the inventory of the estate of José Manuel Gómez. The inventory claimed that at the time of his death he owned: 44 cattle, 4,000 goats and sheep, 351 mules and horses, including one named “Pintitas.” Manuel’s father, José Antonio Gómez, received in payment of his share 100 breeding mares, cows, 10 gentle horses, 1 yoke of oxen and other horses, with the same left to Manuel’s widow, María Gregoria Ballí de Gómez.


Doña Salomé Ballí de Young files a claim with the United States government for 3 mules and 1 horse, each at $50 per head.


The value of a horse was approximately $50 per head. John McAllen sold $2,100 worth of horses from the Santa Anita to the Mexican army. This was 42 head.


It cost $102 in duties to cross one horse from Brownsville to Matamoros.


John McAllen bought horses from the quartermaster at Fort Brown, which were liquidated after the war.


McAllen hired F.F. Fenn (Gilbert Kingsbury) to show horses for him


Santa Anita suffered a loss of 250 horses to rustling. A claim filed with the U.S. government claimed they were worth $60


Seventy-five horses participated in a drive up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas and were likely sold upon their arrival. 


When James B. McAllen offered to sell his interest in Santa Anita to William E. Halsell, his share of the stock amounted to 400 head of horses. At the time, Halsell owned 1/4 of the ranch, which was not yet fenced. Therefore, it seems that the Santa Anita had about 1,600 head of horses on it at that time. This was during a drought as well. James B. McAllen valued the horses at $3 per head.


James B. McAllen purchased a Morgan trotting stallion in Kentucky to introduce into the herd at San Juanito.


Bill Warren 000670. Argyle A. McAllen began introducing stallions to the ranch from other regions of Texas. Argyle bought Bill Warren 1939. A sorrel stallion that began a lasting relationship with quarter horses and their importance on the ranch. He is a paternal grandson to Traveler and a maternal grandson to Little Joe 1. Bred by the founding president of the AQHA, Bill Warren


Boiler Maker 0001743. Leased by Argyle in 1955 from his friend Don Stone. The stallion was chestnut in color, muscular, and large in height and weight. A son of Old Sorrel 1915 and maternal grandson to Chicaro (TB) 1923. His confirmation was his greatest asset. A foundation quarter horse. He is listed in The Foundation of Sires Of The American Quarterhorse by Robet Moorman Denhardt.


Gold Snip 0116909. Gold Snip was purchased from Byrnie James, owner of King P234, in 1932. He was a black stallion, well-muscled with plenty of “cow sense.” Many brood mares were kept from this stallion adding color to the remuda, especially duns. A grandson to King P234 and son to Black Gold King 1949. He brought confirmation and work ability to our herd.


Abejero 0617061. Abejero was purchased from King Ranch, Inc. Annual Horse Sale. A deep-chested, chestnut stallion, his greatest asset was his ability to work cattle. He added stamina and intelligence to the remuda and many broodmares to the manada. He was a paternal great-grandson of Hired Hand 1943, maternal great-grandson to Wimpy 1937 and a paternal grandson to Bill Cody 1944. Old Sorrel 1915 appears more than 3 times in his pedigree


Peppy's Gift 1706135. Argyle was gifted a stallion by his friend Tom T. East of Linn, Texas. A zebra-striped, line back dun stud colt, a proud addition to our horse herd. He is a paternal grandson of Mr. San Peppy and a maternal great-grandson to Trinidad. This stallion reflects the essence of South Texas quarter horse breeding. Not a large horse by any means, but very quick, agile and most of all, intelligent. He is truly the last of his kind, a South Texas cow horse. His colts are no exception; they are all born with his talent and confirmation. Many brood mares were kept from this stallion.


Par Three Jack 2612353. Par Three Jack was purchased from El Mileño Ranch of Rio Grande City, Texas. He is a well-muscled, heavy-boned, sorrel stallion with an outstanding pedigree. He is a son of Par Three and maternal grandson to Two-Eyed Jack. He is a pleasure to have. His colts carry his gentle disposition and train easily. His stout confirmation and "cow sense" also show in his offspring.


Many mares were purchased from the W.T. Waggoner Ranch, Hal Bogle Estate, Haythorn Ranch, Mileño Ranch and other well known breeders, in hopes of replicating old bloodlines of South Texas horses.


Zanderford's Cowboy 3012440 was purchased from Ledford Ranch, Durango, Colorado. He is directly descended from old bloodlines of King Ranch breeding. Zanderford possess all the characteristics of his King Ranch ancestors.


Platinum Playgun 4548642 is a beautiful gray stallion, purchased from the Bartlett Ranch in Weatherford, Texas. He is a direct son of the legendary stallion Playgun and maternal grandson to Handle Bar Doc. Thank you to Dick and Brenda Pieper, owners of Playgun, for their help in finding this beautiful stallion. We hope to improve confirmation, agility, and pedigree to our horse band with this stallion