The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), along with its Corporate Partner Zoetis, announced last month that Bartlett Ranch, an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder, is the recipient of the 2016 Zoetis-AQHA Best Remuda Award. The award was established to honor the contributions ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse. Traditionally, a remuda is a herd of horses from which ranch hands select their mounts. The word remuda derives from a Spanish term meaning “change of horses.”
The Bartlett Ranch was established in Pike Road, Ala., in 1954. It is owned by Dr. H.B. “Woody” Bartlett and managed by Stephanie Bryant, Milton Scott, Woody Bartlett Jr. and Warren Bartlett. Currently, the diversified cattle and horse operation is comprised of three properties located in Alabama, Texas and Wyoming, with a combined land area totaling nearly 90,000 acres.
The Bartlett Ranch pastures and feeds out 4,000 head of steers each year, calves 1,500 commercial cows and owns more than 250 American Quarter Horses. Bartlett Ranch-bred horses are not only used by ranch cowboys as a vital part of the ranching operations, but have also been extremely successful in halter, cutting, barrel racing, roping and other rodeo events.
Dr. Bartlett’s passion for breeding American Quarter Horses has been a focus of the ranch since the 1950s. In the ranch’s 2016 Best Remuda application, Dr. Bartlett had this to say:
The goal of the Bartlett Ranch remuda program is to produce horses that look good, have a quiet temperament and can be used for any type of work on or off the ranch. Bartlett Ranch remuda horses are structurally sound and correct in conformation, minimizing lameness. The cowboys and horses of Bartlett Ranch are a winning combination, and the traditions of American ranching are alive and well.
All of the 2-year-old remuda horses are started during an annual colt starting clinic each year at the Wyoming ranch. The renowned clinic, held for the past 20 years, is taught by “Cody” Bill Smith, three-time world champion Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association saddle bronc rider. At the ranch, all foals are halter broken at weaning. Care is taken to ensure gentleness is worked for and attained with the foals. The foals are handled on a regular basis for the next year and a half until they come to the clinic.
Bartlett Ranch is an AQHA legacy breeder, and the ranch’s top resident stallions over the years include “Handle Bar Doc” (1983 National Cutting Horse Association world champion and NCHA Hall of Fame member); “Preferred Pay” (a son of the famous racehorse “Dash For Cash”); and “Watch Two Eyed Buck” (an AQHA Superior calf roping, Superior heading, Superior heeling and Open Performance Champion). Dr. Bartlett recently added “Very Special Playgun,” who is a son of “Playgun” out of the mare “Very Special Peppy,” to his stallion roster. As you can see, there have been some great horses on this ranch.
Many of the Bartlett Ranch remuda horses have also found success outside of the ranch. A few of these American Quarter Horses include “Reys Desire,” “Whats Your Handle,” “Raps Red River,” “Hav U Herd My Handle,” “Silky Rap” and “Aproach With Caution.” Each of these horses achieved accolades in events ranging from rodeo to cutting to halter.
Dr. Bartlett and Bartlett Ranch have received recognition and awards that support the importance of education and community involvement. In addition to the AQHA Legacy Award for breeding American Quarter Horses for 50 consecutive years, they have received awards including the Colorado State University Equine Industry Leader Award, induction into the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association Hall of Fame, and recognition as a 2005 AQHA Best Remuda Regional Finalist.
The Best Remuda Award began in 1992 and has since recognized outstanding ranches for their efforts in raising American Quarter Horses, an important tool of their trade. Any ranch that has five or more American Quarter Horse mares used to produce horses for ranch work and is an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder is eligible for this award. The award will be formally presented to the Bartlett Ranch during the 2016 Working Ranch Cowboy’s Association World Championship Ranch Rodeo held Nov. 10-13 in Amarillo. Bartlett Ranch will also be recognized during the 2017 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention.
Zoetis is the proud sponsor of the Zoetis-AQHA Best Remuda Award. AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis cares about the well-being of horses and understands the serious consequences of disease. Founded in 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest equine breed organization in the world. With headquarters in Amarillo, AQHA has a membership of more than 260,000 people in 86 countries and has registered more than 5 million horses in 95 countries. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news. For more information on Bartlett Ranch, you can visit www.bartlettranch.com.
I am a partner with my daughter Julie in Double B Ranch, located in Montgomery, AL and we both have a real love for horses. Julie competes in cutting horse competitions and has done quite well. I help feed the horses and clean stables and do whatever needs to be done when Julie is unavailable.
Julie and Dr. Bartlett are good friends and she insisted that I write about this tremendous award and the many successes Dr. Bartlett and his vast operation have had. My friend Carol Brown also told me that I should include a good “horse story” in this issue. She too is a good friend of Dr. Bartlett’s. Hopefully, this change of pace from law will be of interest to our readers.