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Because of Horses

Jan 25, 2019

Elise’s guest is James Clement, the Horse Division Manager of the Quarter Horse Program at the King Ranch – one of the most respected and historically significant Quarter Horse operations in existence... not only pre-dating recognition of the breed, but directly responsible for its creation.


From 1853 when he founded the 825,000-acre King Ranch, Captain Richard King (a visionary and the son of destitute Irish immigrants) meticulously up-bred the stallions and mares of the Wild Horse Desert whose descendants would become some of the finest – and the very first – Quarter Horses in the world.


This includes the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), founded in 1940, selecting the King Ranch’s Wimpy as the very first stallion registered in the new breed’s stud book. As well, some of the most successful Quarter Horses in history are King horses, including Mr. San Peppy – the youngest horse ever inducted into the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame.


For seven generations, King Ranch has been owned and maintained by descendants of Captain King, and their dedication to producing the finest horses and cattle possible continues their founder’s legacy. 


 In this week’s episode, James discusses King Ranch’s mission, the horse program’s historical significance, and talks about the Ranch’s current stock – including their talented Quarter Horse stallions and his plans. James also shares insights into continuing his family’s seven generations of Ranch stewardship, what it’s like to literally walk in his predecessor’s boot-steps, and the extraordinarily unique community Captain King began almost 170 years ago.


Topics of Discussion:

[:20] About Elise’s guest today, James Clement.

[1:07] From a personal and professional perspective, James talks about the great responsibility – and honor – of carrying on the Ranch’s traditions.

[2:58] How the King Ranch’s focus on excellence guides James every day.

[5:10] About the legendary Wimpy and some of the other famous Quarter Horses the King Ranch has produced.

[7:49] About King Ranch’s mission and the qualities James looks for in horses and in ranch-hands.

[10:46] James discusses the King Ranch’s breeding program and how it remains true to their core mission.

[13:15] About Old Sorrel and why he was so important to King Ranch (and to today’s Quarter Horse breed).

[17:45] James shares the story of Captain King’s life.

[21:36] James continues the story of Captain King, why he bought all of the cattle from a village in Mexico, and how the legendary Kinenos for their start.

[24:49] The amazing heritage most of the coworkers at King Ranch share.

[26:18] James’s education, US Marine Corps service, and return to King Ranch.

[28:22] James, the newlywed!

[28:50] What it’s like to visit the Quarter Horse operation and touring the King Ranch.

[34:40] About Elise’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons.

[35:25] James’s favorite aspects of the Ranch, itself.

[40:45] About next week’s episode of the Because of Horses podcast.

[41:40] Where to learn more about the King Ranch.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

King Ranch

King Ranch’s Instagram

King Ranch’s Facebook

King Ranch articles on Texas Monthly

A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons: Everything You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive with a Horse-Loving Kid, by Elise Chand

United States Pony Club

Next week’s episode of Because of Horses

American Quarter Horse Association

American Cutting Horse Association


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