Ranching Heritage-Bred

These two horses had their origins on the ranches of AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, but they’re seeing success in the show pen.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Kathleen Morgan and JA Vaquero Letters take home the award for the highest-placing Ranching Heritage-bred amateur horse. (Journal photo)

Kathleen Morgan had a streak of bad luck with horses succumbing to lameness issues. Her brother, who worked on a Colorado ranch at the time, said, “All of our horses are ranch-bred, let’s go to a ranch-horse sale and get you a good, solid horse.”

So, in 2012, Kathleen studied the horses in the Jamison Ranch Sale at Quinter, Kansas, and she picked out JA Vaquero Letters, a 2009 dun gelding.

“He was foaled and raised on the Jamison Ranch, and they put 90 days on him,” Kathleen says of her steady-eddy gelding. “He has just been easy … and that’s his nickname, ‘Easy.’

And he has never taken a lame step, the physical therapist from Ramona, California says.

“He is rock solid,” she adds. “With my physical therapy training, I watch movement … he is solid.”

Easy is by Wily Vaquero and out of JJs Easter Queen by Docs Letters. 

In their second trip to the AQHA West Level 1 Championships, Kathleen couldn’t brag enough on her now-9-year-old partner.

“When we came in 2016, he walked in the pen and screamed - he didn't whinny, he screamed,” she says. “I think he was so used to being outside in his pasture and showing at outdoor shows, he didn’t know what to think about an indoor show pen.”

Two years later, Easy strolled into the amateur ranch riding class and performed the pattern like he’d done it a hundred times. For their efforts, Easy and Kathleen collected the 10th-place ribbon and the trophy and $250 check for being the highest-placing amateur Ranching Heritage-bred horse at the West Level 1. Easy’s breeder, Jamison Ranch in Quinter, Kansas, will also get a $250 check.

Kathleen and Easy also qualified for the 2018 Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships in VRH trail, but she wants to get in some more practice before taking on the world.

Youth Ranching Heritage-Bred

Horse kids go through horses like they go through clothes and shoes – they outgrow them. That was the case when 8-year-old Addison Tomlinson of Sonoita, Arizona, met One Autumn Breeze two years ago. At the time, Addison was ready to graduate to a horse with a few more skills.

“We got her from a cutter,” Addison, now 10, says of “Heidi,” who was bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder Wichita Ranch of Brenham, Texas.

Heidi is by One Time Pepto, who has more than $250,000 in National Cutting Horse Association earnings, won the NCHA Super Stakes in 2005 and was the 2010 AQHA leading NCHA freshman sire. Heidi’s dam, the Smart Little Lena mare Blue Autumn Baby, has more than $15,000 in NCHA earnings.

“I like everything about Heidi,” says Addison, who has been horse crazy from birth and riding since she was 2. “She can get skittish sometimes, but she’s good. We do ranch riding, ranch trail and (Versatility Ranch Horse) trail.”

But Heidi doesn’t get far from her ranch roots, as Addison uses the mare on the family’s Vera Earl Ranch at Sonoita.

This was the duo’s first time at the West Level 1 and their third show total, so Addison was pretty starry-eyed and had a big case of tack-envy after perusing the trade show. She might be arm-wrestling her dad for the $250 check they got for Heidi being the highest-place Ranching Heritage-bred horse in the youth division at the West Level 1.