To honor the contributions that ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse, the American Quarter Horse Association and AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis have named the Matador Ranch of Matador, Texas, the recipient of the 2013 Best Remuda Award.
Owned by The Matador Cattle Co., a division of Koch Agriculture Company, the 130,000-acre Matador Ranch spans parts of Motley, Dickens, Floyd, Cottle and Crosby counties in Texas.
Ranch records show involvement with AQHA as early as the 1940s, which continued when the current ownership began in 1952. Today’s Matador Ranch includes acreage that was originally part of the Matador Land and Cattle Co., which was created in the late 1800s by a group of Scottish investors. An AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder, the Matador Ranch is an AQHA 35-year cumulative breeder and has competed in AQHA ranch horse competitions and AQHA Alliance Partner Ranch Horse Association of America events.
The horse-breeding focus of the ranch is to produce quality horses that are able to traverse rugged terrain safely with outstanding cow ability.
Top breeding horses contributing to the remuda include Lost Echo Gal, Matadors Nifty Gal, Claires Double, High Marked and Wrigly. The remuda’s top performance horses include MCC Double Heaven, MCC Big Gun, MCC Hank San Teen, MCC Playboys High Brow and MCC Peppy San Royal.
Horses are vital to successfully gathering cattle from many areas of the ranch that are inaccessible to a vehicle. Matador horses are trained using a variety of techniques so that the horses have the training and experience to excel in many disciplines. Providing quality horses for their cowboys to safely conduct business across the ranch is a major goal for the remuda.
Matador Ranch is also one of the ranches hosting the Legends of the American Quarter Horse Trail Ride to benefit the American Quarter Horse Foundation.
The Best Remuda award began in 1992 and has since recognized several outstanding ranches for their efforts in raising American Quarter Horses, an important tool of their trade. The award will be presented at the 2013 Working Ranch Cowboys Association World Championship Ranch Rodeo in November in Amarillo.
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.