After more than 50 years in the horse business, Alice Walton is calling it quits. In mid-July, it was announced her Walton’s Rocking W Ranch, in Millsap, Texas, will be completely dispersed during a two-day sale event, Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 21-22.
Western Bloodstock is managing the absolute dispersal, which includes all of the horses, tack and equipment. While the announcement took many by surprise, Walton said the decision has been a long time in the making.
“It did not come out of nowhere. I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of years,” said Walton, 65, who was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2012. “I’ve got a lot of other things on my plate – family business and the museum, Crystal Bridges in Arkansas.”
Walton, whose father is the late Walmart founder Sam Walton, led the Walton Family Foundation’s development of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The Bentonville, Arkansas, museum is a premier art institution dedicated to American art and artists, and a place of learning and community.
“I’ve been in this business over 50 years and loved every bit of it. I don’t have time, running the ranch, to do the things on the philanthropic side and with the museum that I need to be doing. So it’s really a matter of just reprioritizing my time and making room to do things that are important to me.”
The cornerstone of Walton’s breeding program was 1980 mare Boon San Sally (Boon Bar x Hula Stopa x Hula San). A cutting money-earner of $60,802, Boon San Sally went on to produce 14 foals that have amassed $1,093,730 and was the No. 1 dam of cutting money-earners in 2004, according to Equi-Stat. She has granddam earnings of more than $1.7 million.
One of Boon San Sally’s foals is 2004 NCHA Horse of the Year Boon San Kitty, an earner of $555,504 who now has offspring earnings of $786,752. She is a full sister to Boon San, a 2003 stallion by High Brow Cat, one of three stallions Walton will be selling at the dispersal. The others are The Boon, a 2008 Peptoboonsmal son out of Boon San Kitty, and Rockin W, a 2006 Dual Rey son out of Boon San Kitty.
Walton doesn’t plan on holding a single horse back. The only thing she will keep, she said, is her NCHA Futurity box seats. She plans on returning to root on the many friends she has made in the cutting horse industry, as well as the horses she has bred.
“I love my horses and love this way of life. I have truly loved this way of life. The thing I’m going to miss the most are my ranch partners – my ranch family. We have the best team in any business I’ve ever seen in my life – Jesse Lennox, Pattie Haney, C.J. Page, the two Ernestos,” Walton said of her long-time employees. “I’m so appreciative and so thankful for the job they’ve done to make it the success it is.”
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