George Robert “Bobby” Pidgeon Sr., of Moscow, Tennessee, passed away July 14 after an extended illness. As a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) competitor, breeder, show producer, raconteur and enthusiast, Pidgeon had few equals.
Pidgeon, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member who had not shown for more than a decade before his death, ranks 22nd among the all-time leading Non-Pro money-earners with $1.1 million won. His career highlights include the 1990 and 1991 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Non-Pro championships on Dual Pep (Peppy San Badger x Miss Dual Doc x Doc’s Remedy), who under Pidgeon’s promotion developed into one of cutting’s all-time leading sires and broodmare sires.
In 1991, Pidgeon established Bar H Ranche in Weatherford, Texas, where he stood Dual Pep and CD Olena, the 1994 NCHA Futurity Open Champion and 1995 NCHA Horse of the Year who also became a leading sire and broodmare sire. Dual Pep and CD Olena have sired offspring with combined earnings of more than $45 million and are grandsires of earners of $93 million.
In addition to showing, breeding and promoting his own horses, Pidgeon produced the popular Western Cutting Series of limited-age events from 1988 through 2000, and as an advocate and example, he attracted and encouraged many high-profile newcomers to the sport.
Pidgeon bred CD Olena, who is out of CD Chica San Badger, a mare he purchased from non-pro rider Sheila Welch. Pidgeon’s purchase of CD Chica San Badger and establishment of the Bar H Ranche dovetailed with an arrangement for Canadian rider Winston Hansma to manage his breeding and show operation. Winston’s brother Paul, who went on to win the NCHA Futurity on Playboy McCrae (Dual Pep x Playboys Madera x Freckles Playboy), joined the staff at the same time.
“You can’t have a successful program without some really good people like Winston and Paul,” Pidgeon was quoted as saying. “Winston is the one that said to breed ‘CD’ [CD Chica San Badger] to Doc O’Lena. I let him pick all the mares. I really didn’t have anything to do with it.
“When you don’t know a lot about something, you’d better listen. I learned that in business. You are no better than the people under you. I run my business the same way. Whether they were the janitor or who[ever], I always hired the best people I could find.”