zack t wood
Zack T Wood & Dick Gaines, pictured in 1991 • Photo by Teresa Jett

Zack T Wood Laid to Rest

A stallion named in honor of one of cutting’s greatest legends has died at the age of 33.

Zack T Wood, a 1986 son of Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Sire Doc Tari, was laid to rest on Wednesday, Feb. 20, according to a post on Matt Gaines Cutting Horses’ Facebook page. This comes just one month after the stallion’s breeder and owner, Dick Gaines, passed away. His namesake, who died in 2010, was a longtime leader of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).

“Zack” — often called “Zack the horse” — kicked off a stellar performance career at the 1989 NCHA Futurity, where he carried Dick to the Open finals and finished eighth. He continued to succeed in the Open with Dick, picking up titles like American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Junior Cutting World Champion, Will Rogers Derby Open Champion and NCHA Derby 5/6-Year-Old Open Champion.

Matt took over the reins in the Non-Pro and piloted Zack to the finals of many major limited-age events, including the NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Derby. The stallion (out of Lintons Lady Doc x Mr Linton) retired in 1996 with $182,423 to his credit, according to Equi-Stat records.

old stallion
Zack T Wood, pictured in 2015 • Photo by Megan Parks

The first AQHA-registered foals by Zack T Wood were born in 1991. The stallion, who stood at Alpha Equine in Granbury, Texas, for the last several years, went on to have a long and prosperous breeding career; he has more than 600 foals from 1991 through 2017 listed on his sire record with the AQHA. With $5.4 million in offspring earnings between his 220 money-earners, he boasts an impressive $24,823 average among his performers in Equi-Stat.

Known as a top-notch broodmare sire, many of Zack’s most notable offspring were his athletic daughters. Ten of his 12 $100,000-plus earners were mares. That group is topped by Nu I Wood (out of Baby Nu Bar x Nu Bar), an earner of $427,152 who has produced the earners of nearly $1.1 million.

“Zack was a huge part of our family and still is a big influence in the cutting horse industry,” Matt wrote in his Facebook post. “It makes me smile to think that he and dad are both healthy and cutting cattle again together in heaven. RIP Zack. Thank you for everything!”