The Aaron Ranch breeding program is led by Peptoboonsmal, left, with Lori Aaron, and his son Blind Sided, right, with Phillip Aaron. • Photo by Kate Bradley Byars.

Aaron Ranch Honored by AQHA

The Aaron Ranch, home of Peptoboonsmal, was recently honored by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

The AQHA recently announced the ranch in Commerce, Texas, was among the newest to earn the distinction of being a Ranching Heritage Breeder. The award recognizes breeders who produce American Quarter Horses and maintain a remuda for the purpose of operating a working cattle ranch.

Owners Phillip and Lori Aaron started Aaron Ranch’s horse-breeding operations in 2010 with one Blue Valentine-bred stallion, Funny B Blue Muchaman, and four mares.

A trip to a reined cow horse show changed the ranch’s trajectory toward that sport, leading them to add stallions like Jasons Peptolena to breed to their Blue Valentine-bred mares, but the Aarons told Quarter Horse News(QHN) in 2017 that the focus of the ranch has always been to breed horses that could work a cattle operation the Aarons run in East Texas.

Yearling fillies at the Aaron Ranch in 2017. • Photo by Kate Bradley Byars.

They eventually expanded their stallion roster to include Equi-Stat Elite $27 Million Sire Peptoboonsmal, a stallion Lori Aaron had admired for years, and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Junior Working Cow Horse World Champion A Shiner Named Sioux ($163,426, by Shining Spark).

National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion Blind Sided, a son of Peptoboonsmal who earned $224,614, also is on the stallion roster.

“I kept buying Peptoboonsmals, like JP [Jasons Peptolena] and Blind Sided, and I was breeding to ‘Pepto.’ But, I decided I needed [to buy] him more than any other horse because of what he contributes to his offspring,” Lori Aaron said in 2017.

In addition to its cow horse stallions, Aaron Ranch also continues to stand several stallions tracing back to Blue Valentine.

So far, Aaron Ranch has an Equi-Stat breeder record of more than $193,461. As an owner, its horses have won $514,909.

Other ranches that received new AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder designations were Bar T Livestock & Quarter Horses, of Haslet, Texas; Gallegos Ranch, of La Jara, Colorado; and Spotted Tail Cattle Co., Loveland, Colorado.