milt-bradford
Milt Bradford contributed significantly to the Western Performance horse industry, especially in promoting bloodstock at sales. • Photo courtesy of Bradford family.

Remembering Milt Bradford

Milton Emerson Bradford Jr., 71, passed away peacefully Saturday, May 1, 2021, at his home after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by the presence of family and the voice of his son, Garrett.

Services were held May 7 in Weatherford, Texas.

Milt was born April 22, 1950, in Lufkin, Texas, the son of Milton Bradford, a Baptist preacher and Betty Hawkins Bradford, a schoolteacher.  Milt spent his childhood primarily in Huntington with intermittent years in Del Rio and McAllen, Texas, where his father pastored.

As a teen, Milt found his love of horses and cattle and began to forge a life centered around that passion.  After several years working for Raymond Havard in Lufkin, Milt felt he had the tools to begin his own horse auction company.  

In 1990, Milt partnered with the famed Oxbow Ranch to launch the first of many successful auctions in Fort Worth and throughout the country. Milt retired from the horse sale business with the sale of the Western Bloodstock company in 2013, but soon found retirement was not for him.

In 2017, at the age of 67, Milt launched his next venture in real estate.  Along with partner, Don Bell, he continued actively in real estate until his passing.

Love of Cutting

In addition to selling horses and properties, Milt and his wife of 34 years, Mary, also owned and showed cutting horses. Milt showed for many years, with two highlights coming aboard a mare named Glamorous Dually: the won the 2002 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Classic/Challenge Amateur and the 2001 Brazos Bash Classic/Challenge Amateur.

Together with Mary, Milt owned the winners of more than $1.2 million. His and Mary’s biggest win as owners came in 2006, when Our Little Dyno and Paul Hansma won the Millionheir Derby Open – and a $300,000 first-place paycheck. It also was the career highlight for Our Little Dyno, who was later bestowed the honor of induction into the NCHA Horse Hall of Fame.

In recent years, Milt and Mary were represented at cuttings by their DMAC Wise Guy, a son of Hickorys Indian Pep that Mary rode to the 2019 NCHA World Championship in the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro.

Family Legacy

Milt is survived by Mary; son, Garrett; two brothers, Jim (Shannon) Bradford, of Weatherford, and Robert (Carla) Bradford, of San Marcos; nephews, James (Kristy), Bobby (Grace), and Brandon; niece, Christina Bradford; as well as an amazing family of in-laws through his marriage to Mary: Sam and Kathy Milodragovich, Lynne and Stewart Thomson, Tom and Tomi Briggeman, Kim and Linda Briggeman.

In lieu of flowers, Milt and the family request donations to Greenwood Baptist Outreach, 1504 Greenwood Cutoff Road, Weatherford, TX 76088, or Horsemen For Christ Ministries, P.O. Box 9524, Wichita Falls, TX  76308.