Creek Plantation of Martin, South Carolina, wins the AQHA Best Remuda Award.
Creek Plantation is a family operation focused on raising high-quality American Quarter Horses that check all the boxes. We honor them with the 2023 AQHA Best Remuda Award, showcasing a ranch that raises outstanding ranch horses. Located in Martin, South Carolina, Creek Plantation is one of just two operations east of the Mississippi River to earn the prestigious title in the 30-year history of the award.
William S. Morris III began Creek Plantation in 1968, and today the operation produces working American Quarter Horses for use in its 2,000-head commercial cattle operation. The family-run Creek Plantation has bred more than 1,750 American Quarter Horses with earners over $3.2 million in competition across various disciplines, earning 81 AQHA Registers of Merit.
Morris’ vision for Creek Plantation was to develop a commercial equine, cattle and timber operation that combined his passion for the land, responsible stewardship of resources and love of the American Quarter Horse. Creek Plantation is located 45 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia, on the eastern bank of the Savannah River in the South Carolina counties of Barnwell and Allendale where gently rolling upland hills give way to the flood plains.
The equine program began in earnest with the purchase of the stallion King Of Clubs and five mares in 1970. Through the years, the equine program grew slowly, with emphasis on performance, disposition and conformation in foundation bloodlines. During the middle ’70s, a large-scale breeding program was planned and developed with a definite focus on the production of cutting horses. The basic plan was to assemble outstanding mares from the three foundation families or sire lines of King, Old Sorrel and Leo. These mares were then outcrossed on the Doc Bar bloodline. It was determined that stallions from each family would be obtained to allow production of the line-bred foundation breeding stock within each family.
In 1984, Creek Plantation became a shareholder in Smart Little Lena and, after a brief lease, Morris purchased Tanquery Gin, bred and raised by iconic Texas horseman and American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer B. F. Phillips.
“The AQHA Best Remuda Award recognizes the dedication to raising conformationally correct, good-minded and useful horses, traits we covet in a working ranch horse,” said Karen McCuistion, AQHA senior director of member programs. “For more than 50 years, Creek Plantation has done just that and we are honored to recognize their efforts in raising high-quality, using American Quarter Horses.”
In addition to the agribusiness operation, Morris is an invaluable member of the western industry as the chairman of Morris Communications LLC, which publishes multiple publications including Western Horseman, Barrel Horse News and Quarter Horse News. Morris Communications also produces the Road to the Horse colt-starting event and owns the National Barrel Horse Association. Morris is passionate about the equine industry and contributes to disciplines across the board to support his fellow horsemen.
To honor their place in AQHA ranching history, Creek Plantation will receive a specially designed award during the AQHA Breeder Banquet at the 2024 AQHA Convention in Las Vegas, and the ranch will be featured in an upcoming issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.
Learn more about the AQHA Best Remuda award.