L-R: Tyler Morris, William S. "Billy" Morris III, William S. Morris V, Steve Hancock, AQHA President Kenneth Banks. * Photo by Amy Olson

Creek Plantation takes home AQHA Best Remuda Award

On Sunday, family and friends of Creek Plantation were elated to celebrate their 2023 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Best Remuda Award at the AQHA Convention at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I just feel blessed and very satisfied to be receiving this award,” said founder and family patriarch William S. “Billy” Morris III. “I’ve worked hard, as have many people, to accomplish what we’ve done. And I pass it on now to my grandson William V. and his siblings. We have six grandchildren, three children and the whole thing moves on to them. Particularly William, he’s got a great amount of knowledge about what we’re doing, and I think he’ll be the main one to pick up where I left off.”

Morris III was joined on stage by son J. Tyler Morris, grandson William Morris V., and semi-retired ranch manager Steve Hancock. He was also accompanied to Las Vegas by Len Carter and Sherry Fulmer of the Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity, an event he founded and has supported for more than 40 years. AQHA displayed a video featuring Creek Plantation as well as interviews with Billy and William V. before bringing the recipients on stage.

* Video By AQHA

The AQHA Best Remuda Award is an honor that has only been bestowed on one other ranch East of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1968, Creek Plantation started when Billy purchased its original 2,526 acres near Martin, South Carolina. It has grown to nearly 14,000 acres since then and is still owned by Billy and family.

“It means the world (to be awarded Best Remuda), because it’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and a lot of sacrifice and now to be on the world stage in the way that we are means a lot,” William V. said.

As of March 14, Creek Plantation is an EquiStat Elite $3 Million Breeder and has owner earnings of $786,371 and counting. They also stand EquiStat Elite $5 Million Sire Boon Too Suen as well as cutting stallions Cattalou and The Boon. Creek Plantation’s pride in foundation quarter horse ranching lines can also be found in ranch stallion Gists Fifty King (Gists High King x Miss Fifty King x Cow Bo Country), one of the highest percentage King P-234 bred stallions in service today. He carries 49.2% King P-234 blood. Gists Fifty King has sired earners in ranch riding, ranch versatility and ranch trail according to EquiStat.

“Without the help of Steve Hancock none of this would’ve been possible. He’s been the man on the scene everyday. He is an expert with both horses and cows and he loves them both,” Billy said.

The ranch has bred many outstanding horses over the years, contributing performers and key bloodstock to the Western performance and ranching industries.

“There’s a lot of good ones, and a lot of the best ones I didn’t even know,” William V. said. “But it’s been a lot of fun to see the Wheeling Peppy and Tanquery Gin era now move into the Cattalou, Boon Too Suen and The Boon era, to see where we’ve come from and now where we are.”

Mare Power

Any great breeder can tell you, a good herd isn’t just built on the accolades of their stallions, high-earning mares that pass along their best qualities are just as much a part of the equation for success. 

Creek Plantation patriarch Billy Morris, receiving the 2023 AQHA Best Remuda Award. * Photo by Amy Olson

The ranch owns elite cutting mares Kittens (by High Brow Cat), Sarahs Super Cat (by High Brow Cat), Cat Mom Do (by High Brow Cat) and Diva In Denim, a Smart Little Lena mare who has so far foaled the winners of more than $524,722. They also own Cat Digs Lucinda, who is dam of National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Zak 34 and NRCHA Western Derby Open Champion CR Hes A Tuff One—full brothers by Woody Be Tuff. She currently has lifetime progeny earnings of $637,584.

“I’ve got numerous favorites,” Billy said. “Horses are like people, they’re all different. I’ve enjoyed many, many wonderful horses that’ve given me much pleasure throughout the years. I think horses are one of God’s great gifts to mankind and I appreciate that. And, I’ve enjoyed them very much.”

Creek Plantation also has bred several noteworthy broodmares over the year, including EquiStat Elite $1 Million Dam Shes Pretty Smooth. A daughter of Creek’s stallion, Wheeling Peppy, and out of Smooth Hickory (by Docs Hickory), Shes Pretty Smooth earned $75,525 in cutting and is the mother of Smooth As A Cat, who won $500,037 and is an EquiStat Elite $36 Million Sire

Another notable Creek-bred mare is Miss Kim O Lena, a daughter of Doc O’Lena who is the dam of National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Famer and EquiStat Elite $1 Million Dam Snip O Gun (by One Gun).

Morris Communications

As a person passionate about horses, Billy’s contribution to the industry goes beyond breeding and raising horses. He is chairman of Morris Communications LLC, the parent company of several equine publications and events. They include Quarter Horse News, Barrel Horse News, the National Barrel Horse Association, Western HorsemanEquiStat statistical service, and Road To The Horse.

In addition, Morris Equine Group publishes NRHA Reiner magazine for the National Reining Horse Association and Reined Cow Horse News for the National Reined Cow Horse Association.