Conserving A Texas Treasure
A mission to conserve the genetically superior herd of Foundation Quarter Horses, the Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation Herd at the Wagon Wheel.
The Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation, through a $15 million endowment to Sul Ross State University, seeks to perpetuate and promote the valuable and historic role played by the American Quarter Horse on working ranches, as well as provide a resource for future generations in the study of equine genetics and breeding while nurturing the ranch horse market.
Key to this mission is the gift of these 245 strategically-bred American Quarter Horses to Sul Ross State University, where they will roam more than 18,000 acres, as well as become part of a new emphasis on genetic research and breeding that will ultimately result in an annual production sale with students involved at each step of the operation.
This unique herd carries blood percentages ranging up to more than 50 percent of blood tracing to the incontrovertible Foundation sires of the breed, including AQHA Hall of Fame stallions King P-234, Driftwood, Joe Hancock, Royal King and Mr San Peppy.
Best remembered for siring horses with tremendous performance ability and cow sense, a few of King P-234’s better known sons were Poco Bueno, Royal King, King’s Pistol and Continental King. Among the Fred G. Gist Memorial Herd are the highest percentage King P-234 stallions in the world today, Gist Fifty King and King Blythe 49, both at 49.219 percent. WWR Gist King HRH tops the list at 49.6 and remains unbred as a three-year-old.
The herd also features the highest percentage King P-234 mares in the world, Miss Fifty King and Miss Fifty King Gist, both at 50 percent King P-234. Essentially, the blood of the great King P-234 is half of their genetic makeup, making them virtual sons and daughters, and allowing them to carry on the characteristics of this legendary stallion foaled in Laredo, Texas in 1932.
Furthermore, the collection is home to the highest percentage Blue Valentine stallions in the world, Red Blue Valentine at 56.6 percent and WWR Rowdy Red Val at 56.8 percent. Blue Valentine was a grandson of Joe Hancock. With the addition of a son of Blue Valentine by the name of Rowdy Blue Man to his breeding program, Fred Gist was to a great extent responsible for the popularity of Blue Valentines in Texas and the southwest.
Over the course of three decades, Fred Gist studied, tested, and proved certain breeding principles and refined the process with Dr. Ed Heimann’s Genetic Statistics Inheritance System. In doing so, he was able to preserve and increase the percentage of Foundation Blood in our horses, as well as increase homozygosity and hybrid vigor to ultimately create genetic super horses...horses with both above average homozygosity and hybrid vigor. Basically, these super horses are the total package—horses that can consistently reproduce themselves as well as perform.
Clearly, keeping this herd alive and growing is crucial. They are, in fact, the American Quarter Horse of the past essential to the growth and health of the American Quarter Horse of the future.
As a donor to the Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation, your gift will have a tangible and lasting impact on the growth of equine genetic studies, crucial to the potential eradication of five genetic maladies in the American Quarter Horse, as well as on the development of a one-of-a-kind horse curriculum, a competitive collegiate ranch horse team, scholarships and grants supporting the next generation of equine scientists and industry leaders, and as continuous resource of superior bloodlines like none other to serve the American Quarter Horse breed.
Contributions to the conservation of the Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation Herd are welcome at any level, with several offering significant recognition through the naming of individual programs, events and property in perpetuity.
There are four ways to give directly to the endowment:
1. Visit gistmemorialfoundation.org
2. Checks can be made to Sul Ross State University WWR Program and sent to:
Sul Ross State University
Alpine, TX 79832
4. Or by credit card by contacting Kara O’Shaugnessy at 432-837-8892.
For more information, contact
Rebecca K. Splan, PhD
Associate Professor, Equine Science
Fred G. Gist Memorial Foundation