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  • Writer's pictureTCHOF

King Ranch - 2019

Richard King, along with his indispensable Kineños, tamed the land and revolutionized the ranching business. By the time of his death in 1885, King had created a legacy that would become known as the birthplace of American ranching. His domesticated longhorns were some of the very first hoof stock to comprise the early northward Texas cattle drives with a registered brand that has since taken on mythical significance – the famous “Running W”. Through an aggressive, thorough and studied breed improvement program, hardscrabble longhorns and wild horses yielded the finest cattle and horses in Texas and the development of the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle. Other programs led to the country’s top quarter horses and some of America’s most notable thoroughbreds – including 1946 Triple Crown winner ASSAULT. In the 1940’s, innovations including mechanized brush control methods, innovative corrals for working cattle and better grasses and mineral supplements led to improved livestock production and wellness. This period also saw expanded game management and wildlife conservation practices along with oil and gas royalties. Today, like Captain King, King Ranch continues to innovate and diversify, and now has state of the art operations in turfgrass, citrus, sugarcane, grain and cotton production and processing, retail, vegetables, nursery trees, publishing, almonds and pistachios and other areas of operations. However, the Running W brand and their livestock operations and home ranches remain the focal point of their family heritage. For instance, King Ranch maintains a total horse remuda of over 225 quarter horses (over 7,500 American Quarter Horses have been registered by King Ranch), which are “on the payroll” and epitomize the continued importance of the working horse in the quarter horse breed. Furthermore, King Ranch was the first to develop a genetically enhanced within herd Expected Progency Difference system and their Santa Cruz commercial cattle (Santa Gertrudis-Red Angus Cross) have been recognized as one of, if not the, finest bos indicus cross composite breed in the nation.


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