Uncommon Horses with Common Sense
Story and Photos by Lyn Odom-Cherenzia
H Quarter Horses, located in far east Texas in a little town called Bronson,
is home to stallion whose pedigree reads like the Who’s Who of foundation
quarter horses. There are five Hall of Famers on this stallion’s papers
including Doc Bar, Poco Lena, Peppy San Badger, Cutter Bill and Frosty Scooter,
and just looking at this beautiful ten-year-old sorrel stallion, you can tell
he’s something special.
With a quiet eye and manner and incredible conformation and color, Dry Talos Cutterbill, Cutter for short, is a versatile Texas bred stock horse who throws colts with his same calm, but strong characteristics for working cattle.
There are no walls filled with trophies and ribbons, no fancy saddles or show clothes at the Double H, and Cutter isn’t fawned over with clippers, brushes and baby oil. Instead, he is well trained, well ridden and has what people who want good, solid quarter horses who can work a cow with strength and common sense want.
“My grandfather always said you should be able to ride a good Quarter Horse five days a week, rope 30 cows on a Saturday night, and hitch him to a buggy to go to church on Sunday,” Cutter’s owner Ralph Hampton said.
Ralph and his wife Lydia grew up in East Texas and both have had horses all of their lives. They each competed in ranch horse show circuits as youngsters and after graduation married and began raising horses. They’re philosophy has always been to raise the best, most versatile stock horses in Texas.
Ralph has also kept his ancestor’s ideals about horses in mind. His great grandfather, Tom Roberts, established the family homestead in 1832 that Ralph and Lydia live on today. “It was all cotton, cows and horses back then,” Ralph said. “My great grandfather went into the horse and mule trade as a business for logging and trained skidder mules. And then my grandfather, George Roberts, continued breeding and training horses way back when they were still referred to as copper bottoms or steel dust. Horses then were focused on like cars are today,” he added. “One of the things my grandfather George used to say is the best horse is slick, fat and red.”
Just one look at the Hampton’s stallion Cutter, and you can see that Ralph and Lydia believe the same thing George Roberts did.
“Quarter horses by nature are the most versatile horses on the planet,” Ralph said. “We really believe that. And we’ve seen over the years as horses have been compartmentalized, cutting horses are getting smaller and halter horses are getting bigger with smaller feet. Where does that leave us? Lydia and I want to show that quarter horses can work. Working horses for working people.”
The Hampton’s handpick the mares they bring into their breeding program. They look for bone, muscle, disposition and trainability. They have just over 30 head of registered mares and pursue breeding the consummate working horse that has sensibility for the task at hand, and the disposition to get the job done.
Cutter’s offspring have become barrel horses, cutting horses, walk-trot and hunter under saddle horses and are versatile enough to be ridden both English and western. He has sired six crops of outstanding colts that have been sold all over the United States and Canada.
Two things the Hampton’s are thrilled about are the new Stock Horse Association of Texas, and that AQHA now has a working horse competition in its program.
“We are really trying to produce some of the finest quarter horses in this part of the state so people can take them and compete in these arenas,” Ralph said. “We’re breeding usable, trainable horses. The biggest thrill of this business is seeing moms and dads send us pictures of their 8-year-old kids on their horse being able to handle it and having a good time.”
Most all of Cutter’s offspring are sold as weanlings, but luckily, Cutter is available for stud services.
“No matter what happens in the horse industry, we’ve been raising horses for a long time and will continue to do so,” Ralph said. “We’ll die with horse sweat on us.”
See their web site at www.doublehquarterhorses.com or telephone 936-275-1894.
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