|Author, Caroline Fyffe|
Hello, Sweethearts of the West. It’s my pleasure and honor to be here today talking with you about one of my favorite things—the West. And of course, the women who helped make it into the splendid place it is today. You know, it’s quite interesting, and remarkable, that every time we make the effort to dig into the history of some famous thing, be it a man, place or event, there’s usually a woman somewhere there giving it wings to fly. Using ingenuity, fortitude and love, women have made their mark in so many places. Today I salute two of them.
And so it is in my post….
A few years back I found myself at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum, in Amarillo, Texas. I was standing in the gigantic grand hall name for Anne B. Windfohr Marion, the 6666 Ranch, and the Burnett Foundation, and my imagination took off. I’d noticed that the hall was dedicated to a woman—that’s all it took. At that time, I knew little of AQHA’s history. Most horse people have heard of the renowned 6666 Ranch, also called the The Four Sixes Ranch, founded in 1870 and located in Guthrie Texas, as a leader in all disciplines of exceptional Quarter Horses.
|Anne Burnett Tandy|
But, digging deeper--ahhh yes, you say--as I mentioned in my introduction, I discovered it was ranch founder, Caption Samuel “Burk” Burnett’s daughter, Anne Burnett Tandy, affectionately called Miss Anne, who had inherited the ranch (can you even imagine!) that was instrumental in the creation of the American Quarter Horse registry.
|Four Sixes Ranch|
In 1940, the current owner of the 6666 Ranch and her husband, James Goodwin Hall, had a dinner party in their Fort Worth home to talk with other breeders of ranch type horses, the same animals that were bread in Texas, Colorado, California and such, after the great westward migration. The American Quarter Horse Association, the world’s largest breed registry, was born the very next day.
|Anne Windfohr Marion|
Then, her only child, Anne B. Windfohr Marion, and current head of the ranch, (a beautiful woman in Stetson and chaps—a true heroine, in my way of thinking ) re-introduced quarter horse racing back into the ranch breeding program in 1993.
Just as Penny Tweedy Chenery was the driving force behind Secretariat, believing in him, giving him the opportunity to be the best that he could be, and seeing his true heart, so too the Burnett women had the desire to see where the horses of the West, the true athletes that built so many outstanding cattle and horse breeding operations west of the Mississippi, could go, if given the chance.
Today, we salute all the hard-working, dedicated women, sometimes hidden in the shadows, sometimes not, who forged ahead in history, to greatness. Do you know one of these such hero’s? Maybe someone in your family history? And, has anyone one else besides me had the tremendous opportunity of visiting the Hall of Fame in Amarillo?
|American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum|