One of the places Clay and I always like to visit when we are in Oklahoma is the Pieper Ranch in Marietta, OK. We have got to know Dick and Brenda Pieper over the last few years and really appreciate their insight into the world of performance horses.
Both Dick and Brenda have an intense passion for the study of equine conformation and behavior. If you ever get a chance to visit their place, you\’ll understand quickly as to why the Piepers\’ vast knowledge for pedigrees and leading edge performance insight is highly sought after information.
Pieper Ranch is home to the legendary Playgun, a $6,900,000+ Dollar Sire and the Equi-Stat #9 Leading Cutting Sire.
Today, Pieper Ranch, Inc. is one of the most beautiful and functional breeding and training facilities in the world. The buildings, which include a stallion and show horse barn, office, training/arrival barn, indoor arena, breeding barn, and mare motel are set in a scenic wooded environment. Several cutting pens, turnout traps and many pastures filled with large native oak, hickory and pecan trees provide a pleasant area for raising and training young prospects. Several creeks run through the ranch, adding to the quiet, peaceful atmosphere that the broodmares, foals and yearlings enjoy.
And if that weren\’t impressive enough, the office at Pieper Ranch should catch your eye. With all of the iconic win pictures on the walls and trophies on the shelves…
Yet, what I found incredibly impressive were the books that Brenda still keeps in her cupboards:
Honestly, if you want details from a 1986 auction held in Fort Worth, or a 1979 performance stock sale just ask Brenda. She can whip open her cupboards and pull out a book that details the high sellers, sale averages and her own notes about specific conformation traits or pedigrees that prospects possesed at that certain event. Back in the days before the internet, Brenda had to find ways to keep her own information so she could stay current with the trends and the times.
Her books are more than impressive… And take a look at this:
The green hardcover books assuming a king-like position above the Pieper office are the original American Quarter Horse Association Stud Book and Registries. Also prior to the internet and computer datebase age, these books were published each year to help breeders research pedigrees and bloodlines. As there was no other formal way of keeping track of progeny lines, breeders would simply look up the bloodlines from these books and try to develop their magic crosses from their pages.
The funny thing is, I\’m sure Brenda has most of this information in her head. She is an amazing horsewoman and if you ever get a chance to spend an hour with her, I promise you it will be time well spent!