Monday, June 20, 2011

GUEST AUTHOR CAROLINE FYFFE AND WOMEN OF THE WEST

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
Guthrie, Texas
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.   
Available Now!
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
Amarillo, Texas


8 comments:

Emily said...

What a great post! I've never been to Amarillo, but you made me want to go! Thanks for the history and the salute to two wonderful women...

Caroline said...

You're welcome, Emily. I've always even liked the name, Amarillo. Sound so westerny and remindes me of George Strait--and that can't be a bad thing. LOL!

Have a good week...

Celia Yeary said...

Caroline--I believe a healthy horse is the most beautiful animal in the world. And...I'm actually scared of them. I rode one a few times as a little girl, and never felt fear, but now for some reason I do.
When we take road trips, horses in fields always catch my eye. I've made my husband stop often so I could take a snapshot.
Being from the Lubbock area and born in North Texas, I'm aware of the 6666 Ranch and its wonderful history.
I haven't been to the museum in Amarillo, but would love to go. Isn't the building beautiful?
Congratulations on your wonderful success in writing romance novels. Caroline and I welcome you!
Celia

Caroline said...

Thanks, Celia--I love your Sweethearts Blog. It has such interesting topics. I loved the one from June 18th—Heading West-Load the Wagons. I'm going to order some of Linda’s book. I'm a geek for anything about wagon trains. Those pioneer women had such grit to do what they did back then...so cool.

Thanks again for having me today!

Marin Thomas said...

Caroline--late posting a comment but I sure enjoyed the info on the American Quarter Horse--the horse used in a lot of romance novels about the West :-) Havn't been to the Amarillo Museum but it sounds wonderful!

Caroline said...

Hi Marin, thanks for popping in. Appreciate it!

The QH has always been a favorite of mine--have owned several over the years. Not only beautiful, but level headed and kind. (Most anyway) That's the kind of horse I need. LOL

If you ever get the chance to go, do it. The museum is wonderful.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hello my friend. I was so pleased to see you looking back at me when I opened our blog today. I miss you!

It is amazing how much influence the women have had in our history. I love finding a grand lady to use as a prototype for some of my characters. Luckily I have a multitude of ancestors who fill the bill - none out of Texas, though. We come from Virginia, Illinois and Tennessee. My great great grandmother is supposed to have been the first woman to have had stories published in a magazine. I have copies of all seven stories. I know it isn't as grand as working with horses and on ranches, but it is what I got. Love hearing about all the ladies from Texas.

Hugs!

COWBOY said...

King Ranch and the Waggoneer Ranch should be included with the Four Sixes, in helping establish the American Quarter horse. However, it was the work of Robert M. Denhardt that got the wheels going for the AQHA.

Robert met author J. Frank Dobie while researching Spanish horses in a university library in the 1930's. The two became friends, and Dobie started telling Denhardt about Texas and its horses.

Intrigued about these tough, little cow horses, Denhardt thought it would be interesting to research the so-called Steeldusts.

Writing an article in 1939 published in the Western Horseman Magazine, entitled "The Quarter Horse, Then and Now" Denhardt suggested that those interested in forming a breed registry meet in Fort Worth. He then sold his idea to idea to Bill Warren, Jack Hutchins, Lee Underwood, Jim Hall, Jim Minnick and Helen Michaelis.

A meeting was held during the 1940 Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, Texas. Together, the group formed the American Quarter Horse Association.

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