Tongue River Ranch

Tongue River Ranch is headquartered near the small community of Dumont, Texas, and includes portions of four Texas counties: King, Cottle, Motley and Dickens. It lies about 10 miles southwest of Paducah and 20 miles north of Guthrie. Named for the river that runs through it, the ranch was founded in 1898 by the Swenson family, owners of the SMS Ranches, headquartered in Stamford, Texas.

Millard Morris of DeRidder, Louisiana, purchased the 89,000-acre Tongue River Ranch in 1997. In 2007, he added to it 30,000 acres located near the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to make up the New Mexico division of the ranch. All of it is cattle country – the ranch runs about 1,250 cows and more than a thousand stockers – and to handle the cattle, the cowboys need horses, good ones.  But good ones are what Tongue River has.

The cowboys ride geldings, although occasionally one of the stallions is ridden for ranch work or perhaps a ranch rodeo or ranch horse competition. Each cowboy has a string of horses that is considered to be his as long as he works on the ranch, and he is responsible for both the training and health of those horses.

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, several Remount stallions were used on the Tongue River Ranch.  These stallions included Diego (TB), Gazal III (TB), Gordon Wells (TB), Nansen (TB), Niwad (TB), and Reno Commander (TB).

Photograph courtesy of The Quarter Horse Journal