50-Year Breeders: William and Heidi Robinson of Wildwood Ranches

50-Year Breeders: William and Heidi Robinson of Wildwood Ranches

Quarter Horse racing and the famed stallion Jet Of Honor propelled these breeders.

For 50 years, William and Heidi Robinson of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, have been breeding American Quarter Horses on their Wildwood Ranches. (Courtesy photo)

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By Jessica Carr and Kaycie Timm for The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the middle of the vast mountainous terrain of British Columbia, William and Heidi Robinson made their home on Wildwood Ranches, which is comprised of 65 acres in Okanagan Falls.

William’s father, Jack, brought one of the first Quarter Horse stallions, Whispering Smith, into British Columbia in the 1950s. Jack introduced his son to Quarter Horses, and piqued William’s interest in breeding.

In 1969, William bought his first broodmare, Bobbie Lee, a 1949 chestnut by Leo and out of Sailor Bob by Flying Bob. But William didn’t become persistent in breeding Quarter Horses until he met Heidi, who was as much of a horse lover as William.

In 1975, after William and Heidi married, the couple started their breeding program with a bang by purchasing pre-eminent racehorse Jet Of Honor, a 1971 sorrel stallion by Jet Deck and out of Quincy Liz by Lightning Bar. The Robinsons purchased the stallion from American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Robert W. “Bob” Moore, but decided to leave him with Bob until the stallion finished his racing career.

Jet Of Honor retired with eight wins, three seconds and two thirds in 24 starts, a racing Register of Merit and $15,780 in earnings. But the stallion’s best was yet to come in the breeding shed.

Jet Of Honor paired well with the Robinsons’ broodmare, Jet Effort, a 1973 sorrel mare by Shujet and out of Tiny Effort by Efforts Boy. Jet Effort produced 17 race starters, who earned 16 racing ROMs and more than $220,000. Among the offspring of this cross are Jet Effort Jet, Effort N Honor, Jet Lynn Jet and Jets Glory.

In 28 starts, Jet Effort Jet, a 1979 sorrel mare, had 11 wins, six seconds and five thirds, with total lifetime earnings of $64,591, and earned an ROM and Superior in racing. Her offspring, whose winnings totaled $37,130, earned six ROMs.

Her full brother, the 1986 gelding Effort N Honor, had 15 wins, 13 seconds and three thirds in 66 starts, earned an ROM and Superior in racing, and had lifetime earnings of $37,768.

The 1978 sorrel mare Jets Glory, another full sibling, earned a racing ROM as well as a Superior and had lifetime earnings of $21,646. Jet Lynn Jet, a 1986 sorrel mare, was a stakes-placed runner who won $11,117 and earned a racing ROM.

Jet Of Honor’s offspring weren’t just successful on the racetrack. The 1991 leading barrel sire also produced AQHA world champions in barrel racing and pole bending

“Jet Of Honor was bred to the best mares the Northwest had to offer,” Heidi says.

After the Robinsons sold Jet Of Honor in 1986, the stallion went on to produce a total of 1,147 registered Quarter Horse foals. The 353 that started on the track earned more than $1.3 million, while his 183 show offspring racked up 5,470.5 AQHA points and won 23 open and amateur world and reserve world championships.

The Robinsons continued breeding the bloodlines of Three Bars (TB) through Race For Cash, a 1980 sorrel stallion by Dash For Cash and out of Sure Blaze by Hijo Blaze, and War Easy Jet, a 1983 chestnut stallion by Easy Jet and out of Little War Chic by War Chic. Additionally, they integrated the foundation performance bloodlines of King, Poco Bueno and Joe Hancock with the addition of Driftin Blue Fish, a 1999 blue roan by Guatemala Canal and out of Pretty Blue Fisher by Blues Kingfisher, and Centurion Command, a 1981 buckskin by Fritz Command and out of Smoochey Too by Master Hand.

Today, the ranch stands Guys Casanova Cowboy, a 2010 palomino by Frenchmans Guy and out of Amber Holland by AQHA Superior racehorse sire Holland Ease, and Hayes Blue Valentine, a 2005 blue roan by Leo Hancock Hayes and out of Gooseberry Girl by Rowdy Blue Man.

Through the years, Wildwood Ranches has consistently strived to breed quality Quarter Horses. Since William’s passing in late 2017, Heidi has remained dedicated to validating his dream of becoming a 50-year breeder.

“He said, ‘If something ever happens to me, you make sure that you at least keep breeding and registering a foal until the 50-year mark,’ ” Heidi says.

Although he was not able to receive the honor personally, Heidi and her two children, Shawn and Crystal, know William would be thrilled to be recognized as an AQHA 50-year breeder.