Anyone familiar with the American Quarter Horse industry has heard the phrase, “He’s Skipper W bred” or “She’s of Wiescamp breeding.”
Henry J. “Hank” Wiescamp was born in 1906 to a farming family in Nebraska. As a boy, Wiescamp had always enjoyed imitating an auctioneer. So in 1926, he enrolled in Reppart’s Auction School in Decatur, Indiana.
Wiescamp first auctions were dispersal sales, but before long he started working livestock sales. Along with auctioneering, Wiescamp bred and sold horses to the Army for its remount program.
By the 1930s, he had begun building a broodmare band and bought stallions to breed the “ideal” horse. Wiescamp preferred horses with powerful jaws, deep heart girth and a “rear end built like a washerwoman’s.” Speed and intelligence were also important factors.
He focused more attention on his broodmare band, believing mares contribute anywhere from 60 to 80 percent to their foals. Wiescamp loathed selling his favorite producers, asking what type house a builder would have if he kept selling the bricks.
The mares descended from Old Fred and were crossed on Nick Shoemaker and other stallions of Plaudit and Nick S breeding. One of Nick Shoemaker’s sons, Skipper W, helped establish Wiescamp as a prominent Quarter Horse breeder.
The breeder became an AQHA Director in 1964. He received an AQHA Legacy Award for 50 continuous years as a breeder, and was inducted into the Palomino Horse Breeders of America and the Appaloosa Horse Club halls of fame.
Wiescamp was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in 1997 at the age of 91.
Biography updated as of December 1997.