Okie Leo

Okie Leo

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2023.

Okie Leo cutting

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Okie Leo joins Leo in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Like his sire, Okie Leo is one of the great “usin’ horse” sires of American Quarter Horses, a fountain of horses with incredible minds and solid conformation that typify the versatility and using ability of the breed. Just as they had with Leo, generations of breeders have looked to Okie Leo’s genetics to develop programs that produce a ranch horse that is cowy, with good feet to work in rugged conditions, stamina to keep going and a trainable mind. Okie Leo’s blood flows in some of today’s best ranch horses.

Bred by Leo’s owner, American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Bud Warren of Perry, Oklahoma, Okie Leo was foaled in 1956, one of 13 foals out of Sorrel Sue, a daughter of King P-234. Sorrel Sue produced four Register of Merit earners, including AQHA Champion Rinski, by Leo’s son Croton Oil; Burke’s Tag, by Leo’s AQHA Champion son Leo Tag; and Lemac, Okie Leo’s full brother who scored Registers of Merit both on the track and in the show ring.

Sold as a yearling to E. L. “Les” Gosselin, Okie Leo started two races as a 2-year-old at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico. He then was sold to Dick Robey, who with wife Helen was getting started in the horse business at Edmond, Oklahoma, before relocating to Perkins.

Okie Leo became an AQHA Champion when that was the highest honor attainable. He earned 20 points at halter and 88.5 in reining, cutting and western pleasure and, with Don Wilcox riding, picked up his Superior in reining by winning 50 of the 55 reining classes entered. Okie Leo stood grand champion four times and took blue ribbons in nine get-of-sire classes, all while also netting a National Cutting Horse Association Certificate of Ability.

Okie Leo went on to sire long strings of successful roping, reining, barrel racing and working cow horses (and even a couple that won on the track). From 531 foals in 21 crops, Okie Leo sired 167 AQHA point earners that in open, amateur and youth competition earned more than 4,500 points, including AQHA world champions and Superhorses Leonard Milligan and Smoke Um Okie, nine world championships, three reserve world titles, two high-point awards and 64 performance Registers of Merit.

Okie Leo died in 1978, but he remained a leading sire of AQHA performance winners until 1985, and his natural talent is still being passed on. Okie Leo was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2023.