Buster Welch, long tied to the Peppy strain of horses, once said that Mr San Peppy out-sired himself with “Little Peppy.”
Foaled in 1974, the sorrel stallion was by Mr San Peppy by Leo San and out of Sugar Badger by Grey Badger III. Bred by Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas, Peppy San Badger, better known as Little Peppy, traced back to the foundation lines of the King Ranch. Peppy San Badger grew up on Fulton’s ranch under the care of Wayne Pooley, but Pooley never rode the colt. He started handling the colt, saddling him and putting him on the walker, but the colt came down with distemper and further training was delayed until he could recover. The first time Welch saw the young stallion, he didn’t look good. “We stopped at Fulton’s place because I always like to see Mr San Peppy’s colts,” Welch said. “I’ll never forget how bad Little Peppy looked. He was standing in a round pen, rotten with distemper – a little skinny-looking colt. I’d heard he was a good colt, but he sure didn’t bowl me over. The next time I saw him, though, he was a 3-year-old, and the most majestic-looking young horse you ever saw.”
That next spring, Fulton heard about the King Ranch’s search for a Mr San Peppy son, so he sent Little Peppy down to the King Ranch for Welch to evaluate the colt’s progress. Stephen J. “Tio” Kleberg, who was managing the historical South Texas spread, brought Peppy San Badger back to the land of his ancestors to take over for his sire, Mr San Peppy.
A member of the NCHA Hall of Fame, Little Peppy won the NCHA Futurity in 1977 and the Derby in 1978, was reserve world champion in 1980, and won the 1981 NCHA Finals. Trained by Buster Welch, his total earnings topped $172,710.
In 19 seasons, Peppy San Badger sired 2,325 AQHA registered foals that have earned more than 7,200 points in all divisions, and won more than $25 million. The National Reined Cow Horse Association World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2001 illustrated just how prolific Peppy San Badger’s offspring have become. At the Snaffle Bit Futurity, four of the top 10 open horses were by sons of Peppy San Badger. At the NCHA Futurity, four of the top 20 finalists in the open and non pro were by Little Peppy sons.
Cutting legend Peppy San Badger was euthanized July 8, 2005, at 31 years of age.
Peppy San Badger was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.
Biography updated as of March 2008.