angle-left Q-Racing Blog: Harriet Peckham

Q-Racing Blog: Harriet Peckham

Hall of Fame horsewoman Harriet Peckham was a queen of the racetrack.
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By Ty Wyant

Harriett Peckham was a one-woman dynamo who exploded through all glass ceilings in American Quarter Horse racing and her influence still profoundly impacts Quarter Horse racing 24 years after her death.

The Houston native is one of 11 women in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, and on July 12, she will be inducted into the Ruidoso Downs Racehorse Hall of Fame.

Peckham created Buena Suerte Ranch east of Roswell and with the help of veterinarian Leonard Blach built the ranch into a premier breeding operation.

“I met Harriett in 1969 or 1970 when I working in Santa Fe,” Blach said. “A Cadillac drove in and two blondes got out – they were Harriett and Sarah Henderson. They said they were looking for Dr. Blach and I said, ‘You’re looking at him.’ They said they were moving to New Mexico and they had bought 320 acres in Roswell.

“Walt Wiggins Sr. told Harriett that she needed a good vet and he recommended me.

“She told me that she had the stallion Go Man Go and that pricked my ears up. I thought this was a great opportunity and she’s for real.”

Buena Suerte Ranch opened in 1972 and supplementing Go Man Go in the stallion lineup over the following years were Easy Jet, Rocket Wrangler, St Bar, Mr Master Bug, Sparkling Native (TB) and Real Easy Jet. Peckham owned Rocket Bar (TB) and he died in 1970, before Buena Suerte Ranch opened.

As many as 800 mares were bred during a breeding season at Buena Suerte Ranch.

“There was no other farm, at that time, that bred that many mares. She was a trendsetter in the breeding farm industry,” Blach said.

The incredible stallion lineup was supplemented by Peckham’s emphasis on broodmares and their care.

“We had private mare care – which was Harriett’s No. 1 priority – and we had two 100-stall barns with paddocks behind each stall,” Blach said. “Her object was individual mare care. She wanted great mare care. She had experienced other farms not having individual mare care. Now it’s totally different. She established a standard in the industry. She was really a leader.”

Peckham’s broodmares included Streakin Six’s dam, Miss Assured; Pie In The Sky’s dam, Miss Jelly Roll; Little Blue Sheep’s dam, Miss Olene; and Decketta.

Hy Harriett was owned by Fort Bend Ranch and was a stakes winner racing in the late 1950s. River Bend Ranch was owned by Harriett and her then husband, Bill Peckham. She then produced Go Harriett in 1962 and a bloodlines dynasty started.

Go Harriett produced stakes winner Go Together.

“Harriett was known for her broodmares,” Blach said. “That was her biggest interest. She had a lot of great mares that started with Hy Harriett and it came down to Go Together. That line is a big baseline in Ed Allred’s bloodlines today.” 

Go Together was the 1970 champion mare and champion 3-year-old filly. She set a Ruidoso Down’s 440-yard track record of :21.71 when she won the World’s Championship Classic.

Go Together’s first foal, by Jet Deck, was the winner Jet Together. Enter 11-time champion breeder Allred and a direct link to some of the best racehorses in recent years.

Allred purchased Seperate Ways (out of Jet Together), Making Up (out of Jet Together), Jetsetting Girl (out of Jet Together) and Add A Dash (out of Go Together).

Seperate Ways, by Hempen (TB), produced 1999 champion 2-year-old colt and leading sire Separatist, 1989 champion 2-year-old gelding Way Maker and stakes winner Make It Anywhere.

Making Up, by Master Hand (TB), is the dam of Forgive Him. She is the dam of stakes winners Forget It and She Forgives.

Jetsetting Girl, by Master Hand (TB), is the dam of stakes winners Fixin To Fly, Bridlewood and Girl Secrets.

Add A Dash, by Dash For Cash, produced winner Higher Math. She is the dam of 2005 champion 2-year-old Higher Fire, the dam of All American Futurity (G1) winner Fly Baby Fly.

Dr. Allred’s connection to Peckham and her mares is one breeder’s connection. There are many more breeders who have tapped into Peckham’s legacy.

Peckham died in 1995 and Buena Suerte Ranch no longer exists as a Quarter Horse facility. Yet, Peckham and her ranch still live in today’s racing Quarter Horse.

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