William Anson

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1986

William Anson

Who would have thought an Englishman of noble descent would play such a pivotal role in the history and success of the American Quarter Horse breed?

The son of an English nobleman, William Anson or “Uncle Billy” as he was known in America, immigrated to Texas in 1890.  He lived with an older brother on his Texas ranch for a few years.

In 1899, Anson started supplying the British army with horses for use during the Boer War.  Anson sold the army more than 22,000 Texas horses.

While Anson was buying horses for the British army, he found time to do a little personal shopping.  He already owned several quarter-type mares, but needed a herd sire.  Anson bought a son of Rondo and laid the foundation for his future programs.

In 1903, Anson bought his own ranch near Christoval, Texas, and called it Head of the River Ranch, which would be his headquarters for producing top quarter-type horses.

The ranch stood several well-known stallions; the best known was Harmon Baker, by Peter McCue.  Two other well-known stallions were Jim Ned and Sam Jones.

Outside of breeding and playing polo, Anson researched the history and different bloodlines of quarter-type horses.  He wrote several articles about the breed for different livestock and breeding publications.  One article caught the eye of Dan Casement, a respected breeder from Colorado.

The two men started a correspondence that lasted years.  Casement’s respect for Anson’s expertise and eye for quality horses grew.  Over the years, Casement bought a quarter-type stallion sight unseen from Anson.  The stallion was named Concho Colonel.

Anson died in 1926 at 53, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1986.