Seventh Son of the Second Earl

Learn about one of the members of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo chronicles the lives of each Hall of Fame member. Learn a little bit about William Anson, who was inducted in 1986 and played a pivotal roll in the success of the Quarter Horse breed.

Born on April 17, 1872, in Stafford County, England, William Anson was the seventh son of the Second Earl of Litchfield. His mother, Lady Georgiana Louisa, was the oldest daughter of the First Duke of Abercorn. Anson’s manners were always pronounced; he was of English aristocracy and showed it, yet he was approachable and companionable.

As a supplier of horses to the English Army during the Boer War in

1899, Anson had access to thousands of Texas cow ponies. Being a breeder himself, he naturally collected the top prospects from the horses for which he served as agent, keeping on the best examples of Quarter Horse type.

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In 1902, Anson bought his own ranch near Christoval, Texas, and called it Head of the River Ranch, and it became the headquarters for producing top Quarter Horses. He loved horses and would not tolerate unkindness toward them. Colts were trained as early as possible for their subsequent station in life.

Outside of breeding and playing polo, Anson researched the history and different bloodlines of Quarter Horses. He wrote several articles about the breed for different livestock and breeding publications. Those articles came to the attention of Dan Casement, who later became elected as a director for AQHA. The two men struck up a correspondence that lasted for years. Casement bought two stallions from Anson, sight unseen; one was a Suffold draft horse and the other a Quarter Horse named Concho Colonel.

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Casement was so pleased that he later wrote back to Anson and bought Concho Colonel’s best son, the stallion Balleymooney.

Along with his ability as a breeder, Anson made perhaps a more significant contribution to the Quarter Horse as one of the early historians of the breed. Visit the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in Amarillo or on the Web to learn more about William Anson.