Known for his halter and pleasure horses, Duane Walker has been a Quarter Horse breeder for more than 40 years.
Born in Brookville, Kansas, in 1935, Walker grew up surrounded by horses. His father raised, broke and trained draft horses. A few years after marrying his wife, Jo, the couple moved to Canton, Kansas, where he went to work at the Canton grain elevator. Walker went on to purchase shares in the grain elevator and became president.
Walker returned to the horse business in 1964, when his oldest son, Tim, needed a horse for 4-H. Walker purchased Frosty Money for $300 and the Tee Jay Ranch was formed. The name of the ranch is from the names of his oldest son, Tim, and his wife, Jo.
Frosty Money went on to win multiple AQHA Championships and Superiors in halter. Walker sold her for $10,000 in 1967. Later that same year he purchased the horse that would become the kingpin of the Tee Jay operation, Jackie Bee. In the 1972 Kansas Quarter Horse Breeders Futurity, Jackie Bee’s foals won more than 50 percent of the purse paid in the halter classes. In five classes, his get won four firsts, one second, one third and three fourth places.
Walker remains active in the Kansas Quarter Horse Association, with whom he has served two terms as president, and in 2000 was inducted into the Kansas Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. One of the main projects that occurred during Walker’s service to the organization was the initiation and promotion of the now highly successful Kansas Quarter Horse Futurity. In the futurity, breeders enter foals before birth and continue entry payments to show them as foals and yearlings at halter and then under saddle in pleasure competition as 2-year-olds.
In 1997, Walker served as a Miss Rodeo America judge and, in 1999, was honored as the Kansas State University Stockman of the Year.
It’s no wonder that Walker’s name is high on the lists of breeders of halter class winners. He not only has good horses, but is also well respected as a horseman and a gentleman.
Walker was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008.
Biography updated as of March 2008.