Ranching Heritage Breeder Supports the Troops

Proceeds from the “Heritage” documentary featuring the Wagon Wheel Ranch will fund care packages to U.S. soldiers.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

"Turning the Wheel" by Richard Chamberlain in the November 2014 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal highlights the Wagon Wheel Ranch. (Credit: Journal)

Wagon Wheel Ranch stands for so much more than just horses, say the ranch’s owners, Elaine Gist and her son, John C. Gist. 

It’s clear the folks behind the Wagon Wheel Ranch of Lometa, Texas, are passionate about the future of the horse and ranching industries, evidenced by the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder’s participation in the 2014-15 AQHA Young Horse Development Program, to which the ranch donated a ranch-raised weanling. 

But now, with the release of a documentary featuring the ranch and its founder, Wagon Wheel Ranch’s patriotism is on display.

“The values that we appreciate and endeavor to live by transcend ranching,” the Gists say. “We endeavor to embody the spirit of America, its history and its future. We plan to stand by those values and use our documentary, ‘Heritage,’ as a tool to support the men and women who have shaped our history and directly influence the future of America, our military service personnel.”

"Heritage: Preserving The Foundation of the American Quarter Horse" is a documentary from Wagon Wheel Ranch directed by three-time Emmy Award-winning director of Celebrity Films and the Dicks+Nation Celebrity Branding Agency. “Heritage” documents the story of Elaine’s late husband, Fred G. Gist, his visionary work at the Wagon Wheel Ranch and the effect the ranch has had on the future of the American Quarter Horse.

For a contribution of $25 or more, individuals will receive a copy of the “Heritage” DVD. In return, Wagon Wheel Ranch will support Honor Our Troops, a 501(C3) non-profit organization that sends care packages to service men and women. Learn more about the donation options and documentary at www.wagonwheelranch.com/heritage/dvds.

The documentary premieres at 2:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST on January 28 on RFD-TV. Look for it in the “Equestrian Nation” time slot. Watch a 28-minute clip from the documentary  on the Wagon Wheel Ranch’s website.

The Wagon Wheel Ranch was featured in the November 2014 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the Journal article “Turning the Wheel,” well-known horseman Buster McLaury said, “The horses here have real good dispositions. They’re pretty easy to get along with. Their genetics are very important, too. The genetics they have here – the Kings and Driftwoods, the Hancocks and Blue Valentines – they’re old foundation-type horses that have been around for a long time. They’re versatile; they can do a lot of different things well. They rope on them, they cut on them and they run barrels on them. If they hadn’t been the right kind of horses, we wouldn’t still have them. If those genetics weren’t right, they’d be raising a different kind of horse here. They’d have been breeding to something else.”

Ranch foreman Rusty Rodgers seconds Buster’s thoughts. 

“I truly believe we’re raising some really good (horses),” Rodgers said in the article. “Everybody here on the ranch has a passion about it, and when people come here, I believe it overflows into them, they see that passion and commitment, and they feel it as a family.”

Building on the Wagon Wheel Ranch foundation created by his father is John Gist’s driving force. 

“This was Dad’s lifework,” John told the Journal. “It was his passion, and now it’s his legacy. We are going to do everything we know how to do to preserve it, take care of it and get it into the right hands.”

Learn more about the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder program, of which Wagon Wheel Ranch is a member, at www.aqha.com/ranching.