A Bar Ranch Named AQHA Best Remuda Winner

A Bar Ranch Named AQHA Best Remuda Winner

A Bar Ranch of Claremore, Oklahoma, is recognized as the 2020 AQHA Best Remuda award winner.

Cowboys herd a large group of American Quarter Horses on the A Bar Ranch in Claremore, Oklahoma. A Bar Ranch is the 2020 AQHA Best Remuda Award Winner. (Credit: Peter Robbins)

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A need for a good using horse has become a program that, year after year, produces the top-quality horses used to get work done at the A Bar Ranch, headquartered in Claremore, Oklahoma. This year, they are awarded the prestigious American Quarter Horse Association Best Remuda award.

The award is bittersweet, as the operation mourns the loss of co-founder Mike Armitage in March, but the family, including his wife, Martha, and sons, Merrit and Turner, continue its world-class operation.

Since 1992, the American Quarter Horse Association has honored the contributions ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse by presenting each year the AQHA Best Remuda Award to a ranch that raises outstanding ranch horses.

“A great ranch horse is one that has cow-sense, physical ability and the mind to want to work with its rider,” said AQHA Director of Ranching Kim Lindsey. “For more than 35 years, A Bar Ranch has been producing these great ranch horses, and we are proud to recognize them as a Best Remuda winner.”

The A Bar was founded in 1985 when Mike and Martha got married, and today it operates in six Oklahoma counties and two Texas counties; they maintain a cow herd of more than 4,000 head and 500 replacement heifers per year. The family’s operation is divided into commercial cow-calf, livestock marketing, agri-tourism and performance horses.

The Armitages began breeding horses when they couldn’t find enough good using horses to buy and decided to raise their own. The ranchers use horses almost daily in every part of the ranch. Their breeding operation has grown to encompass approximately 100 broodmares. It features top cow horse bloodlines from Metallic Cat, Dual Rey, Peptos Stylish Oak, Boonlight Dancer, Tanquery Gin and Ima Son O Sugar.

Among the quality horses the ranch has bred is two-time tie-down roping reserve world champion Cowboys Playgirl 526, a daughter of Greystone Playboy now owned by O.L. Daniel, of Okeechobee, Florida.

The majority of the A Bar horses are sold via an annual production sale, which is linked to a five-figure futurity open only to A Bar-bred horses.

The family is very involved in giving back to the ranching community. Mike served on the AQHA Ranching Committee, and since 2015, the ranch has provided college-age young adults a full-immersion educational intern experience. The Armitage family is active in national organizations, such as AQHA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as well as local organizations, such as nearby collegiate programs at Oklahoma State University and Connors State College. They often play host to national and international training opportunities related to ranching and agriculture.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.