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Joe Hancock

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

During the formative years of AQHA, Joe Hancock caused a lot of controversy. Some swore by the stallion’s abilities and others cussed his breeding. Few horsemen could say what a Quarter Horse was, but they knew, “it dang sure wasn’t a *Percheron.”

Joe Hancock was foaled in 1923 and was by John Wilkins, by Peter McCue, and out of a half-Percheron mare. Joe Hancock’s breeder, John Jackson Hancock, lived in the Canadian breaks of the Texas Panhandle. The rancher kept a band of 35 to 40 mares, and periodically bred five or six mares to a small *Percheron stallion.

As a long yearling, the brown colt was moved to Nocona, Texas, where John’s son, Joe lived. Joe ran a few ranch horses and did not need a stallion. The vet was called and the stallion was hobbled so he could be castrated. The vet, Jim Klingensmith, looked at the colt and said, “Joe, I’ve cut a lot of horses, and I’m fixing to cut another one. But damn, this is a helluva horse.” Joe looked at the brown colt, thought a minute, and said, “Let’s take those hobbles off.”

After using Joe Hancock on cattle, the rancher thought the horse might have some speed. The stallion was sent to Bird Ogles in Oklahoma to race. Ogles took the stallion to a county fair, and the racing secretary asked for the colt’s name, Ogles said, “He doesn’t have one, but he belongs to a man named Hancock. Just call him Joe Hancock.”

After scores of races, the stallion was sold to Bird Ogles’ son, George, for $1,000, an exorbitant amount during the Depression. The new owner turned around and sold the stallion to Tom Burnett, owner of the Burnett/Triangle Ranch, for $2,000. Joe Hancock began his career as a senior stallion for the Burnett Ranches. Horses such as Red Man, Little Joe The Wrangler, Joe Tom, Roan Hancock and Brown Joe are remembered for their powerful builds and level-heads. Horsemen remember half brothers Popcorn and Peanut, sired by Roan Hancock, who won the hearts of ropers Shoat Webster and Everett Shaw.

Joe Hancock died in 1943 at 20, and was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1992.

AQHA Hall of Fame & Museum The American Quarter Horse
Hall of Fame and Museum

Joe Hancock was inducted in 1992

[this tribute was posted May 2013
on Facebook]


*Many Percherons {of yesterday and today} are not the heavy draft horses we might think.

Perches trace back to the famous French "chargers" of the middle ages. [late 19th century drawing.]

1920's Percheron collectible  information card

To the right and above are a collectible horse breed information card about the Percheron [circa 1920's time period].

Cielo Azure Percherons []
outside Atlanta Georgia has a very interesting photo collection on their website depicting the Percheron horse throughout history, including the earlest photos and records from the late 1800's and throughout the 1900's. A very informative pictoral history.

1920's Percheron collectible  information card

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