Hancock Horses .com

FEATURED BREEDER; February 2005:
Cross Spur Quarter Horses - Home of the Working Quarter Horse

by Robin Morris

Here we raise working ranch horses.
For many years Leslie has earned his living doing cowboy day work. Leslie works for, on average, 65 different employers a year. Most have small ranches and lots of fences. Work involves roping, everything from grown bulls to baby calves, gathering, sorts and checking cows during calving season. In Missouri, the land is rough, rocky and brushy. Leslie has had to rope cattle on the highway, in brush and many more undesirable places. His horses are used for whatever is needed to get the job done. These hardworking Cross Spur ranch horses have to be quick, very athletic and possess great minds.

For years we raised running quarter horses for speed. Used for Leslie's demanding job these horses had a terrible time keeping weight on. One or more were always lame or sore. Leslie often had to borrow geldings for spring and fall works. In 1997 Leslie said " I want a Hancock/King bred horse". We had heard how tough Hancocks were supposed to be and the best cow catching horse Leslie had ever ridden was a great granddaughter of King P234.

That spring we went looking for a gelding and found just how hard it was to find a good horse of this breeding. We were trying to raise our own horses and had just sold a stallion. We needed to replace him. In September we purchased a blue roan weanling colt from Crago Quarter Horses in SD. Little did we know at that time where it would lead us. We soon added an aged Hancock stallion and a few more mares. We liked these Hancock horses so much we decided to expand our program.

Blue Valentine (grandson of Joe Hancock) has become our favourite line. We really like this line blended with the blood of Driftwood. We found the Blue Valentine and Driftwood horses to be tough, athletic, have speed and level headed dispositions. We can go from roping to cutting and sorting, back to pasture roping, and they do not get nervous and worked up. Leslie uses two of our stallions (Ike & Rafter) for work almost everyday when it is not breeding season. They stay sound and in good flesh.

In 2005 we are expecting 42 foals. We stand 5 breeding age stallions and will be breeding 54 of our own mares back this year. In 2003 we suffered a huge set back when we lost Hancocks Boogie King (PC Bronsin son) on the 3rd day of breeding season. He had been booked full. We were devastated. Boogie was a most special horse and losing him was like losing a member of the family. It would have been very easy at that time to give up the horse business. I did not think we would ever be able to replace him. We were fortunate enough to find a paternal brother, Frosty Drifter Ike. Ike, a '99 blue roan, is also a grandson of Ciderwood by Driftwood Ike. We really like Driftwood Ike bred horses because Driftwood Ike was out of a granddaughter of Joe Hancock. I tell people that Ike must be pretty special. The day we unloaded him from the trailer, he was so beautiful, but "oh how I hated that horse;" (no way was he going to replace Boogie!) But Ike now has a special place in my heart. Other stallions we stand are Blue Sonoita Hancock, a '96 bay son of Plenty Sage Hancock out of a daughter of Rowdy Blue Man. Blue Sonoita Hancock (Sage) consistently sires a lot of bone, pretty heads and good dispositions from a variety of mares. Bone Hancock and Rafter Blue both '99 bay roan sons of Blu Quachita Hancock, a high percentage Blue Valentine son of Hancocks Blue Boy. Bone's pedigree is kind of neat because he is both high percentage Joe Hancock (18.75%) and Blue Valentine (39.06%) a relatively rare combination. To date both Bone and Rafter have sired 100% roans bred to many solid colored mares. We are trying a blue roan son of Blue Apache Warrior (senior Haythorn sire) this year and have a 2004 stud prospect by Cowboy Drift. We are pleased to be producing some high 30% Blue Valentine foals this year as well as some really nice Hancock/Driftwood foals. Although we do not breed for color, we sure do get it. Our 2004 foal crop was 71% roan, including some roan Driftwood foals. We hope roan never goes out of style.

We were honoured in 2004 to donate a colt to the WRCA Crisis & Scholarship Fund. This colt was auctioned off at the WRCA Crisis Fund Auction during the WRCA finals, in Amarillo, TX. This fund is a very good cause and what better way to raise money for the working cowboy than with a ranch bred, Hancock horse.

We have a good market for broke ranch geldings. Our customers often buy them for trail riding. Ranch horse training makes these geldings more dependable on the trail. Our foals sell, mostly private treaty, for barrel, rope, cutting, reining, and ranch versatility prospects. A 2002 colt CS War Creek Jake, sold to Dennis and Diane Tully of WI, has been shown in foundation halter classes and was awarded year end high point. CS Sanchita Seminole won the AR state weanling at halter class, he is owned by Cedar Ridge Farms, AR. CVR Drifter Justice, by Frosty Drifter Ike and owned by Crimson Valley Ranch TX, was 2nd place weanling halter at the 2004 Alamo Area AQHA show.

We feel privileged to raise working ranch horses and are very proud of our Hancock horses. When people come to visit or buy a foal, they are always amazed at how gentle and easy to handle these foals are. They tell us it's the way we handle them, but we can't take any credit for it. These Hancock horses are born that way.

Leslie and Robin Morris live at Humansville, MO with their two children Cheyenne and Colton.

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