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Working Ranch - March 2018

Double-Bred, not Outcross If you only heard stories about King Fritz and the horses he sired, and didn’t see his pedigree, you might think he was some complete genetic outcross. Not so. He was double-bred King; sired by a big-time show horse named Power Command, and out of mare from a big ranch (Waggoner’s in this case), a Poco Bueno daughter. Another double-bred King of that vintage was King Glo, sired three of the fi rst four NCHA Futurity Champions. junior working cow horse, junior reining, junior pleasure, western riding… everybody thought, “Wow.” Mitzi Chex and Karen Chex, from King Fritz’s second foal crop, debuted with Bobby Ingersoll about that time, and Vogt said the three mares were invincible. “Wherever they were entered, you gave up thinking about winning because you couldn’t. We’d never seen anything like it on the West Coast.” So that’s the beginning of the story as handed down, and if you admire King Fritz and the Chex line, you’ll appreciate “Fairy tales do come true.” Much has been made of the horses he bred, but Fritz Watkins is a relative mystery. In the book “Legends,” Fritz’s wife, Helen, said, “Horses were a business to us. We showed extensively and advertised a lot.” But by the records, there’s not much else about Watkins and horses prior to 1956, when he bought three-month-old Fritz. And it appears he effectively exited the business in 1971 when he sold the stallion. There’s lots more stories about King Fritz, the “Chex” horses he sired and their descendants. As you read them, you’ll be amazed at the impact of Fritz’s small breeding program. THE WATKINS MARES Most stories about King Fritz quote Les Vogt of California, his last owner, for good reason. Besides having a long and colorful career as a trainer of champion cow horses, he’s infi nitely quotable. Vogt proclaimed the Watkins mares “the unsung heroes” of the King Fritz story. “We had the superstar mares of the day, however, nothing produced like that infamous cross with those strange-looking mares I bought in the group in the original package from Fritz Watkins,” he said. Strange-looking is one of the more fl attering ways Vogt described them. “They were just totally unsophisticated… rough-looking and poor movers, but they produced extreme pluses.” Whatever they were, apparently they were consistent. Oregon’s late Don Avila was the most famous horseman to respond to the Watkins’ ads and haul a broodmare to Wasco for a date. “The fi rst year I bred a mare to King Fritz, in BOVINE IGG CALF’S CHOICE TOTAL® NATURAL BOVINE COLOSTRUM Each minute, a calf’s ability to absorb immunity plunges and more fat stores are burned. Don’t rely on mother nature to guarantee the health of your calves and the future of your herd. Calf’s Choice Total® HiCal is a true bovine colostrum. Nothing added. Nothing removed. It is colostrum. HiCal is high in immunity for maximum immune protection and contains full colostral fat for energy needed to survive. It is convenient as a supplement or as a replacer and mixes completely in seconds. www.sccl.com 1-866-242-3185 “We have started using Calf’s Choice Total Colostrum as our primary colostrum replacer during the calving season and have seen a tremendous impact on calf vigor and health.” Jerry Connealy, Connealy Angus, Whitman Nebraska Sold through: MWI Animal Health 800-824-3703 Animal Health International 800-203-5620 Alta Genetics, Inc. 866-266-2582 Henry Schein Animal Health 855-724-3461 MARCH 2018 I WORKING RANCH I 83


Working Ranch - March 2018
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