By Lori Gardner, Co-Owner of Sunrise Farm
As horse owners, and especially as breeders, we have to ask ourselves which horse will suit us, or our program, best. Horses are a big investment in both money and time, taking years to develop into their very best. What makes the Driftwood bloodline stand out to an entire community of owners?
Driftwoods are known for explosive speed, intelligence, and the ability to cross on any other bloodlines. They have short backs, deep barrel wide chests, and strong hindquarters. This, combined with their low hocks and short cannons, makes them the absolute best rodeo horses.
Driftwood, registered as AQHA # 0002833, was a bay stud, foaled in 1932, with the breeder listed as Mr. Childress of Silverton, Texas. 1 According to AQHA Hall of Fame, the bay stud was first known as a match race horse. After Asbury Schell of Tempe, Arizona bought him, Driftwood became famous as what we now call an all-around horse. The pair competed in every timed event at the rodeo, calf-roping, team-tying, steer roping, and bulldogging. After winning every event, it wasn't unheard of for ol "Speedy" to win the cow horse races down the length of the arena. Driftwood's incredible skills caught the attention of the rodeo cowboys. Soon, according to Mel Potter, over 50% of the ropers in Arizona and California were riding Driftwood horses. 2 Soon, the Driftwood bloodline became known for their quick speed, intelligence, athletic ability, and willingness.
Today, even as the bloodline has thinned over 70+ years of breeding, cowboys and cowgirls are still benefiting from Driftwood's bloodline. NFR Header Bubba Buckaloo's horse "Prowler", a Lone Drifter son (Dash Ona Drifter) is noted to be consistent and one of the only studs ridden at the NFR today. Kristie Peterson's Bozo (French Flash Hawk), a Sun Frost son, became in the 1990's one of the two greatest barrel horses to ever live.3 In fact, many of the top barrel horses today trace their roots to Driftwood through Sun Frost. Mr Junewood and Mr Fritz Wood are well-known AQHA World Show qualifiers in Team Roping.
Roy Wales, a renowned Arizona roper, said it best: “If a horse has two drops of Driftwood blood, he’s gotta be good!”
1. American Quarter Horse Association Stud Book and Registry Combines, 1-2-3-4-5, p175
2. Team Roping Journal, Julie Mankin, Nov 1, 2019, The Rumors Behind Popular Bloodlines
Driftwood X Hancock Belle:
Driftwood X Sage Hen:
Henny Penny Peake
Poker Chip Peake
Driftwood X Shu Cat:
Other Famous Driftwoods:
French Flash Hawk
Frosty War Chief