Wagon Wheel Ranch


The late breeding trailblazer, Mr. Fred Gist, had the foresight and vision to realize that the versatile, good-minded, and durable working cow horse forged in the early days of the American Quarter Horse might be lost to time and specialized breeding.

The latter half of his life was dedicated to protecting the genetics behind some of the best ranch and rope horses, so they would continue to the modern day.

Sul Ross shares this passion and purpose!

As Dr. Rebecca Splan notes, “We are wholly committed to preserving the valuable Foundation bloodlines that are Mr. Gist’s legacy, and our breeding goals are the same: to produce outstanding, family-friendly horses that can earn their keep during the week and take home a paycheck on the weekend.”

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Real-World Education

Science-based Approach

Global Impact



Several people excited about the coming equine initiative from this partnership…

Dr. Bill Kibler
“This is a game changer for Sul Ross. An endowed Foundation Quarter Horse Breeding Program is consistent with the ranching heritage of the Big Bend region and will create a center of excellence that furthers the mission and vision of Sul Ross State University.”
Dr. Bill KiblerSRSU President
Romana Prýglová
“We worked with cattle, learned roping, and lived life on a real ranch…I hope I can transfer to the Sul Ross Program when it starts.”
Romana Prýglová Summer Exchange Student
Dr. Rob Kinucan
“This gift will set Sul Ross apart as a premier equine science program…”
Dr. Rob KinucanDean of Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences
“…this will be the largest university-owned Quarter Horse Breeding Program in the world… “
Dr. Rebecca SplanAnimal Science Professor
John Gist
“We share the core mission is to preserve the Foundation Blood of the original American Quarter Horse”
John GistWagon Wheel Ranch Manager


The Gist Family strongly believes that honoring our heritage and conserving its wisdom is important for future generations. That’s part of the reason why we are donating our prized breeding program to Sul Ross. The ranch has seen, on a small scale, how the breeding program can impact the next generation of horsemen, scientists, and equine industry leaders. An institution of higher learning can preserve our heritage and carry on this legacy in a bigger way.


Your contribution, along with the support of your family, friends and philanthropic associates, will empower the Sul Ross State University Equine Endowment will keep this heritage alive for future generations…in perpetuity.


It is truly up to you now!

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